Social justice is the idea that society can embrace differences its members and that society can treat everyone equally. It is important to teach children these values of diversity and equal opportunity when they're young, because doing so will help enable them to be more accepting of others throughout their lives.
Provide a lemon to each student. Have the students observe the lemon for identifying marks and "get to know" their lemon. After a few minutes, collect all the lemons and place them in a basket. Then have the students find their lemon. Most students will not have any issue finding their lemon out of the basket. Peel the lemons while the students are not in class. Place the peeled lemons back in the basket. Ask the students to find their lemon again. This demonstrates that everyone is the same on the inside, no matter how different they may look on the outside.
"This Is Our House"
Read the book "This is Our House" by Michael Rosen. In this book, the main character, George, does not allow girls, twins, short people or children into his home. When he goes away for a while, everyone jumps in his house and states that no red-haired people are allowed. George has red hair and his feelings are hurt. At the end, everyone allows George into the house. Discuss with the students whether they have ever been treated poorly because of the way they look. Have the children draw a picture of George and all his new friends together.
Face to Face
Place students in pairs. Have students observe and interview each other. Students should list five things that are different and five things they share between them. The students should then consider if the differences they wrote about were physical. Ask them what they had in common. As a class, you can discuss the students' findings. They might consider what attributes most people are born with, as well as what can and cannot be changed.
Students can explore the issue gender stereotypes by drawing pictures that represent different professions. Have students draw a number of pictures based on prompts provided. Ask the students to draw a doctor, nurse, teacher, scientist, basketball player and a volleyball player. Collect the drawings and tally up how many men and women were represented in each drawing. Provide the information to the children. As a class, discuss their pictures and see how many men were drawn versus women. Use this as an opportunity to address the roles society often casts people of different genders into and discuss how men and women have equal ability to hold the same jobs.
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