Truth or Lie?


  1. Do the calming Ask the children for observations on what was experienced. Try to determine if they are aware of the focus of their attention. The aim is to be aware of the present moment.
  1. Recall the ‘Thought for the Week’ from last week, and seek observations or thoughts on What have pupils noticed?
  1. Tell the class that this week they are going to have a story about a class game. Read ‘Truth or Lie?’
  1. Ask the class what they think is the main theme of the Give time for this, then ask them to turn the theme into a philosophical question. Again, give adequate time.
  1. Working in groups of four or five, pupils should share their questions, then decide on which is the strongest, which will be their group If necessary, the group can take a vote in order to find the question.
  1. As a class, the groups report back, giving their question and The questions should be listed on the board. The class now vote on the question they would most like to explore through enquiry. The person who thought of that question begins the dialogue by stating the question then giving their viewpoint and reasoning.
  1. Teachers, if necessary, refer to the types of questions in the section headed ‘Creating Good Dialogue Through Questioning’ at the beginning of the
  1. If the natural dialogue comes to an end, move to the next favourite question on the board.
  1. To close, let the class give suggestions for their own ‘Thought for the Week’.

Truth or Lie? 

Mrs Tracker was talking to her Year 1 class about honesty.

‘Sometimes we don’t mean to lie,’ she said. ‘We just exaggerate a little because it makes  a better story. Now, what we’ll do tomorrow is, each of you will make a statement and the rest of us will guess whether it’s the truth or a lie. We can question you about it before we make a decision.’

The next morning Toby was the first to put up his hand. ‘Tell us your story, Toby,’ said Mrs Tracker.

‘We have two ducks come to live on our pond,’ said Toby. ‘Where did they come from?’ asked Mike Bonner.

‘They just flew in from the sky,’ said Toby. ‘Mum says they might build a nest and have babies.’

‘Can you stroke them?’ asked Megan Smith.

‘Of course not,’ said Toby. ‘They’re wild. But they don’t fly away when you go near, they just waddle on the lawn and keep their distance.’

‘Well, who thinks this story is true?’ asked Mrs Tracker. Most of the class did.

Toby laughed and shook his head. ‘We don’t have a pond. It happened to my Gran and Granddad though.’

‘Who’s next?’ asked Mrs Tracker. Rosemary put up her hand.

‘My Gran had an elephant come to her house as a guest,’ she said.

There were snorts and laughter from the class. ‘Rubbish!’ said Mike Bonner.

‘Lie!’ shouted Lucy Fame.

Rosemary shook her head. ‘It’s the truth,’ she said.

‘Would anyone like to ask Rosemary any questions?’ asked the teacher. ‘Yeah, did it sit on a chair and have tea?’ asked Lucy.

Everyone laughed.

‘It didn’t have tea,’ said Rosemary. ‘It just had water, and it didn’t sit on a chair.’ ‘Where did it come from?’ asked Jason.

‘A circus,’ said Rosemary.

‘Perhaps you’d better tell us the whole story, Rosemary,’ said Mrs Tracker.

‘In those days a circus had animals,’ began Rosemary. ‘This circus used to come to the town every year and the whole circus would parade down the street to advertise it. A band played and everyone came out to see it. Well, my Gran was a little girl and was just coming home from school and there was the circus parade going along her street, with the elephant at the front. When it got near her house the circus man told Gran that the elephant was very thirsty with all the travelling and did she know where it could get a drink. Gran went and told her mum and they dragged the old tin bath into the garden and filled it with water so the elephant could drink. It drank the whole lot too and then sprayed some on Gran.’

When Rosemary had finished, Mrs Tracker said: ‘Well, everyone, do you think that was the truth or a lie?’

‘The truth!’ they all yelled.