Key stage 2, lesson plan 1

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Objectives/desired outcomes for students

  • to think about their hopes and plans for their working lives
  • to develop an understanding of fair treatment at work
  • to know that some workers today endure forms of slavery and some contemporary slaves are children.

Curriculum links

Resources needed

Key vocabulary

Exploitation, labour, slavery


Explain that during the next two lessons students will be finding out about fairness and unfairness in jobs that people do.

Model the following questions with one or two students

  • What kind of job would you like when you are older? Why?
  • What would be the best things about this job?
  • What would be the biggest challenge?
  • What would you worry about on your first day in your job?

Hand out worksheet 2.1.1 so that students can interview each other about their work plans for when they are adults.

Ask for sample answers. Then ask:

"What would you do if, at the end of your first week, you really didn't like your job?" Record the answers.


1. Pyramid ranking

Introduce Worksheet 2.1.2. Explain the idea of pyramid ranking if the class has not encountered it before (ordering preferences in a pyramid shape with strongest preferences at the top).

Organise the students into pairs or groups and give each pair/group a sheet. (Groups of three work well as they have a built-in majority for decision-making.)

Explain that on the sheet there are six boxes/bricks. Each one describes something that should make them feel happy and satisfied in their job. Ask them to think about how they would order them by preference in a pyramid.

When the groups have completed the task, ask each group to compare their pyramids with those of another group. Then ask the groups to report back on the top three bricks of their pyramids - to see if there is a class consensus on which aspects of working life are most important. (Record these preferences - it does not matter if there is no consensus but a pattern may emerge.)

2. Case study

Introduce and read the case study 1- Rambho (India) and explain that it is a true story that happened a few years ago. Ask the class to identify which of their pyramid bricks apply to this worker (or go through each brick and compare Rambho's situation).

Ask which words they would use to describe Rambho's working situation and record them.

If the word "slave" or "slavery" is not said, introduce "slavery" and ask them to discuss with a talk-partner what it means and whether they think slavery still exists.

3. Responding to statements

These statements are designed to encourage debate about exploitative relationships between adults and children; between employers and workers; and to highlight issues of children's rights.

Ask the students to imagine an invisible line in the classroom which runs through five points: strongly agree; agree; not sure; disagree; strongly disagree. Read the following statements and ask the students to stand on that line. After each statement ask two students standing at different points to explain to the class why they are standing at that particular position. (The following statements use the term "employer" for boss, if the pupils are more familiar with the term "boss", use that.)


  • Parents have the right to ask children to do housework.
  • Children aged under 14 should never be encouraged to do paid work.
  • If your employer offers you more money to do dangerous work, you should refuse to do that work.
  • If you have worked an 8-hour day but still have a task to finish, your employer has the right to make you work overtime.
  • If your employer mistreats a fellow worker you should speak out even though your employer might be angry with you.


Ask the pupils to comment on the activities and learning they have done in this lesson.

Provide additional brief examples of contemporary child slavery (from the background information or case studies). Return to the question asked near the beginning of the lesson: "What would you do if, at the end of your first week, you really didn't like the job?" - and explain that one of the key features of contemporary slavery is that people cannot leave their job.

Ask the students for their reactions and to suggest what could or should be done about child slavery.

Homework/further research

Write prose, a poem, or make an annotated drawing or poster about what could or should be done about child slavery?

What next?