Who’s Talking


  1. Do the calming
  1. Ask children if they have had further thoughts about their attitude? What have they discovered during the week?
  1. Tell the children they are going to use a story that happened in a school for a stimulus this week. They will be trying to identify any philosophical issues in the story and frame some philosophical questions. Read ‘Who’s Talking?’.
  1. Ask children some questions to determine that they have understood the
  1. Remind children of the nature of philosophical questions. (If necessary give them a strategy such as first identifying a theme, then formulating a For example if the theme of the story was ‘fear’, one question would be ‘What is fear?’) Give time for them to consider the article and think about different themes. They should have reasons for their choice.
  1. Share questions and reasons in pairs.
  1. Build a web of themes on the board and show any link or tensions between the ideas given. Children should give their reasons as they give their
  1. Review the range of themes given, then give pupils time to consider all the ideas and choose the one they would like to investigate further through Take a vote to determine the question to begin the dialogue.
  1. Ask the person who originally put forward the idea to start the dialogue by re-stating the question and putting forward their own
  1. In building the enquiry, remember to use a variety of types of question such as suggested in the ‘Questions for Thinking’ section at the beginning of this book. If the enquiry ‘runs out of steam’, go to the question with the second number of votes, and so

Who’s Talking 

‘You’re a thief’, shouted Kathy. ‘I know you stole my pencil case. It was in your drawer.’

‘I didn’t,’ said Iain. ‘Someone must have put it there. I didn’t take it. Why would I want your stupid pencil case anyway? It’s a girl’s one.’

Kathy snorted with anger. ‘It’s not a girl’s one just because it’s got cats on it. But you wouldn’t like cats. You’re horrible!’

‘Pink cats?’ laughed Iain. ‘Would I like a pencil case with pink cats on it?’ Kathy’s face went red and she swung her school bag, hitting Iain on the hand. He yelled and grasped his fingers with his other hand.

Quite a crowd had gathered in the playground and one of the teachers came over to see what was happening.

‘I think you two had better go and see Mr Darville,’ she said.

Mr Darville was the Headteacher. Iain and Kathy were led in by the teacher and told to wait outside his door whilst she told him why they were there. When the teacher came out, Mr Darville beckoned Kathy to go in.

Kathy went in. She would tell Mr Darville about Iain alright. He was a trouble-maker.

He was always trying to cause arguments or annoy people. ‘What  happened Kathy?’ asked the Head.

‘Iain stole my pencil-case,’ she said. ‘He’s a thief and he’s always causing trouble. I hate him!’

‘How do you know he stole it?’ asked Mr Darville. ‘I found it in his drawer,’ she said.

‘But is that proof that he took it?’, asked the Head.

‘Well he would. He’s always doing things to annoy people. Nobody likes him. He’s stolen things before’.

‘Oh, how do you know?’ ‘Everyone says so,’ said Kathy.

Kathy left the office, pulling a face at Iain as she passed him.

Mr Darville called Iain into the office. ‘Did you steal Kathy’s pencil case, Iain?’ ‘No. Kathy hit me with her bag and was getting mad at me, but I wouldn’t want it – it’s got pink cats on it anyway. Things like that are always happening to me Mr Darville. No one likes me. Ever since I came here people pick on me and blame me for things.’


1.   Do you think Iain stole the pencil case? What evidence is there for that?

2.   Can you think of reasons why he might have stolen it? Can you think of reasons why he wouldn’t?

3.   Did Kathy have good evidence? Did she jump to conclusions? If so, why?

4.    What makes us jump to conclusions? Any examples?

5.    Sometimes, if we don’t know things, do we make them up? Why?

6.   If we make things up, are those things lies? Any examples or evidence?

7.   If we exaggerate, is that lying?

8.   What does evidence mean? What is evidence?

9.  Is it important to tell the truth? Why? Why not?

10.  What is the truth?