IB TOK Semester 1

Another perspective World Religions Comparison Chart


 In Class:


 12.21  Finals 
Blocks 7 and 8
Make up presentations
Block 4-6
 12.19  FINALS 
Block 1-3
 12.18  Presentations  
 12.12  Presentations  
 12.10  Presentations
The Human Experience, part 3.
 12.06  Work on Presentations
The Human Experience, Part 2.
 12.04  Work on Presentations
The Human Experience, Part 1.

 11.30 Introduce Presentation
--discuss requirements/expectations
--discuss paperwork
--choose groups
--choose dates

 11.28 Indigenous Systems  
 11.26 Indigenous Systems  Choose one or more, watch and take notes. Be prepared to discuss TOK, knowledge and culture next time along with Indigenous Knowledge Systems.

Ted Talks on culture

"Rich Benjamin: My road trip through the whitest towns in America" (13 min)
"Gus Casely-Hayford: The Powerful Stories that Shaped Africa" (20 min)
"Pico Iyer: Where is home?" (13 min)

 11.15 Faith and Religious Knowledge Systems

AOKs and the framework

Discuss World Religions Comparison Chart
What knowledge questions about faith as a way of knowing or religious knowledge systems presented themselves during the completion or discussion of the chart?

What do you believe?
How do we determine if a belief system is a religion?
Defining the Characteristics of Religion
BBC article
Another perspective
Defining the Characteristics of other belief systems
 Indigenous Knowledge Systems (a little homework)
Read: "Defining Indigenous Knowledge" (you do not need to complete the activities)
Read: "Knowledge Framework: Indigenous Knowledge Systems"
Read: "Linking Indigenous and Western Knowledge Systems" and in your journal answer "Questions and Links" 1 and 2.

This should take less than an hour. Please feel free to do it right before you return to school. Also, please feel free to explore the website further or other sources of information. Bring anything "new" you find to class when we return from break.
 11.13 Faith and Religious Knowledge Systems

More of YOUR TedTalks, podcasts, etc.
Discuss text book
Faith and Religious Knowledge Systems: What do the major world religions believe anyway?
World Religions Comparison Chart
 11.9 Faith as a Way of Knowing

Quotes for discussion:
To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible.
Thomas Aquinas
To follow by faith alone is to follow blindly.
Benjamin Franklin

Pascal's Wager
Faith and Science Article from the New Humanist

Block 5:  7:40-9:10
Block 6:  9:20-10"50
1st lunch: 11:00-11:30; Block 7: 11:30-1:00
Block 7: 11:-00-12:30; 2nd lunch 12:40-1:10
Block 8:  1:10-2:30
Assembly:  2:45-3:10
Read the following for homework IN YOUR JOURNAL
Text book pages 174-183
--summarize the different concepts of faith
--answer the questions on p. 176, activity 1: "Faith as Trust" and be prepared to discuss 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 (pages 176-177) in class next time
--choose ONE of the question and p. 183 and write a minimum 1 page answer/response to the question(s) (although, you can certainly do both if you are interested)

 11.7 CAS progress--activities and reflections--share today in class.

Finish everything we did not get to on Monday.
 Find and watch or listen to a Ted Talk or Pod Cast on sometime TOKish related to Faith and/or Religion. Please watch/listen and bring a summary or clips and a reflection to class on Friday.
 11.5 ESSAY REWRITES DUE AT THE BEGINNING OF CLASS TODAY--you must submit your original paper with this.

Any more journals?

discuss the reading

Rest of class: Intuition as WOK
Define & cartoons
Emotion + Reason = Intuition?

Watch and discuss:  

Next, In small groups, select one of these quotations and questions to discuss/debate. Be prepared to share a summary of your discussion with the rest of the class. You may want to take notes on items of brilliance to use in your papers or presentations later.

“Don't try to comprehend with your mind. Your minds are very limited. Use your intuition.” 
― Madeleine L'EngleA Wrinkle in Time
To what extent is intuition necessary in the arts and human sciences?

“I believe in intuitions and inspirations...I sometimes FEEL that I am right. I do not KNOW that I am.”  ― Albert Einstein
To what extent is intuition a reliable way of knowing in math and science?

“Intuition represents a concept which is made up from lots of ideas and assumptions, not all of which will be common to everyone.” 
― Sylvia ClareTrusting Your Intuition: Rediscover Your True Self to Achieve a Richer, More Rewarding Life
To what extent is it possible to share knowledge gained through intuition?

 Find and watch or listen to a Ted Talk or Pod Cast on sometime TOKish related to Faith and/or Religion. Please watch/listen and bring a summary or clips and a reflection to class on Friday.
 11.1 Emotion and Reason

Journals--how many unscored journals do you have? Submit journals.

Perspectives and "The Lost Art of Democratic Debate" (Ted Talk)

KQ--writing knowledge questions; your RLS and knowledge questions (this is important as a foundation for the presentations we will be doing)

Logic Problems
"Intuition" reading--due next time.
 10.30 Emotion and Reason

"When Beliefs and Facts Collide"--discuss reading, connections to AOK and WOK, submit paragraphs to Mrs. Webb

Driverless cars, Moral Machines, and AI ethics
"Should a self-driving car . . ."
The Moral Machine
Ted Talk: "Machine intelligence makes human morals more important"
What kind of knowledge is required for Artificial Intelligence?
How does "memory" as a WOK work in artificial intelligence?
Who is ethically responsible for the "decisions" made by AI--the machine? or the programmer?
How is AI changing the way we share knowledge?

Extra credit ESSAY contest assignment: language and technology.

With any remaining time:
How well do YOU reason? Logic problems. Take these home to work on if you feel like it.

Bring a RLS to class (article, something else. . . ) that we can discuss/debate using emotion and/or reason as a way of knowing. (sort of like I just did today with AI and driverless cars)

 10.26  Hand back essays and discuss.

Reason and Emotion

Review logical fallacies (handout and review primary categories/fallacies)
Watch The Secret (look for logical fallacies)
-group discussion handout

 Reason as WOK
Read the following "Real Life Situation" as presented in the New York Times: "When Beliefs and Facts Collide".  Consider and answer:  To what extent are our beliefs based on evidence? Choose TWO areas of knowledge and write a paragraph for each area. Submit to teacher for grading. DUE TUESDAY instead of TOK journals.
 10.24 Reason and Emotion as WOK
--TOK Moments?
--Discuss reading from last time on emotions and the brain
--Watch BOTH of the following Ted Talks and discuss in class:
Robots that "show emotion" (4:57)
Daniel Goldman (author of Emotional Intelligence) on compassion (13:13)

Start reading "What Makes Teens Tick." If you read it for psych, try to read it again from a TOK perspective. Write KQ in the margins as you read.

Read "What Makes Teens Tick" and write a summary response in your journal. This will be 1 and 1/2 to 2 pages in length if you truly reflect and respond on what you read.
 10.22 Why are some of you missing your TOK papers from last week?  :(
These MUST be loaded on Turnitin!

Reason and Emotion as WOK
--discuss activity from last time
--emotions "pretest"
--Linguistics and emotion
--Emotion as WOK notes
--Emotions and social intelligence

 10.18 Finish Imagination and begin Reason & Emotion

Discuss "The Pleasures of Imagination" and share KQ. 
Imagination and Emotion
Imagination and Reason

Intro. to Reason and Emotion as WOK:

Journal: It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. (Aristotle)

AS you write on this prompt, consider the  following KQ's:

Does all knowledge require some kind of rational basis?

How can our emotions affect our ability to reason? Reason and Emotion Activity for Pair/Group Work--please complete this in your journals under today's date

Finish as homework:
Reason and Emotion Activity for Pair/Group Work--please complete this in your journals under today's date.

IF you have extra time,  p
lease use this link to go to the Reason page at the website.
--definition of "reason" 
--What is formal reasoning?
--What other types of reasoning are there? and when might you use them?
 10.16  TOK papers due today. You MUST submit
them to AND submit a paper
copy to me.

TOK Tuesday--student led presentations and discussions.

 Imagination Activity--You MUST be in class to complete this activity. Absent students will be assigned book work. 
 Read, annotate and be prepared to discuss "The Pleasures of Imagination." You should also write 2 KQ based on this article. Bring those to class as well.
 10.13  This is SATURDAY
PSAT for those of you taking it . . .Don't forget
 10.12  "Fall Break"--No School  
 10.11 Work on your paper--I have 10 chromebooks; feel free to bring your own to class to work.

Rough draft workshop today

Parent-teacher conferences tonight--4:30-7:30
 Work on your paper-final paper due next time.
 10.09  Language--Big Fish
Big Fish discussion and paper assignment
Discuss language and imagination.

Work on your paper--I have 10 chromebooks; feel free to bring your own to class to work.

Parent-teacher conferences tomorrow night and Thursday night--4:30-7:30
 Work on your paper
 10.5 Handout essay assignment sheet and discuss.

Big Fish
--watch film, take notes, think about essay
 Work on your paper.
 10.3  Language as WOK:
Language as a WOK and Real Life Situations
--group "research" and presentation

If time: The problems of language
TOK resources Cow or Beef? and others

 You guys were AWESOME today and that was such a fun class!

For further info on cow vs. beef, check out the following article: The Norman Conquest is why Steak is "beef, not cow."

Journals about TOK moments. You must complete 2 journals over "moments" before Tuesday, Oct. 16th. I will give you a handout for this next time.
 10.1  Discuss body language TED TALK

Language Cartoon

Brief Mark Twain video on names and naming.

NOTES on language as a way of knowing
 Language as a Way of Knowing:  SmartBoard presentation 

Language Theories handout and discussion.

What is the Sapir Whorf hypothesis? Bring your answer to class next time.

What is the Sapir Whorf hypothesis? Bring your answer to class next time.

Journal #7:
Please write on the following quotation:  "The limits of my language means the limits of my world" (Ludwig Wittgenstein).  What does Wittgenstein mean?  Do you agree or disagree?  Explain, giving examples.
Is it possible to think without language?  How does language facilitate, extend, direct or limit thinking?

Discuss Metaphors We Live By:  Chapters 1 and 5

Cartoon (Lang as WOK slides)
Language and the Knower (Smart Slides)
Is "body language" language? Or is it sense perception? Or is this one place where the two overlap? Charades

TED TALK:  "Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are" (21 minutes)

Take notes on this and be prepared to discuss in class next time.

 If you were interested in the metaphor reading and/or discussion, watch the following TED Talk: "Metaphorically Speaking"
Essay rewrites due WITH original paper--no turnitin paper necessary.

TOK Tuesday:  Any TOK moments, reflections, connections to share?

Journal #9:
Take 10 minutes and write 1+ pages in response to these Knowledge Questions about Memory as a Way of Knowing. We will then discuss them in class.
To what extent is memory reliable as a way of knowing? In trying to gain knowledge, of what limitations should we be aware concerning memory as a justification?

discuss BBC site--briefly look at it as a class.

Worksheet to complete during/after watching--this will be submitted as a 10 point assignment at the end of the period.

Start reading homework from Metaphors We Live By.

Memory and Language:
Read and annotate Metaphors We Live By: Chapters 1 and 5 for class next time. 
 9.21 Discuss TED talk on Sense perception and empathy from homework and collect journals.
Journals 1-4: Questions on Popper Parts 1-4
Journal 5:  Plato quotation
Journal 6:  Sense Perception summary and response for article/video you were assigned
Journal 7:  Smell tour of your house
Journal 8:  Summary response for Ted Talk: "Your Reality May Not Be Mine"

Return Inherit the Stars papers. Show sample and discuss scoring, how to incorporate a Knowledge Question, and revisions (mandatory and optional). Due NEXT TIME (TUESDAY)--I will grade as many of these as possible before grades must be submitted.

Sense perception and taste
--taste activity
--sugar and spice and everything nice
--turn in "lab report" for this after the experiment.

Memory, sense perception, language and emotion:

Read  Brian Williams piece and discuss:
Knowledge questions regarding news media: To what extent and in what ways can we trust the media as a reliable source of shared knowledge? Of what characteristics of media should we be aware as we try to gain knowledge from them? (Does this make you have an English TOK moment?)

class activity over 9.19

context dependent memory
mood dependent memory
Essay rewrites due next time.


This is in interesting BBC website.  When you click on the moving words, it will give you information about that aspect of memory.  Then, as the bottom of the info you will find one or more links that provide you with even more information if this is something you would like to further explore. You might find some of this especially useful 2nd semester for your IA and/or your paper.
 9.19 Notes--What is an RLS?
Slides 19-23. 

Ted Talk:
 "Beau Lotto" (16 minutes)

Sense perception and smell
Did you complete your smell tour?  What does "childhood" smell like? What does "home" smell like?  How do these individual sensory experiences affect our knowledge? What role does emotion play in this "knowledge"?  What about memory?What about language? Can this be "shared" information? 
  • "What matters in life is not what happens to you but what you remember and how you remember it."  --Gabriel Garcia Marquez--discuss

Discuss your "smell tour" of your home. 

Ted: You Smell With Your Body, Not Just Your Nose

Ted: Smelfies, and other experiments in synthetic biology

Revisit: To what extent is my sense perception a reliable way of knowing? AND Can sense perception lead to shared knowledge?
Watch: Ted Talk--Your Reality May Not Be Mine: Sense Perception and Empathy.
(17 minute video)
Then in your journal (Journal #8) write a 1-2 page summary response of what you just viewed.
 9.17  Jigsaw on Sense Perception
You will be in 4 large groups (1 person from each sense and ESP in each group)
Each member will present a summary of what he/she read/watched for class today. TAKE NOTES.
Each student should write down the strengths and limitations of using each sense as a way to obtain knowledge.
Each group must write a KQ about using sense perception as a WOK. 
Each group will share, discuss, and refine the KQ.

Sense Perception and sight
--optical illusions (power point)
--Viscog videos--change blindness

JOURNAL #4 (we will watch this in class if we have time)
Please watch the following video (it is REALLY COOL--you will LOVE it!).  Then, based on the video and any additional readings/research you undertake, write an journal entry answering the following question:
What happens when the senses overlap?
 Watch Gemstone Jalapenos if we did not have time to finish it in class.

Sense Perception, Emotion, and Memory:
Complete and be ready to discuss in class.  
"Smell tour" of your home--be prepared to write about this next time!  Add this to your journal entry. Journal #7
 9.13  Papers DUE today. I want a printed copy AND want it uploaded on Turnitin.

Finish discussion of the world of the forms/ideas--does this make sense?

Sense Perception Introduction

Journal #2:

"All our knowledge has its origins in our perceptions."-Leonardo Da Vinci

How reliable are YOUR senses--seeing, hearing, tasting, touching, smelling?  How do you KNOW? Can we trust our senses?

TEDTAlk--Julian Treasure:  The 4 ways sound effects us  (5:47)

Selective attention test:

Attention Blindness
Assign groups and topics for homework.  Students who will be absent next time  must make up for their absences by completing AT LEAST TWO of these (although, you may want watch/read them all to make sure you have all of the content for this unit). 

Journal #6:

Read/watch the assigned topic  related to sense perception.  In your journal, summarize the article/video and discuss at least one knowledge question related to sense perception in regards to this story/article/event. You want a "good" knowledge question that is focused on sense perception as a way of knowing. Please bring the article and your journal to class next time; be prepared to share and discuss in jigsaw groups. (This means YOU will teach others!)

1. What did childhood smell like?  "The Dime Store Floor" (read/print pages 33-37)

2. Food Science:  Taste bud hackers

3. Phantom Limb Cure:  Retraining the Brain

4. Beau Lotto:  Optical Illusions show how we see (16:33)  

5. Navigating deafness in a hearing world (16:37)

6. "Sixth Sense" in Humans

 9.11  LEGOS!
  • Lego activity

Finish papers--due for submission NEXT TIME!
 9.7 Plato


Knowledge which is acquired under compulsion obtains no hold on the mind.   (Plato)

Does our current system of education lead to the acquisition of "knowledge"?  Explain in your journal and discuss this in class.              


  • Describe how the people in the cave are situated in Plato’s parable.  Why can’t they move or look around?  
  • What is the only thing they are capable of seeing?
  •  What is their only source of light?
  • What do these prisoners trapped in the cavern believe is real?
  • How do the prisoners react when they first see sunlight?
  • Why will the prisoner need time to adjust to the world outside the cave?
  • According to Plato, how would the people in the cave react to an escapee who tried to explain the truth to them, or who came down and broke their chains to set them free?
  • How is this a modern representation of Plato's allegory of the cave
  • Work on papers--I need to touch base with each of you about the assignment.
 Bring LEGOS next time--as many as you can.
Olen assignment and discussion

Justification chain practice.

Review KQ

Current event:  Application to RLS

Inherit the Stars should be completedWriting assignment for Inherit the Stars
  • The Knower, Knowledge Claims, and Knowledge Issues in Inherit the Stars..
  • Discuss the text--knowledge claims and issues in Inherit the Stars--how do they deal with KI?
  • Writing Assignment--approx. 1000 words (3+ pages, typed, double spaced)    Final copy for assessment due 1.31
  • work on paper--this is an opportunity for you to ask questions and get help.

Inherit the Stars paper assignment
See me to get a copy of the IB TOK paper rubric for references. You will not be responsible for all pieces of this rubric.

Start working on your paper--bring rough draft next time to workshop with a peer--the closer this is to a complete paper, the fewer revisions you will have to do after the next class.

Finish Popper and journal check

Knowledge Questions (slides, cont.) 15-18

Practice writing knowledge questions

Slides--finish notes

Olen--Justification Chains--see me to get a copy of this. (You can find a copy of the text here: LINK)
Jeffrey Olen's "The Justification of Our Beliefs":
  • What is the difference between "cause" and "reason"?
  • When our beliefs conflict, how are we rationally to choose which one to reject?
  • How important is our own experience in our search for knowledge?
  • Write a justification chain.  In pairs discuss your justification chain.  What items in your chain are accepted "truths," that we take for granted?  What items in your chain require evidence/proof?  How do you judge the reliability of that evidence or the source of that evidence?
 Bring a current event article to class next time. You MUST bring a printed copy.

Finish Inherit the Stars for class next time. Please bring your copy (print or digital) of the text to class next time.
 8.29  Discuss Popper parts 3 and 4

Last day to discuss perspectives--cultural perspectives (Wahe/Waher activity--see me for make up work)

Knowledge Claims about your own culture.

 Finish Popper and questions in journal for next time.

Inherit the Stars--we will discuss this the first class period AFTER Labor Day weekend. You will also be given a writing assignment at that time.

 8.27 More on Perspective
Cultural Perspectives
Ted Talk: "Dangers of a Single Story"
Political Perspectives
Perspectives within Knowledge
--how do different areas of knowledge take differing approaches to knowing?
--how do conceptual frameworks or theories provide perspective within particular areas?
--How can different areas of their sub-disciplines provide valuable perspective on issues in the world/
 Share maps

Karl Popper--"On Tolerance" parts 1 and 2; discuss (The 4 parts are Journals 1-4)

Read Popper parts 3 and 4 for class next time and complete questions in your journal.
  Read Inherit the Stars

Finish Popper sections III and IV for class next time as needed
 8.23  PPT for notes for weeks 1-3 (see me for notes, the SMARTboard Notes will not open with a link)

Recognizing Perspectives: The "Knower"

Map of the world

  • draw and compare maps
  • look at satellite images (link at bottom of website:
  •  AstronautSunitaWilliamsPicsofEarth.pps
  • discuss maps from other cultures/countries--look at Smart Board file
  • Map of military spending
  • how does one's frame of reference change based on background and experience? TED Talk for this 

Bring a journal to class next time--you will need this all year for journal entries, homework assignments, and notes.

LINK to Google Doc for today's videos, etc.


 Bring a MAP to class next time.  Get creative--think about the military spending map I showed you . . .
Please bring a PHYSICAL printout--color is best--in order to effectively share in class.

Karl Popper--"On Tolerance"
Read Parts I and II and answer the discussion questions in your journal. This is journal #1.
Due next time.
 8.21 The Known Unknown Video clip.  Donald Rumsfeld's Known Unknowns

Course overview--course guidelines and expectations

Introductions--name and something you "know," "know that," "know how."

Be prepared to ask each other questions about their "knowledge" after everyone has introduced him/herself.
How do you know???

Define "Knowledge"
What is Theory of Knowledge?
  • Why study TOK?
  • Terms and definitions
  • PPT for notes for weeks 1-3 (get notes from teacher or classmate)

 Read Inherit the Stars

 8.17  Welcome to TOK

Inherit the Stars reminder/new information.
--I have a limited number of copies to check out if you have procrastinated. You will actually have until August 31 to complete the text.

Inherit the Stars
   SUMMER Assignment (for SEMESTER 1 of TOK)

Inherit the Stars
 5.11 Ted Talk: A Visual History of Human Knowledge

Work on "What would it take to make me change my mind?" Activity (if not completed on 5.9)

 5.9  Ted Talk on Truth

Start "What would it take to make me change my mind?" Activity

 5.3  Work on presentations

AM--Math Studies SL/Math SL--10 at least
PM--Anthro--6 at least
 5.1 Work on presentations

SL Econ Afternoon--1
 4.27  Outline due to Mrs. Webb for meeting and revisions

Business PM--1
 4.25  Work on presentation outline  
 4.23 Ted Talk:  sense perception (vision?), emotion, and technology

TOK Course Companion reading:
--Presentation requirements
--Presentation expectations
--Presentation scoring (in book & handout)

Review presentation dates with group if you had members missing last time.

By end of day today:
Mrs. Webb would like a summary of your RLS and your overarching KQ.  Then you should work on the outline of your presentation (following either the written sample or the presentation map)
 Work on presentation outline.
 4.19  RLS:
Extracting knowledge questions
Presentation requirements, expectation, and scoring.
Mapping your presentation
Presentation dates
 Work on RLS
 4.17 Hand back all graded work for this semester.

Finish The Human Experience--part 3 and conclusion (45 min)

Working with Real Life Situations
--what is a "real life situation"
--how do I write KQ on a real life situation
--practice in class: Later school start times due to teens sleep schedules (KQ: How do we justify knowledge claims in the Natural Sciences.)

Presentation groups (3 to 5 members) and step 1 of the assignment:  RLS.
 RLS for EACH member of the group for class next time.
 4.9 Faith and Religious Knowledge Systems

Finish any work from 4.5

Share podcasts and/or Ted Talks in small groups; we may select one or two of value to watch today. Others, you may want to use for your presentations or we may want to watch them over the course of the rest of the semester.

Ted Talk: Modern Africa, Faith and Religion
 SAT review at KAHN academy is suggested.
 4.5 Submit ALL papers to be re-scored--please staple the NEW AND IMPROVED paper on top of the original paper.

Faith as WOK and Religious Knowledge Systems
Read in text book p. 174-183--you do not need to read the activity boxes, just he content on the white pages.
As a class or in small groups (3-4 please) discuss the following (time limit on the discussion)
Do you consider faith to be a way of knowing?
Compare faith and the other ways of knowing.
What is the relationship between knowledge and belief?

Read "Religion" handout with dog cartoon. This LINK has the online text with all external links.  Students should use the online text and links or "google" concepts or terms with which they are unfamiliar.
THEN, in the same groups, complete the World Religions chart for as many of the major religions as possible (this will depend on time); students may need to write the answers on their own paper or type them in a google doc to share with me since there is limited space on the handout. EACH student should have a copy of/access to this information, but they may type one copy in a google doc with editing rights for all group members and share with me.

Find and watch or listen to a Ted Talk or Pod Cast on sometime TOKish related to Faith and/or Religion. Please watch/listen and bring a summary or clips and a reflection to class on  4.9

SAT review at KAHN academy is suggested.

IB, TOK, and global mindedness:
World Week and assignment--discuss lunch presentations and assignment (due Monday). Did anyone go during lunch yesterday or today? Share.

Ted Talks on culture
"Rich Benjamin: My road trip through the whitest towns in America" (13 min)
"Gus Casely-Hayford: The Powerful Stories that Shaped Africa" (20 min)
"Pico Iyer: Where is home?" (13 min)

Faith as a way of knowing--introduction

For 4.3:
Read the "Religious Knowledge" handout if we do not have the opportunity to read it in class. LINK to handout

SAT review at KAHN academy is suggested.

Work on your CAS.

   World Week Festival and Assignment  
 2.14 Happy Valentine's Day!
Let's talk about LOVE: Is love real? Is it an emotion? Is it grounded in sense perception? (remember the smell video?) How do we use language to describe/define "love"? Can this be shared knowledge? Can any emotion be shared knowledge?

Human Sciences and Language: Love


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