Whose Turn is It?


  1. Practise the calming and focusing
  1. Introduce the story and read ‘Whose Turn Is It?’ Discuss the concept of ‘theme’ with the class, and how it is possible to have an ‘inner’ meaning to a story – like a moral in a traditional fairy tale. In this way the story could be considered in relation to its content and also in relation to a theme.
  1. Ask two or three questions about content, then ask children to formulate one. Give Then working in pairs, they each ask a partner their question.
  1. Ask children to consider what the theme could be, and again give time for this. They should again share this with their partner, this time giving reasons as to why they consider it a main theme.
  1. As a class, children should now feedback their ideas so that a web of themes can be built up on the board. Draw links between similar or linked ideas, and likewise link opposing ideas but in a different
  1. Consider, as a class, the range of themes and ideas Linking with the theme in the ‘Questions for Thinking’, now move to them as an aid to developing the dialogue.
  1. At the end of the dialogue, consider again the main ideas from the dialogue as against those on the board. For example, how many were investigated in the enquiry?
  1. Discuss the ‘Thought for the Week’, and ensure all understand what to look

Whose Turn is It?

Mum had broken her arm. Just like that. She’d tripped over the back door step and fallen onto her arm on the concrete.

Jamie had seen her. He ran and called his older sister, Joss. She knew what to do. She helped mum up and pinned up the sleeve of her jumper to support the arm. Joss had done First Aid at Guides.

‘Well done, Joss,’ said mum. ‘That feels more comfortable.’ ‘Everyone should learn what to do in an emergency,’ said Joss.

Joss had offered to lend him her First Aid Manual but Jamie couldn’t be bothered reading it. He was only eight anyway. He could always ask someone else to help.

Mr Martin next door had driven mum to hospital where they had put a plaster on her arm.

‘Now, I’ll need some help,’ said mum the next day. ‘There are a lot of things I can’t do with only one hand. You can take it in turns to help.’

Joss went first.

Jamie went round to his mate, Ahmed’s house. Mum had said to be home at six o’clock but Jamie forgot to look at his watch and it was half past when he got home.

‘You’re late!’ said Joss. ‘Come and have your dinner.’

She was really getting bossy! As if she was taking mum’s place. ‘Your turn to help tomorrow,’ said mum.

But the next day Ahmed lent him a video and he started to watch it. ‘Come and help, please,’ called mum.

Jamie pretended not to hear.

‘I can’t open this tin with one hand,’ called mum.

The film was getting really exciting. Jamie couldn’t leave it now.

Later Jamie began to feel hungry and went into the kitchen. Mum was doing the washing up with her good hand. Joss was drying the dishes.

‘Where’s my dinner?’ asked Jamie

‘It was your turn to help today,’ said mum.

‘You have to do your share,’ said Joss. ‘You can’t just leave it to other people.’

‘We were going to have sausages and mashed potato and baked beans,’ said mum. ‘Your favourite.’

Jamie’s mouth began to water.

‘I waited for you to help me peel the potatoes,’ said mum. ‘And I waited for you to help me open the tin of beans.’

Jamie’s eyes gleamed.

‘But all I could make on my own was a TV dinner in the microwave and there were only two left.’

‘So?’ said Jamie. ‘Where is my dinner?’

‘There’s a bit of ham in the fridge,’ said mum. ‘You’ll have to make yourself a sandwich.’

Jamie pulled a face.

‘And tomorrow is your turn to help,’ said mum. ‘And it’s your responsibility to be here on time.’

Jamie made sure he was.


1.  Do you think it was fair that Jamie’s mum treated him like that? Should she just have shouted at him?

2.  Do you think Jamie helped the next day? Why?

3.  Are there other reasons that Jamie should have helped – not just because he wanted a nice meal?

4.  Is there anything else that could have happened besides just taking turns?

5.  What makes you help other people? Is it for something for you, or something for the other person?

6.  What would your life be like if other people didn’t help you?

7.  How do you feel when you help others? Do you have examples? (Note: Real, not imaginary!)

8.  What makes us not help others sometimes?