Two to three weeks
Children can be vivid and dynamic storytellers and often possess a well-developed sense of fairness. The opportunity to share stories and skits builds community and solidifies understanding of the voices, perspectives and themes shared in the central text. Oral storytelling also has a historical and cultural foundation as a means of communication within family and community structures.
- Brainstorm possible scenarios from the central text that relate to issues of fairness.
- Group students strategically. Each student in the group should take on a role in writing and performing.
- Gather new or recycled materials for costumes and props. If possible, coordinate with an art or drama teacher.
- Adapt the sample rubric into a visual checklist. Refer to the rubric to define expectations and components of the Fairness Fair before students begin working. Define expectations for equitable collaboration.
- Verbally introduce students to the preparatory steps included in the Do Something Planning Guide. Instruct them in the process of mapping the steps necessary to prepare for the Fairness Fair.
- Brainstorm possible topics and themes explored in the central text that relate to fairness.
- Put students in groups and instruct them to plan and prepare short skits or stories about fairness. Scripts should reflect content related to the central text’s themes and topics; however, students can be creative in how they convey their understandings. Consider providing graphic organizers with story boxes to aid in planning storylines.
- Give students time to create costumes and props. Have groups decide which students will perform which parts.
- Give students ample time to rehearse telling their story or performing their skit.
- Think about creative ways to physically transform the classroom into a Fairness Fair. For example, students can decorate the room and create posters with positive social messages or quotes about fairness.
- Plan how seating will be arranged for the Fairness Fair.
- Determine whom to invite to the Fairness Fair. Consider including:
- Other classes
- Other grades
- Members of greater school community
- Host the Fairness Fair. Have students perform their skits and stories. Encourage students to snap or clap to show support for each group. Ask audience members to share feedback orally.
Ask students to reflect on how their skit or story reflects the theme of fairness and connects to the central text during a class discussion or private journal reflection. Possible questions include:
- How did a topic or theme from the central text relate to your skit/story?
- What important message about fairness did your skit/story express to your audience?
- Has a situation like any of those in the skits/stories happened to you or someone you know before? What did/would you do in that situation? How did/would you feel?
English language learners
This task allows students to communicate ideas and feelings expressively, but the heavy language focus can be challenging. Graphic organizers can help scaffold and support the skit- or story-writing process. This project engages linguistic, spatial/artistic, kinesthetic, and interpersonal learning modalities.
Connection to anti-bias education
The Fairness Fair encourages students to share their work and experiences in a safe, supportive space. Role-playing and storytelling are creative forms of writing that convey thoughts, feelings and understandings related to fairness in the writer’s voice. By sharing their work with others, students can learn from and be inspired by one another.