Am I always responsible for my actions? (with classroom discussion)

An exploration of the concept of personal responsibility using an ancient parable about a scorpion that stings a frog.

An exploration of the concept of personal responsibility using an ancient parable about a scorpion that stings a frog. This encourages children to consider whether we are able to change our nature and if not, whether we are responsible for our actions. This uses a combination of animated parables with live action discussions with children, and is adapted from Peter Worley’s 'The If Machine'.

Teacher Notes

This clip could be used as a lesson starter for a philosophical discussion on human nature, free will and whether we are responsible for our actions. The clip could be watched in parts with a pause for discussion in between. The children could sit in a circle and use the questions at the end of each part, or work with the children to choose their own. Further questions to ask could include: "if something is in our nature, can we control it?’" at the end of part 2; and "how much control do humans have over our character?" and "if we can control our character, then are we always responsible for what we do?" at the end of part 3. Children could be encouraged to add reason to their answers, to explain their opinions and to present alternative viewpoints, in order to stimulate deeper thought and discussion. Encourage children to agree or disagree without judging, and move the discussion forward by asking for new thoughts.

Curriculum Notes

This clip will be relevant for teaching Modern Studies. This topic appears This clip will be relevant for teaching Modern Studies at KS1 and KS2 in England and Wales, and 1st and 2nd levels in Scotland.