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Star Trekking

The Philosophy This is one of a themed number of sessions on personal identity. In this session the children will consider, philosophically, a familiar device used in many science-fiction stories in which teleportation is a reality. It is similar to the clone session, Yous On Another Planet, but with a significant difference as it is not left...

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

Subjects: Metaphysics

Themes: Identity


Session This session will invite the children to devise their own storytelling techniques and will explore the concept of ‘story’ itself. Explain to the children that that they will be given a special task this week: to tell a story to someone else (works well for National Storytelling Week, usually end of January). Explain that t...

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

Subjects: English

Themes: Storytelling, Literacy


The Philosophy This session goes very well with 'Get Stuffed: Fun With Metaphysics' in The If Machine. Get Stuffed should be run after this one. This may also take a couple of sessions to complete. The aim of this session is to get them to consider whether there is one kind of thing or stuff, or many kinds of thing or stuff. Begin by ...

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

Subjects: Metaphysics

Themes: Categories

Tabby Is A Cat

The Philosophy This session was designed to focus specifically on logic. There was a class who would agree to logically inconsistent statements without realising it (eg. 'Is it possible to think of nothing?' 'No' Did you think of nothing? 'Yes'). So the children are asked to say which sentences are consistent. In ...

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

Subjects: Logic

Themes: Truth & Falsity

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 Art of Defiance

Stimulus Aisha had been sent to the headmaster for turning her classroom into a forest. At lunch when nobody was around and nobody was looking, she had snuck into the classroom and painted an enormous picture of a vast, dark forest which covered all four walls. Aisha’s teacher walked in from the playground and dropped her mug. The...

Ages: Ages 11-14 (KS3)

Subjects: Ethics

Themes: Free Speech

The Bhagavad Gita

  BACKGROUND The Bhagavad Gita is probably the most famous and popular Hindu text. The words ‘Bhagavad Gita’ mean ‘song of God’. It is part of a much longer set of stories called Mahabarat (which means ‘Great Book’). The Mahabharat is very long: about 1.8 million words, compared to The Bible’s...

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

Subjects: RE

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