Character Counts

Finding Fair Solutions

When we’re not treated fairly, we can feel frustrated or upset. But, we can work on managing our emotions and finding fair solutions.

Finding fair solutions
Grade Level: K-5

 

Character Skills
  • Fairness
SEL Skills
  • Self-Awareness
  • Self-Management
Academic Skills
  • Effective Problem-Solving

Definitions

Fairness
  • Play by the rules.
  • Take turns and share.
  • Be open-minded. Listen to others.
  • Don’t take advantage of others.
Self-Awareness

Identify and understand emotions, values, attitudes, motivations, mindsets, and personal attributes.

Social-Awareness

Interpersonal and social skills to guide appropriate behavior and create positive relationships and meaningful connections. 

Effective Problem-Solving

Employ critical and creative thinking skills to solve problems and make rational, ethical, and effective decisions that produce the best possible result.  

Share This Activity

This activity explores how an unfair situation can lead to frustration or anger when students experience an intentionally unfair game. Students will reflect on how to manage those emotions and brainstorm ideas to make a game fairer. 

Materials/Preparation
  •  Beach balls
Instructions
  1. Ask students to line up from shortest to tallest. Divide the line in half so all the shorter people are on one team and the taller people are on the other.
  2. Arrange the taller students in a circle with the shorter students in the center.
  3. Invite students to play a game of keep away. (The outside circle tries to keep the ball away from the students on the inside of the circle.) If a student from the inside circle gets the ball, the inside students switch places with the outside circle.
  4. After playing for a while, the taller team will most likely be keeping control of the ball and the shorter team may be getting frustrated. 
Reflection and Discussion
  • Divide students into small groups and ask:
    • Did the game seem fair? Why or why not?
    • If you felt that it was not fair, how did it make you feel?
      • If it made you feel upset, frustrated, or angry, what would have helped you feel better?
      • What responsibility do you have for your emotions when a situation upsets you?
      • Think about other times you have felt upset or frustrated. How do you calm yourself down?
  • Ask students to reinvent the game to make it fairer for all participants.
  • Bring the students back together in a large group and ask them to share their ideas. As a group, create a new set of rules for the game that all students agree is fair. 
  • Try playing the game with your new rules.

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