PSHE KS1/KS2: What makes me, me?

An exploration of the concept of identity using the story of the Ship of Theseus, made famous by British philosopher Thomas Hobbes.

This adaptation of Peter Worley’s 'The If Machine', encourages children to consider the meaning of identity and explores personal memories, experiences and the soul.

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 identity.

It could be watched in parts, with pauses for discussion.

Pupils could sit in a circle and start a discussion using the questions provided at the end of each part, or you could work with the children to create your own questions.

Further questions could include: ‘What is it that makes the Theseus the Theseus?’ at the end of part 2. And ‘If you could make a clone of yourself, would the clone also possess your thoughts and memories?’ at the end of part 3.

Children could be encouraged to reason in 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:

Am I always responsible for my actions?
What’s fair?
Who owns the sky?
Why should I be good?