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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

Abraham

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

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

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

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

Competition

One of our specialists had an interesting session about competition. The children were talking about a football match: "I was gutted when my team lost". So the facilitator invited them to explain why... "because they were supposed to win" a few contributions later..."You are not supposed to win you are supposed to g...

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

Subjects: Ethics

Curiosity

Project or print out and show the class 'Experiment on a Bird in the Air Pump' by Joseph Wright (easily google-able, and attached as a downloadable document below). Looking How many people are there in this picture? What are they looking at? Is anyone excited? Is anyone scared? Is anyone happy or sad? Are you surp...

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

Subjects: Ethics, Aesthetics

Themes: Behaviour, Art

Dirk Willems

BACKGROUND Cultural Relativism is the idea that what seems right and good to any individual depends on their culture. Whatever we have grown up with, and are surrounded by, seems normal, right and good. We may disagree with some of the things that are believed in our society, but overall we should not be surprised if people from different cul...

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

Subjects: RE