"Fair doesn't mean giving every child the same thing, it means giving every child what they need." - Rick Lavoie
WHAT IS THIS LESSON ABOUT?
This lesson is based on the common statement heard during elementary school "That's not fair!". Whether in response to sharing materials, games at recess, or the learning needs of students with regards to time, attention and materials provided. This lesson is aimed at expanding our students' abilities in understanding "fairness" and increasing students' tolerance and appreciation for diverse learners.
WHAT WILL STUDENTS DO DURING THIS LESSON?
Students will first be asked to share what the word "fair" means to them. We will generate a list as a class and bring up the idea that "most people think that fair means equal."
Students will then be lead through a game. Each student is going to pretend to have some sort of injury such as a scrape or a broken leg, etc.
Myself, coupled with some student "doctors" will come around to attend to the injuries. However, despite the injury each individual will receive 1 band-aid.
A discussion around this activity will follow. Below is an excerpt of some key talking points...
Wow- we had lots of different injuries! Some people actually just had little cuts, so the Band-Aid would have worked for them. But some people had broken bones or worse, would the Band-Aid have worked for them? NO!
Let's think about how this relates to our original definition of fairness- that fair means equal. Everyone received the same treatment here, so everyone was equal. Was that fair?
No, that was not fair because people had different needs. In this case, fair would have meant giving people different treatments because they had different injuries. Would you ever go to a doctor who treated everyone the same no matter what was wrong with them? No! In the same way, you would not want a teacher who treats everyone the same.
To celebrate different needs that stem from our unique differences, following a discussion that highlights this idea, students will hear the book You are All Kinds of Wonderful by Nancy Tillman to wrap up the lesson.