Some ideas for books that provide fodder for ethical discussions:
The little boy is told by his father not to go in the water or away from the lion he drew in the sand. He wandered quite far but made the lion's tail very, very long so he wouldn't stray from the animal. Sounds like a loophole to me, one of those moments where the child knows what the parent means by their request. Was this the right thing to do? What are some examples of ways kids blur the lines a little bit when listening to their parents.
Now some people in education do not like this book, but I think it's a perfect example of karma in action! The princess is a complete brat and asks for pet after pet because they don't live up to her expectations. If she doesn't get what she wants she throws a complete fit so the nanny tries to pleas her. In the end (and this a spoiler, just FYI) the last choice of pet eats her. Somehow you don't really feel sorry for her. It can easily fuel a discussion on right and wrong.
I know, a classic! So much is wrong in this story though. The kids let a stranger inside, he trashes the house, they may not tell their mom. When you talk ethics the kids actually do sometimes see the other side and that is the children had fun. An interesting discussion can ensue.
Oooh-lots of right/wrong going on here from throwing the bucket of water on the Wicked Witch to the Great and Powerful Oz being a phony.
However you feel about this book it amazes me how the kids see it. They will agree it's wrong to take and take and take but many will point out (which may have been Silverstein's point to begin with)-that it's right in the eyes of the tree.
There's a lot of grey area when it comes to ethics and it's fun to see the kids really start to understand that. Their world is really black and white until they start to think about other factors that may influence a character's decisions.