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The Ant & The Grasshopper

Thinking about work, desert and welfare Session by Peter Worley. This session exemplifies how to critically engage your class with traditional stories that have a clear moral message. You could stop the story before the grasshopper speaks and have two children dramatise the scene, anticipating what they think the characters will say. And/o...

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

Subjects: Ethics

Themes: Rights, Fairness, Deserving , Decision-making, Classification

The Big Number

The Philosophy This session needs a little bit of general knowledge – that is why it is KS2, but half the fun is how the children try to apply their limited general knowledge to solve the problem. There are two basic issues. The first is whether 'facts' about the world expressed in numbers are literally true. The second is wheth...

Ages: Ages 7-11 (KS2)

Subjects: Epistemology

Themes: Numbers, Identity, Evidence

The Big Red Button

Thinking about Risk and Responsibility Session by Peter Worley. The emphasis throughout this lesson plan is on risk and responsibility, however you may want to include a discussion around self control and desire. If so, during the first enquiry (around TQ1) have the class explore how much they want (or would want) to press the button and h...

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

Subjects: Ethics, Epistemology

Themes: Self-control, Responsibility, Knowledge

The Boy and the Traffic Lights

Stimulus 1 The aim of this session is to get the children to consider the conditions under which a causal connection can be said to be the case. Describe a scenario where a boy (or girl) is staring at some traffic lights and when they ask him what he is doing he says that he able to change traffic lights just by staring at them. He says he...

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

Subjects: Metaphysics

Themes: Causation

The Butterfly Dream

The Philosophy There is a view in philosophy known as epistemological scepticism in which it is held that we cannot know anything for certain. There are a number of arguments for why this is the case that have issued from sceptical voices over the thousands of years this has been debated. One of these arguments is known as the 'dreaming a...

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

Subjects: Epistemology

Themes: Scepticism, Reality, Knowledge

The Castaway

BACKGROUND This session is about an issue that comes up in the philosophy of law. One problem for philosophers of law is why some bad things are against the law and some are not. So it is bad to invite someone out for a date and then stand them up. But no-one thinks it should be against the law. But if someone invited me out for a date and di...

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

Subjects: RE

The Diary

Do: Begin by reading the following scenario to the class: Your best friend visits you and asks you to look after their personal diary for one week because they are going away and they don’t want anyone to read it. You are asked not to read it yourself. ‘Do you promise?’ your friend asks. Task Question Will you take ...

Ages: Ages 7-11 (KS2)

Subjects: Ethics

Themes: Self-control, Promise keeping, Free will

The Donkey

BACKGROUND There are many versions of this story throughout history and across the world. It may go back as far as the Greeks in one for or another. The first version we have is from the 13th C poet scholar Ibn Said. The story was picked up and circulated by Europeans over the centuries. All the different versions involve a man (and usuall...

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

Subjects: RE

The Experience Machine

Stimulus: Imagine there is a machine that you can attach to your head and it makes you have an experience of whatever you want so that it seems real. It’s like having a dream which you can choose that seems like real life. When you are having the experience, however, you think it’s real. The machine is called ‘the experience...

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

Subjects: Ethics, Epistemology

Themes: Well being, Self, Future, Choice, Autonomy

The Holy Man

  BACKGROUND The belief in heaven, where we are rewarded for what we do on Earth is widespread and powerful. These days, beliefs in the afterlife vary widely. Some believe literally in what the Bible, Koran, or other holy book says heaven will be like. Others have a more vague idea that their spirit will somehow live on. Whatever the ...

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

Subjects: RE