Show download pdf controls
  • Introduction – think-pair-share

    1. Pose the following question for students to think-pair-share:    
      • What does fair mean and what are some examples?    
        • Think – 30 seconds
        • Pair – 1 minute
        • Share – 5 minutes
    2. Record key themes and examples on chart paper to display in the classroom.

    Fairness vs equal – photo stimulus

    1. Show students the pictures of fairness and equity (Resource 1 – PDF, 140KBExternal Link).
    2. Ask:  
      • Is everyone being treated equally in this picture? (point to equality picture)
      • Is this fair? Why or why not?
      • Is everyone being treated equally in this picture? (point to equity picture)
      • Is this fair? Why or why not?
      • Can you think of a situation where fairness is important? Why?

    Experiencing unfair – scenarios

    1. Students spread out safely around the room.
    2. Give each student a random number of star jumps (between 3 and 150) to complete in 30 seconds.
    3. Ask:    
      • Why was this task unfair?
      • Would it be fair if I gave everyone the same number of star jumps to complete? Why or why not?
      • What could I have done to make the task fair?
      • Would this make the task better or worse? For whom?
      • Why do you think people have different views about what is better or worse?

    Distributing resources – group problem-solving

    This activity may contribute to student portfolios.

    1. As a warmup, give each student a range of Australian notes and coins (Resource 2 – PDF, 118KBExternal Link). Ask each student to make up $40.00 using the notes and coins they have.
    2. Students record the actual notes and coins they used to make up the $40.00 (Resource 3 – PDF, 76KBExternal Link).

    Teacher tip

    Encourage students to label each note or coin as a value using the decimal notation. For example, fifty cents would be labelled as $0.50, one dollar would be labelled as $1.00, twenty cents as $0.20, five dollars as $5.00.

    1. Use a grouping strategy to organise students into groups of five.
    2. Give each group a set of five characters (Resource 4 – PDF, 165KBExternal Link), the problem to solve. See Resource 5: problem solving scenario – instructions (text version) or PDF (89KB)External Link.
    3. Groups solve the problem and record their solution.
    4. As a class, discuss how the problem was solved and whether the solution was fair.


    • Hands-up if each character in the group purchased what was required.
    • Hands-up if your group succeeded in purchasing everything required.
    • How did you solve the problem? Invite each group to share.
    • Which character paid the greatest amount in order for the group to succeed? Why?
    • Which character paid the least amount? Was this fair?
    • Which character saved the most money?
    • Do you think this was fair? Why or why not?

    Visualising fair – fraction bars

    This activity may contribute to student portfolios.

    1. Students use fraction bars to show how much money each character in their group spent in relation to the amount they were given (Resource 6 – PDF, 68KBExternal Link).
    2. Ask:    
      • Was your group's solution fair? Why or why not?
      • How does visualising help you decide whether the solution was fair?
      • Why do you think people have different views on what's fair?

    Extension – think board

    This activity may contribute to student portfolios.

    1. Students use a Think board (Resource 7 – PDF, 99KBExternal Link) to show different representations of one of the fractions on their fraction bar from Activity 5.

    Fair or foul? – decision-making

    1. Students respond to each prompt by giving a thumbs-up if they answer 'fair', thumbs-down if they answer 'foul' and palm flat for 'I don't know'. Each time, ask:    
      • Why is this fair or foul?
        • Your older sister's bedtime is later than yours.
        • Your friends won't let you play a game.
        • Your younger brother has fewer chores to do than you.
        • The same student always gets to be roll monitor.
        • You save a seat for someone in the undercover area.
        • Everyone stays in until the culprit fesses up.
        • Your friend lets you cut in line in front of him at the water tap.
        • You get punished for the behaviour of other students in the class.
        • You are made to make up the learning time you lost for being late to class after lunch.
        • An injured student is given a shorter distance to run in a race.
    2. Students pick one of the unfair situations and talk with a classmate about how they could turn it into a fair situation.
    3. Students share their responses and explain why their solution is a good one and better than the original.

    Teacher tip

    Use examples from students' everyday life as prompts in the game.

    Making unfair situations fair – journal entry

    This activity may contribute to student portfolios.

    1. Students draw and describe an unfair situation they have experienced and consider how the situation could have been changed to make it fair.
    2. Give the following instructions:    
      • Draw a line down the middle of the page.
      • On the left-hand side, draw a picture of something that has happened to you that was unfair. It can be something that is unfair in class, in your family, on a team or in your community.
      • Underneath, describe the picture and how it made you feel.
      • On the right-hand side, draw a picture of how that same situation could change to become fair.
      • Underneath, describe how the event would change to become fair and how this new situation would make you and others' feel.
    3. Students edit and publish their illustrated journal.

    Teacher tip

    Remind students not to share anything too personal. Use protective interrupting if necessary. If students are reluctant to share their personal experiences, allow them to choose an example from Activity 7.

    Reflection – class circle

    1. Ask:    
      • What might stop someone from reporting unfairness?
    2. Invite students to suggest how this might be solved and to place their ideas in a confidential suggestions box.
    3. Read out the suggestions and ask students to decide on the most appropriate solution.

    Continue to:

    Return to:

      Last modified: 28 Feb 2020QC 61191