Unity and division

After the bombing in London on July 7th 2005 the mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, said “More unites us than divides us”. Discuss whether you think this is true or false? Why?

fist02 Exercise –

Split the class into small groups.

In relation to the people of Brodingham, ask the students to decide, out of the statements below, which are true or false? Write the statements in the appropriate places of the circles in the diagram (Click the image for a larger version to download).

Unity & Div image

Click the image for a larger version to download

  1. They refuse to fit in
  2. They don’t understand us
  3. They hate us
  4. We are held back
  5. They should listen to us
  6. We are not understood
  7. Our way of life is threatened
  8. We cannot live the way we choose
  9. Why should we do what they want?
  10. They expect us to change our ways
  11. We are responsible for one another
  12. Everyone should do the best that they can
  13. We have no choice
  14. They must abide by our rules
  15. We must respect one another
  16. We must stand against them before it is too late
  17. We are not free to walk our own streets

Are there any statements which are not clearly true or false?

fist02 Further discussion –

Read the statements again. In our story who do you think is most likely to say them (members of The Circle, members of The ARC, members of the anti-circle group)?

Why do you think people would say and think these things? What effect do these statements have? Do they divide or unite? What can be done to change the way people feel?

Can you find any real world statements that tend to divide or unite?


No Comments | Leave a comment on this

An inspiration to us all?

There are many people through out history and fiction that have taken violent action to try and make lives better. They are seen by some as freedom fighters and by others as terrorists. What is the difference?

If you were to draw a line with terrorist at one end and freedom fighter at the other, where would you place some one like Guy Fawkes, who was part of The Gunpowder Plot? There are some others listed below to start you off. Find out what you can about them and try to decide where they should go on the line.

All these people are from history. Is there anyone alive today you could add to the line?

fist02 Boudicca

Boudicca became queen of the Iceni when her husband died in approximately AD60. The Romans, who were ruling Britain at the time, tried to claim their lands for themselves so Boudicca led an army against them. The army destroyed the town we now call Colchester and defeated a Roman Legion and went on to burn London and St Albans to the ground. Boudicca was defeated in a battle on Watling Street in the West Midlands but her actions prompted the emperor Nero to consider withdrawing Roman troops from Britain.

fist02 Joan of Arc

Joan was a French peasant girl who claimed to hear voices from God that told her to drive the invading English from her homeland. She led the French troops during the siege of Orleans in 1429. Disobeying the orders of commanders she gathered ordinary soldiers and attacked and captured castles that were held by the English. She re-established a stable monarchy in France before she was captured and put on trial for heresy and burned at the stake in 1431.

Here are some more people you could discuss:

1. Nelson Mandela (a member of ANC, an organisation that advocated bombing)
2. Osama Bin Laden (leader of Al Qaida, seen to be behind 9/11)
3. Guy Fawkes (attempted to blow up parliament and assassinate the king)
4. Malcolm X (who advocated “by any means necessary”)
5. Martin Luther King (conducted public demonstrations)
6. Rosa Parks (her actions provoked a bus boycott)
7. Suffragettes (engaged in civil disobedience)
8. Robin Hood (resisted taxation, opposed the rule of King John)
9. Batman (fictional caped crusader, works outside the law to bring crime down in Gotham City)


No Comments | Leave a comment on this

Circle of Consequences

The diagram below shows a circle of consequences. Each segment of the circle represents a different line of consequences that may arise from the central action.


Split the class into small groups. Using the circle of consequences activity sheet available here, ask the groups to use the examples below as the central action and write down what they think would be the consequences. Encourage them to think about consequences that are both intended and unintended.

Below are some examples based on Careless Talk programme, you can extend this activity by thinking of some other actions.

1. The device Scarlett hides explodes
2. Scarlett’s friend Amy is hurt by Anti-Circle protesters
3. The City ban all Circle meetings/activity in light of the threat of violence


No Comments | Leave a comment on this

Lets talk about it

fist02 Thumbs Up

This is a simple structure for initiating a debate and can be used in form or in circle time.

You can use one statement or as many as you want or time allows. The statements below are just suggestions to get you started talking about Careless Talk. Feel free to find your own or modify statements to suit your context.

Invite the children to respond to one of the following statements by putting their thumbs up if they agree or down if they disagree. If they are unsure they can hold their thumbs at a mid point, parallel to the ground. Ask individuals to talk about why they agree or disagree.Thumbs up


If everybody was the same things would be much easier

The only way to change things is to fight

You should stick to the law even if you don’t agree with it

Being different is a good thing

It’s only worth listening to others if you like what they are saying

Changing your mind is a sign of being weak

There should only be one way of doing things

If everyone did as they were told the world would be a better place

You should not have to respect people if they don’t respect you

People should be allowed to say and do what they want

  • A development could be to ask table groups to decide whether they as a group agree or disagree.

fist02 Continuum

This is a more physical version of the above and might be more suited to a hall space. Mark out or imagine a line on the floor. At each end place a gym mat or similar. Identify one end with piece of paper that reads “Strongly Agree” and the other “Strongly Disagree”.

Read one of the statements, the children move towards the end of the line that is most true for them. They can place themselves anywhere on the line relative to the strength of their feelings. After a short conversation with the people nearest them see if they can persuade other members of the class to join them.

No Comments | Leave a comment on this

Read all about it

In the drama Fawkes uses stories from different news media as evidence that The Circle are picked on to justify his using violence against them. Gessler challenges what the news stories mean and Scarlett is left confused as to who to believe.

In the real world different news papers report the same story from different points of view, each has a different “angle” and each creates a different impression of what happened and has an important role in shaping opinions.

On this activity sheet are some real headlines that appeared in newspapers the day after the attack on the Twin Towers in New York in 2001.

Divide the class into small groups and ask them to use the headlines to compare and investigate how the media might contribute to the construction of attitudes and opinions. How would these headlines influence how people think and feel? How can we be sure of what the truth is?

You could draw or project a table onto the white board (like the one on the activity sheet). Hand out post-it notes to each group, ask them to think about the questions below and write their answers onto the notes and stick them to the white board in the appropriate box.

Ask the whole class if there are any things that the headlines have in common? In what ways do they differ?

  • How do these headlines help us paint a picture of the events? Are there any things missing, things we want to know more about?
  • What understanding of the events would you have if you read only one of the news papers?
  • Do you think we have an accurate understanding of the events on 9/11 from the papers?

Extension –

1) Ask the small groups to write a short article to go with one of the headlines. They can attempt to take an objective view or be as subjective as they want?

2) Make a still picture in their small group that would accompany one of the headlines.


No Comments | Leave a comment on this

Share and Enjoy

| More