Lesson Plan: Fairness
Suggested Grade Level
Primary (lesson can be modified for other grade levels)
This lesson could be taught within a unit on the civil rights movement or a unit on equality and fairness within a home or school setting.
Program of Studies
Objectives of Lesson
Students will write about what fairness means to them and offer three fair solutions to the following scenario:
A new student has arrived in your class. Her clothes are wrinkled and somewhat dirty, and her hair is uncombed. You hear two students snicker and make an unkind comment about her appearance. At recess, you notice the same two students ridiculing and making fun of her. Give three fair solutions to how you could handle this situation.
Suggested Scoring Criteria
Materials Needed for Lesson
Description of Lesson
Explain to the students that the class will be doing an experiment over the next two days: Students with blue eyes will gather in a certain area of the room. Students with brown or green eyes will gather in another area of the room. Explain to both groups that one group will be highly favored over the other group on day 1 and then the roles will reverse on day 2. Members of the highly favored group will always be first in line, answer all questions asked in class, have class privileges, have a longer recess, and be allowed to do anything they want within the bounds of our classroom and school rules.
After the two days, the experiment will be concluded and all students will be equal again. As a class, brainstorm comments made by students on their reactions to the previous two days. Positive and negative comments will be accepted.
Give students background information on occurrences that helped bring about the civil rights movement (during this discussion, focus on segregation of schools, restaurants, theaters, restrooms, and drinking fountains). Then show the education segment of the video Living the Story: The Civil Rights Movement in Kentucky and follow up with class discussion.
Explain to students how fairness/unfairness based on a quality or the lack of a quality also can be related to people who have disabilities or are of a different social class or religion. Give each student a Popsicle stick with a laminated happy face labeled fair on one side and a laminated unhappy face labeled unfair on the other. Ask a series of questions portraying fair and unfair situations and have students use their Popsicle sticks to vote on whether each scenario is fair or unfair. Some sample questions:
Pass out something every student would want (cookies, prizes, etc.), but purposely run out of the treat before the last three students in class are served. As a class, brainstorm fair and unfair ways to deal with this situation. Vote on how to handle this problem and take the action that was voted on.
Kristi Wilkerson, Peaks Mill Elementary, Franklin County