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Part and the Whole

This session has been put together by Oliver Leech and is closely related to 'The Meaning of Ant Life' in Peter Worley's The If Machine. Philosophy This session introduces a discussion of purpose in the context of the concept of parts in their relation to the whole. We think of parts as serving a purpose, or perhaps it would be...

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

Themes: Parts and wholes, God and religion

People and Animals (Age; 7-11 KS2)

Year 3 and up Key ideas To what extent are animals similar to people? Do they have rights? Should they be treated the same or different? Are pets people? Stimulus Place two boards in the centre of the circle.  One with ‘a person and one with ‘an animal on it. Ask children to point at people and then point at animals ...

Ages: Ages 7-11 (KS2)

Subjects: Ethics

Phunny Phone?

Phunny Phone? Take a smart phone with an ‘intelligent personal assistant and knowledge navigator’ function such as ‘Siri’. Ask Siri to tell a joke. You could do this more than once. Task Question: Is Siri funny? Nested Questions What is ‘funny’? What makes someone funny? Can or co...

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

Subjects: Metaphysics

Pinocchio

Starter activity I start by getting the children to play a game of 'True For You'; they should change places if what I say is true for them. After beginning with a couple of easy ones ('I am a girl', 'I am wearing red' etc) I usually include a couple of slightly harder ones ('I don't understand the rules to thi...

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

Subjects: Logic

Themes: Truth & Falsity, Logic

Playing With Dolls

An original two-minute play by Darby Smith. Revised by Paul Bodin. (NOTE:  Student 1 should be acted by a girl, and Student 2 should be acted by a boy.  Fill in the names of people <inside special brackets> before performing the play.) For information on how to use this play in the classroom, take a look at Pete's ...

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

Subjects: Humanities, Ethics

Themes: Identity, Difference, Choice, Beliefs

Poetry workshop - Is This A Poem?

IS THIS A POEM? This is a session came out of a unit of work on poetry. The class had being doing philosophy for 16 weeks and were doing a unit of poetry in their English classes.  Ever since Socrates, philosophers have tried to define terms clearly and exhaustively. This has resulted in a good deal of rigour and precision. Philosophe...

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

Subjects: English

Themes: Language

Praying

BACKGROUND This session is a good way for children to look at which things religions have in common and which things set them apart. If we don’t know much about another religion it is easy to make the mistake of assuming that its followers do the same as us or that what they do is completely different when actually the differences are s...

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

Subjects: RE

Prince Gautama (2)

INTRODUCTION Buddhism has several distinctive features. One of these is the rejection of the world. The everyday world we move about in is, for the Buddhist, a distraction. If we are too attached to it, we will always be caught up in suffering. Although this rejection of the world can be found in other religions too, for Buddhism it is the ce...

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

Subjects: RE

Profit

STIMULUS There was once a poor farmer. He was always struggling to get enough food. One winter, he was left with just one chicken. If the chicken laid an egg the farmer would eat that day, and if it didn’t, he went hungry. Desperate, he went to a neighbour who was very religious and asked for advice. The neighbour told him: ‘Do...

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

Subjects: RE

Promises Promises

By Oliver Leech The Philosophy This session introduces an old chestnut from the repertoire of ethical problems. Traditionally, the story draws attention to the distinction between a deontological response (there is a duty to keep promises no matter what the consequences) and a utilitarian approach (the right course of action is that which ...

Ages: Ages 7-11 (KS2)

Subjects: Ethics

Themes: Utilitarianism, Deontology