The Sea of Faith Network's Resources for Schools

6. FAIRNESS – How is our world fair?

 GROUND RULES

Share Article 12 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child: ‘You have the right to give your opinion, and for adults to listen and take it seriously’ and remind the children of the ground rules:

  • We have the right to an opinion and for it to be listened to and taken seriously.
  • Thumbs up if you want to speak.
  • One person talks at a time.
  • Everyone is valued.
  • Respect each other’s responses.

GETTING SET

Ask the children to sit in a circle and then to make a choice between eating chocolate buttons or a packet of peanuts. Give them time to think about their choice as a reason will be required! Explain that there is no right or wrong answer but what is important is the reason for their choice. In turn ask the children the question:

  • Would you rather eat chocolate buttons or a packet of peanuts?

Children respond with such answers as, “I would rather eat a packet of peanuts because I can imagine I am a monkey!”

INTRODUCTION

Explain to the children that today they are going to be exploring what it means to be fair in our world to ensure that it is a great place to live.

ACTIVITY

Share the story of ‘Piggy Book’ by Anthony Browne. While reading the story engage the children in the illustrations so that they can reflect on what is happening alongside the story.

Invite the children to think about the following ‘I wonder…’ statements and to offer some responses:

  • I wonder why the wallpaper has pigs on it.
  • I wonder why the characters are behaving like pigs.
  • I wonder who seems to be doing all the work.
  • I wonder what happens in your house; is it fair?

Invite the children to raise their own questions about this story, particularly about the idea of fairness. Invite them then to vote for a question that they think the class could discuss. [Encourage the children to close their eyes when voting so they are not influenced by their peers’ votes.]

Once a question has been voted for, invite the children to share some initial answers. Clarify the question where needed and help them to build their understanding – agreeing and disagreeing with the ideas they are airing. Encourage them to listen carefully to each other so that they can appreciate other points of view and learn more about what they need to know to answer the question. After everyone has had an opportunity to participate, thank the children for their contributions.  

ACTIVITY

Provide five or six items that have a Fair Trade mark attached to them for the children to see, e.g., a bar of chocolate, a necklace, T-shirt, a bag of bananas and/or a bag of sugar.

Ask the children for their responses to such questions as:

  • What do you notice that is different about these products?
  • What do you notice that is the same?

Point out the Fair Trade symbol and tell them about what it means in a way that is tangible for them.

Show them a clip about Fair Trade, e.g., http://schools.fairtrade.org.uk/resource/pablo-the-super-banana/

CONCLUSION

Offer some reflections on the importance of fairness in our world; from how we treat everyone fairly in our families at home to offering fair prices to cocoa farm producers in Ghana or banana producers in Colombia.

Encourage the children to become detectives for the week ahead and look around their homes to see if they can spot the Fair Trade mark. Challenge them with this final thought:

I wonder if you could make a difference in this way; perhaps by buying a product which tells you on the packet that the producer has been given a fair price for it?

A printable (pdf) version of this session can be found here

© Sea of Faith 2018

Sea of Faith is a Registered Charity no: 1113177

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