Who Turned on My Phone?

By Steven Hoggins

This is a session based on ideas of responsibility – to what extent is someone responsible for their actions and the consequences of their actions?


3 pupils and something to turn on – I use my phone which has an on button on the front.

Session Stimulus

Place the phone in the middle of the circle and ask one child to come up and turn the phone then ask:

Who turned on the phone?

The answer will seem pretty obvious to them, ask for reasons but don't spend too long on it. Then ask a second child to come up, take the finger of the first child and push it down on the button. 

Task Question

  • Who turned on the phone?

Nested questions

  • Can you turn something on if you don’t touch it?
  • If you make someone do something is that the same as you doing it?

Activity during the discussion

If you want to find controversy (i.e. those who have new or different ideas) stand the two children in the centre and ask the rest of the children to point at who they think turned on the phone. You will immediately be able to see where the different ideas lie. You may also get children that point at both!

Stimulus continued

You now add a third child. Then re-enact the scene but this time with the third child telling the second child to get the first child's finger and put it on the button

Task Question

  • Who turned on the phone ?


Re-enact the story but instead of turning on the phone, this time they steal the phone

  • Who took the phone?
  • Was it child A, B or child C?
  • Whose fault is it?
  • Who should we put on the naughty spot? (or whatever system of punishment they are familiar with)
  • Is no one to blame?
  • Is it the teachers fault for telling them all to do it?

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