Moral Dilemmas – A subject for the classroom?

For my first lesson back in the classroom I’m starting, conveniently, a brand new chapter of the book. The topic is morals and dilemmas, where half-way through the lesson there are two short stories that each contain a moral. It will be the students’ jobs to create an ending for each story, then decide what the moral is.

In the book I’m using, they never provide any warm-up or introductory activities and in many ways, I love it because it gives me the chance to create something myself. On the other hand, this usually takes me forever.

I’m going to start off by asking if anyone enjoyed reading as a child, if they remember any childhood stories and what do you think children gain from reading, or being read to.

(The answer I’ll be hoping for is that stories often have morals and children can learn from them, by remembering the stories.) 

Moving on, I have chosen the following three words

  • Moral
  • Ethical
  • Dilemma

for students to discuss what they think these words mean and then ask them to look up, and write down, the definition before moving onto a discussion.

I have chosen a few issues people may face and will ask them to discuss them in pairs.

These include, but are not limited to:

  • Your bank accidentally transfers you $100 instead of $10, do you tell them?
  • You win a lot of money on the lottery, a family member you dislike is in serious debt, do you tell your family about your win or keep it a secret?
  • Your classmate cheats on her final exam, do you tell your teacher?

I will allow 10-15 minutes for a discussion in pairs, then a class discussion on the topics given on the handout, to prepare students for the main part of the lesson.

Thanks to a member of TeacherTrove for writing this post, which gave me loads of good ideas for my lesson. Please share any suggestions or feedback you may have in the comments! I’m always looking for new ideas.

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