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Bare Necessities

This session uses the song 'Bare Necessities' from The Jungle Book.  You may want to use the following clip as a stimulus: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ogQ0uge06o   First, show the clip (or play the song).  Then, sing the first verse with the class a couple of times:  'Bare necessities, Those simpl...

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

Subjects: Language and Meaning, Ethics

Themes: Life, Existence, Difference, Conceptual analysis

Blue Penguin (book needed)

You are going to need the book 'Blue Penguin' by Petr Horacek for this session. Blue Penguin isn’t like all the other penguins. Surprisingly enough, he’s blue! But he can still do all the things that other penguins can do. So is he still a penguin? Will he be able to fit in with all the others? Task Questi...

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

Subjects: Ethics, Metaphysics

Themes: Difference, Fitting In, Friendship, Identity, Same

Elmer (book needed)

You are going to need the book 'Elmar' by David McKee for this session. All the elephants look the same, well mostly the same, and mostly the same colour at least. Elmer is an elephant too, but he’s multi-coloured and looks very different to all the other elephants. He’s also the one that makes them all laugh. But what s...

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

Subjects: Metaphysics

Themes: Difference, Fitting In, Same

Friends Forever

Set-up This session is particularly appropriate for classes who need practise speaking and listening to each other. Draw a fairly fleshed-out character on the board, including features such as hair, fingers and shoes. This is your friend, they are all the things you like in a friend. However, we don't know what they are yet s...

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

Subjects: Metaphysics, English

Themes: Identity, Friendship, Difference

In another class - thinking about identity, vagueness and sets

This session began life as an extension activity to The Ship of Theseus session (see The If Machine p. 86) but has now developed into a session in it’s own right. It’s a good get-up-and-do session. Equipment needed and preparation: space, a class of children Starting age: 8 years Key concepts / vocabulary: change, identity, ...

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

Subjects: Metaphysics

Themes: Identity, Difference, Change, Borderline, Black-and-White-Thinking, At what point

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

The big orange splot

Plumbean decides that he wants his house to be a little different to the others in the street. But what will the neighbours think? Should he be bothered? Task Questions: Should Mr Plumbean paint his house how he wants? Why? Is it naughty to paint his house how he wants it? Is it ok to paint it, if his neighbours don't like i...

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

Subjects: Ethics

Themes: Difference, Independence, Same

The stranger – Based on a story by Max Velthuijs

Stimulus Frog, Pig and Duck lived by the pond. They loved the pond and they often swan together, went fishing together and talked to eachother. They liked to think of themselves as the a team. One day a stranger arrived. It was a rat and it came to live at the edge of the pond. Pig discovered him and saw that his whiskers we long and his f...

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

Subjects: Ethics

Themes: Immigration, Diversity, Difference

The Tolerant School

Designed by Andy West Philosophy Addressed Should intolerant opinions be tolerated? (If yes, then what would happen? If no, then by what criterion do we censor?) What is the difference between disagreeing with someone and being intolerant of them? Is tolerance an absolute good? Preliminaries You may need to pre-teach the meanin...

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

Subjects: Ethics

Themes: Difference, Behaviour

The Yeah-Coz-Fingee

  A boy saw a yeah-coz-fingee Standing at the bus stop. If you see a thing like a yeah-coz-fingee Suddenly you just stop. ‘You look strange!’ said the yeah-coz-fingee. ‘Me?’ said the boy.  ‘What about you? Why have you only got one eye?’ the boy asked. The creature said, ‘Why...

Subjects: English

Themes: Prejudice, Fitting In, Difference, Beauty