Conundrums from Class Dojo are short animated videos (less than 2 minutes) that pose ethical and philosophical questions to students. Each one has a video, a question to discuss along with an activity sheet for recording responses, and the option to share the idea with parents.
How to Access Conundrums
You can access Conundrums even if you don’t have a Class Dojo account. The series is part of their Social Emotional Learning collection, which you can find here. The Conundrums set is the largest of the ten categories by far with 27 videos. You may remember that in the past I’ve also recommended their Growth Mindset videos.
An Example of a Conundrum
One example of a Conundrum from Class Dojo is “The Tree Conundrum.” Students are given a hypothetical situation where a tree that is located on private land has been found to provide the best-tasting fruit in the world — and it’s the only one. The family who owns the property is not interested in sharing their tree, but has offered to sell one seed from the tree for a billion dollars.
Your conundrum is to decide whether someone should pay for the seed, the government should take over the property, no action should be taken, or solve the problem a different way.
Why Use Conundrums with Students?
Students love to debate topics (think about the popularity of “Would You Rather”), and these types of discussions are always opportunities for them to see things from multiple perspectives and learn how to justify their responses. They can practice their creative problem solving skills and critical thinking while feeling safe in participating because there is not one right answer. These are also quick activities that can be done after a long test or other moments when you don’t have quite enough time to start a brand new lesson. Or, you can extend them into a longer lesson using a Socratic Smackdown.
If you like these, and your students want more, you can also try:
- The Short and Curly Podcast
- Philosophy Lessons from TedEd (many are for more suitable for middle to high school)
- Philosophy Toolkit
- Philosophy for Kids Book (I used this in my own classroom)
You can find these and more ideas in my Philosophy for Kids Wakelet.