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by Debra Wosnik
This story and series of lessons is a wonderful antidote to the expression, “That’s Not Fair!” and a fun way to teach a concept we all learn sooner or later: “Life Isn’t Always Fair.” Life Isn’t Always Fair includes the original story, Fair Is Where Grandma Took Her Pickles In The Fall and accompanying lesson plans that deal with the topic of fairness. In the story, the author shares her own and her sisters’ disappointments when one gets something and the others do not or when one can do something better than the others. The story takes a twist when the sisters realize that everyone is good at something, and even if you cannot be very good at something, there is no reason not to continue doing it and having fun. Following the story are six lessons that further cement the reality of fairness. They include:
Stand Up, Sit Down: This lesson teaches children that we each have different strengths. No one is good at everything, but we all are good at something.
Make A Fair Book For The Book Fair: This clever lesson utilizes homographs to teach children about discovering hidden talents. Each child creates a book using homographs and hides his/her special talent in one of its pages.
Win Some, Lose Some Wrestlers: This lesson utilizes math probability to teach children that no one wins every time at everything. Children love this motivational lesson because they each make toy wrestlers.
Pretzel Nugget Division: This lesson uses pretzel nuggets as manipulatives and helps children understand the difference between the concepts of fair and equal.
In The Group, Out Of The Group: In this lesson, the leader assigns the children to groups, then asks each group to tell why they are grouped that way. This is a great way to involve every child and shows how someone who doesn’t understand the groups’ criteria might feel “That’s Not Fair.”
Everyone Is Sometimes Fair-Haired At School: This lesson uses the format found in the story Fair Is Where Grandma Took Her Pickles In The Fall and has them use their own talents and show how others might feel it is unfair that they do not have the same abilities/talents.
Also included is a Pre/Post Test for those wishing to evaluate the effectiveness of their lessons and 12 supplementary reproducible activity sheets.