This lesson will guide students through their human right to education and help them evaluate how well the world is doing when it comes to providing a free, equal, quality education to our youth.
Paper, pencils or pens, art supplies
Begin the lesson by asking students to share something special about their school. Next, allow them the opportunity to share something that they don't like about their school.
Explain to students that although attending school is a "right" guaranteed by our government, not every child has the opportunity to attend school and that not every child has the same resources (books, computers, art supplies, hot lunch) at their school. In other words, not everyone has equal access to education.
Ask students what "equal" or "fair" means to them. To foster emotion you might want to get them started with an example like, "East Side Elementary school received a new playground this year; North Side Elementary did not." or "Ms. Cook's classroom got new computers; Ms. Young’s classroom got their old ones." Ask them if these examples are "fair." Next, have students brainstorm a list of words or phrases that describe or remind them of the word "fair." Words like: equal, just, alike, same, etc.
Distribute paper and pencils and tell students that they will create an acrostic poem based on the word "F-A-I-R." Using the words they brainstormed, guide them in writing the poem. If the class cannot think of enough words that actually begin with a letter from the topic word "fair," then choose a word beginning with each letter and write a sentence to go along with it instead. For example, "F: Fair means the same; A: All children should have an education; I: I am happy I have a good school; R: Real kids deserve a real education."
To push the concepts of fair and equal resources in school a little further, divide students into two groups. Group A should be given a wide variety of new art supplies to decorate their acrostic poems. Group B should only be given old, broken crayons and pencils to decorate their poems. As students begin to complain, they are sure to use phrases like, "But that isn't fair!" Use this as an opportunity to drive home your point about equal resources.