PSHE KS1/KS2: Am I always responsible for my actions?

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

This short film is an animated parable adapted from Peter Worley's 'The If Machine'.

It might encourage children to consider whether we are able to change our nature and if not, whether we are responsible for our actions.

This short film is from the BBC series, What Makes Me, Me? And Other Interesting Questions.

Teacher Notes

This short film 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.

Pupils could sit in a circle and use the questions at the end of each part, or you could 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 pupils to agree or disagree without judging, and move the discussion forward by asking for new thoughts.

Curriculum Notes

This short film will be relevant for teaching PSHE at KS1 and KS2 in England and Wales, and 1st and 2nd levels in Scotland.

More from What Makes Me, Me? And Other Interesting Questions:

What makes me, me?
What’s fair?
Who owns the sky?
Why should I be good?