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A Dog's Life

Philosophy Diogenes was a Cynic, a group of philosophers in Hellenistic times (c. 323-146 BCE) that dropped out of conventional society much like modern-day hippies. The origin of the word 'cynic' comes from the Greek (via Latin) for 'dog', and has the same root as the English word 'canine'. In this story we explore th...

Ages: Ages 11-14 (KS3), Ages 7-11 (KS2)

Subjects: Ethics

Themes: Responsibility, Independence, Happiness, Freedom, Ancient Greek


BACKGROUND Judaism, Christianity and Islam share certain stories and traditions. The story of Abraham’s sacrifice of his son is one of the most well-known. Because it is a story common to the three religions it is often taught in RE. However, it is a bloodthirsty and cruel tale – on the surface of it – and the killing of a c...

Ages: Ages 16-18 (KS5), Ages 14-16 (KS4), Ages 11-14 (KS3), Ages 7-11 (KS2)

Subjects: RE

An Eye for an Eye

Stimulus There was a young man called Jerry, who lived with his mother. One day he decided it was time to move out and get a house of his own. He found a small piece of land to build his house on and ordered 500 bricks, which were delivered to that spot. The next morning Jerry went there with the builders but all the bricks were gon...

Ages: Ages 16-18 (KS5), Ages 14-16 (KS4), Ages 11-14 (KS3), Ages 7-11 (KS2), Ages 5-7 (KS1)

Subjects: Ethics

Bare Necessities

This session uses the song 'Bare Necessities' from The Jungle Book.  You may want to use the following clip as a stimulus: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ogQ0uge06o   First, show the clip (or play the song).  Then, sing the first verse with the class a couple of times:  'Bare necessities, Those simpl...

Ages: Ages 7-11 (KS2), Ages 5-7 (KS1)

Subjects: Language and Meaning, Ethics

Themes: Life, Existence, Difference, Conceptual analysis

Becky's Bright Idea Part 1

Stimulus This is a true story about a girl called Becky who had a very bright idea when she was 10 years old. Becky was just a normal girl and lived with a normal family in a normal town in America. One normal day after school Becky’s mum took her shopping. Her mum had to leave her in the car just for a few minutes while she pop...

Ages: Ages 11-14 (KS3), Ages 7-11 (KS2)

Subjects: Ethics

Themes: Responsibility, Happiness, Entrepreneurialism, Consequences, Choice

Becky's Bright Idea Part 2

Preparation Important: The resource must be downloaded for this session. Also, if you are doing this over a number of weeks, make sure to note which they chose along the way, especially the one you end the session on. This will be important later.   In this session, the class are cast as the Board of Directors of Becky’s comp...

Ages: Ages 14-16 (KS4), Ages 11-14 (KS3), Ages 7-11 (KS2)

Subjects: Ethics

Themes: Fairness, Consequences, Choice

Between My Ears

The aim of this lesson plan is to encourage the children to make a distinction between physical and non-physical properties of the mind and/or brain. This encourages them to ‘discover’ abstract nouns in the context of non-abstract entities such as ‘the body’. Plan 1. Read the poem to the class. 2. Give them some si...

Ages: Ages 7-11 (KS2)

Subjects: Metaphysics

Themes: Mind/Brain

Boys and Girls

Simulus This session arose when I was given a ‘top’ English group to do some philosophy. It started when I overheard the following: Unidentified child: “There’s more girls in this group, so girls must be cleverer than boys”  Angry retort: “That’s sexist!” Use the above anecdote as yo...

Ages: Ages 11-14 (KS3), Ages 7-11 (KS2)

Subjects: Ethics

Themes: Free Speech, Diversity

Burghers of Calais

Stimulus Tell the story: Seven hundred years ago, the King of England attacked the french town of Calais. Calais is the nearest French town to England. If you have travelled from England to France you may have gone through Calais. King Edward was angry because the town of Calais was not doing enough to stop pirates from sailing over f...

Ages: Ages 7-11 (KS2)

Subjects: Humanities

Choice vs Not a Choice

Activity Make a table with 2 columns on the board. Label the 2 columns 'Choice' and 'not a choice' Give each pair a statement Blinking Sneezing Forgiving someone Dreaming about cake Getting angry Being free Feeling happy Being British Hitting someone Winning Cheating Going to school Liking math...

Ages: Ages 11-14 (KS3), Ages 7-11 (KS2), Ages 5-7 (KS1)

Subjects: Metaphysics

Themes: Choice