Phyllis Muranaka, Mililani Uka, Mililani, HI
JUSTICE, IS IT FAIR?
Appropriate for grade 5.
OVERVIEW: Students are often unable to understand what justice means when conflicts are resolved. Some decisions seem to be unfair to them. Adult intervention is often needed to resolve conflicts. A unit on justice makes students aware of possible solutions for their problems of conflict. This activity is used in a social studies unit on justice for grade 5.
PURPOSE: The purpose of this activity is to provide an unfair situation to introduce the concept of justice. It is a hypothetical problem which students will try to solve through critical thinking skills.
ACTIVITIES: To introduce the unit on justice, some probable activities are:
1. Read a hypothetical note from the principal to the class which says that their class will not be able to participate in an activity enjoyed by other classes on their grade level. For example, an area of the playground is offlimits to them and the class must find other activities to do. The class will not receive any money to buy quiet games.
2. A paper sack with small packets of candy 5 less than the total number of students in the class. Pass the sacks among the students.
3. Divide the class into two groups for a math game relay type. One group will have the more capable math students. A student from each group goes to the chalkboard to solve a problem read by the teacher.
4. During the language arts period, one reading group is given an independent activity period (art, games, computer, etc.) while the other groups are given worksheets or structured activities.
This experience continues for several days until a student notices the situation.
RESOURCES/MATERIALS NEEDED: Material described above.
TYING IT ALL TOGETHER: This activity introduces the unit on justice. The students experience an unfair situation and are given the opportunity to discuss it. Feelings and possible solutions should be written on the chalkboard.
