Paradox Activities & Games

Instructor: Matthew Hamel

Matt has degrees in Journalism and Business and has taught a variety of courses at high schools and universities around the world.

Explaining paradox to students is no easy task. This lesson aims to remove some of the difficulty by giving teachers paradox activities and games that can be used to teach this sometimes confusing topic to a variety of learners.

Paradox Pointers

If you write the word 'paradox' on the blackboard and get a bunch of confused stares from your students, then you're on the right track. A paradox is by nature, difficult to explain. But by providing a clear definition and relatable examples, your learners will be better equipped to both understand paradoxes and use them in the upcoming activities.

  • A paradox is a statement that at first seems to be contradictory or impossible, but may actually be possible or true.

If you have some dictionaries readily available, ask a few students to read the dictionary definition of a paradox. Next, write these examples on the board:

  • Don't go in the water until you have learned how to swim. (How can you learn to swim if you never go in the water?)
  • There is a wizard who can do anything. Can this wizard make a rock so big that the wizard himself cannot move it? (If the wizard can do anything, he can make the rock, and he should also be able to move it. However, the rock is too big to be moved.)
  • This sentence is a lie. (Since the sentence is a lie, does that mean it's really true?)

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