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 the diary and promise not to read it?

Nested Questions:

  • What should you say and what should you do?
  • Is it possible to know what you would do in a similar situation?
  • Is it a promise you should make?
  • What is a promise?
  • Should you always keep promises?
  • Are there any circumstances in which a promise should be broken?

You may want to make use of the following extension to the scenario at an appropriate moment during the discussion.


A week later your friend comes to your house and asks, ‘Did you read it?’
You say: ‘No.’
‘Have you got it?’ they ask.
‘No,’ you say.
‘Where is it then?’ they ask.
You say: ‘I burned it.’
‘Why did you burn it?’ they ask.
‘So that I wouldn’t read it,’ you explain.

Task Question

  • Were you right to burn it?

Nested Questions:

  • Was burning it an act of willpower?
  • If it was a choice between burning it and reading it, which would be the best thing to  choose?
  • Might there have been another option?

Download The Diary