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Is it fair?

By Steve Hoggins This is inspired Morag and Berys Gaut’s book, Philosophy for Young Children. It also draws from ‘who gets what and why?’ by Anja Steinbauer in The Philosophy Shop. Resources 3 Puppets Scissors Circle of thin card or paper plate Themes This story can be a continuation of the He...

Ages: Ages 5-7 (KS1)

Subjects: Ethics

Themes: Storytelling, Sharing, Justice, Fairness

Is it wrong to...

Here's a shockingly simple way, thought up by David Birch to generate some intriguing and unusual ethical questions for a provocative discussion - created by chance.   Method Take two hats and put six cards with nouns in one hat, six verbs in another.  Then place something on the floor with the following written ...

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

Subjects: Language and Meaning, Ethics

Themes: Rights, Freedom, Defence, Choice, Beliefs


Stimulus: Imagine a place called Karmaland where, whenever you do something, the same kind of thing happens to you afterwards. So, if you deliberately push someone over, ten minutes later someone will deliberately push you over; but if you help someone then a short time afterwards you will also be helped. Task questions: Would yo...

Ages: Ages 5-7 (KS1)

Subjects: Ethics

Themes: Karma, Fairness, Bullying, Buddhism

Laika the Astronaut (retold)

Laika has a job to do. The people are too scared to be the first ones to go into space, so they’re sending Laika to go first – and let’s hope she comes back home after. But something goes wrong, and Laika is left floating in the darkness... what will happen to her? Task questions: Is it fair to send Laika into spac...

Ages: Ages 3-5 (EYFS), Ages 5-7 (KS1)

Subjects: Ethics, Humanities

Themes: Bravery, Choice, Fairness, Rights

Larry David and the Glasses

Designed by Steven Campbell-Harris Starter Activity Play the following clip (https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=T2yCmW0ARs0) up to 2:16 into the video. Stop the clip and ask the Task Question: should Larry pay for the glasses? Task questions: Who is responsible for the glasses? Whose fault is it that the glasses are broken? ...

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

Subjects: Ethics

Themes: Responsibility, Obligations, Fairness

Natural disasters

Ask the children what they can tell you about Natural Disasters, they will mention floods, volcanoes, earthquakes etc. This is just a warmer really to get them recalling information about natural disasters. Scenarios These are invented stories that you can tell the children to get them to examine ‘what makes something a natural ...

Ages: Ages 7-11 (KS2)

Subjects: Ethics, Epistemology

Naughty Land

Stimulus: Francesca is an explorer and she has been away from her home now for some years. One day she stumbles on a village deep in the jungle that has been cut off from the rest of the world and so no one except for Francesca knows about these people. They speak a language that is quite easy to learn and it does not take Francesca long to s...

Ages: Ages 5-7 (KS1)

Subjects: Ethics

Themes: Virtue ethics, Cultural relativism

Oh no, George! (book needed)

You are going to need the book 'Oh no, George!' by Chris Haughton for this session.  Harris asks George to be good while he goes out. George says, “Yes, I’ll be very good”. But left on his own, even if he wants to be good and hopes he’ll be good, there are so many things to distract George. Will he be go...

Ages: Ages 5-7 (KS1), Ages 3-5 (EYFS)

Subjects: Ethics

Themes: Thinking, Self-control, Promise keeping, Behaviour

Olympics enquiry

Play this video to the class, first providing the following context: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9e6Cfq_YchM This is a clip of the 100m men’s final at the 1988 Seoul Olympics. The two fastest sprinters were Carl Lewis, an American sprinter, and his longtime rival, Canadian Ben Johnson [point out which lanes Johnson and Lewis are ...

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

Subjects: Ethics

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