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This lesson has students continue to explore a variety of ways to share, particularly when an obvious solution is not apparent.
In this follow-up to “That’s Not Fair!,” students will have a chance to try out some new ways of sharing and see how each one satisfies or doesn’t satisfy the members of the class.
How do people decide the best way to share things? If you have to divide things up, who should decide how to do it? Today students will identify some common methods of making decisions about the distribution of goods. Work with your class to discuss and describe different decisions you could make decisions about sharing. Discuss what’s good and bad about each way of sharing. Then find out what everyone thinks of the different ideas your class comes up with by taking a survey.
Group discussion. In the activity “That’s Not Fair” how did we decide who should get which crayons? What was hard about it? What was easy? Did we all agree on the solutions? Were there different ways to share the crayons? Which solutions worked the best? Were any methods of distribution more fair than others? Take turns discussing your ideas about other ways in which goods and services might be distributed.
[Note to teachers: In this session, you’ll want to guide discussion toward some key approaches to problems of distribution, including the following:
Talk about each approach. Give examples, drawing upon your own experience and relevant experiences the children may have had, to help the children identify the advantages and disadvantages of each approach.]
Make a list of everyone in your class. Ask each person what his or her favorite snack is, and use a picture to show what each person says. Make rows out of all the same pictures to make a graph showing what the favorites are. (Discuss the graph with the students. Focus on the areas where many students shared the preference, and highlight the idea that sharing things that are more popular can be difficult.)
The situation here is that the teacher has a snack to share. But there will be some extra snacks, so some students will be able to have more than one treat. How do you decide how to share the extras? There are lots of ways to decide. This Interactive activity shows some of the most common ways of making decisions about sharing. Think about the snack you’re trying to share and make a pictograph showing what everyone thinks of how each method would work. Discuss the results with your class.
Talk about the graph and the activity with your class. What are the benefits and disadvantages of each? Take a vote on which idea to use and share the treats in that way. [Note to teachers: Taking a vote is the “majority rule” method, and the method most often used in making governmental decisions about distribution. If the children still have difficulty with sharing the extra treats, you may have to choose the method of decision. As you do that, remind the children which method it is and remind them of the advantages and the disadvantages associated with it.]
Grades 3-5, 6-8, 9-12