Justice and Kindness Play a Part (8th Grade)

Grades: 
6, 7, 8

Raise students' awareness of the importance of advocating for justice and kindness. The learners explore ways they can play a role in bringing about a positive change in their school, community, and world.

Lesson Rating 
0
Duration 
PrintOne 55 Minute Class Period
Objectives 

The learner will:

  • identify acts of injustice and cruelty from a true story.
  • write about a time when they felt they had been treated unfairly and a time when they were unkind to someone else.
  • reflect on and share thoughts and feelings about injustices andcruelty.
  • identify injustices and unkind actions in the school, community, and around the world.
  • discuss the responsibility one has to be an advocate for justice and kindness.
  • (Optional) write and perform a short skit, promoting justice and kindness for all people.
Materials 
  • Learner copies of handout: What about You?
  • Journals (optional)
  • Cards cut from handout: Justice and Kindness Discussion Cards
  • (Optional for Extension) Multiple copies of one day's local newspaper
Reflection 

 What club could be started at school to raise awareness of diversity as well as to promote justice, fairness, and kindness?

Instructions

Print
  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Tell the students a story example of unkindness or injustice. It may be a story from personal experience or something in the news--current or in history. (The prompts in the attached cards may give you some ideas of stories to tell.)

  2. Have students respond to the prompts in the handout: What About You? Allow 8-10 minutes for them to complete this activity, writing their thoughts on paper or in a journal.

  3. Once the writing has been completed, invite the class to sit in a circle. Distribute cards facedown that you have cut out from handout: Justice and Kindness Discussion Cards. These cards contain discussion prompts to help the students reflect on examples of injustice in their communities and world.

  4. Tell the learners not to turn their cards over until it is their turn to do so. When their turn comes they read their card to the group. After each student reads his or her card prompt, allow time for discussion. Encourage them to consider what they have just written in their journaling when responding to the Justice and Kindness Discussion Cards prompt.

  5. Ask whether it is the students' responsibility to promote justice and kindness, and why.

  6. Have the learners name ways they become aware of stories of injustice and cruelty as well as stories about justice and kindness. (Possible answers include newspapers, websites, TV, national public radio, email, and word of mouth.)

Cross Curriculum 

Students identify needs in their own school related to injustice or unkindness that they can address with positive action.

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.I Definitions of Philanthropy
    1. Standard DP 01. Define Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark MS.1 Define philanthropy as individuals and organizations providing their time, talent, and/or treasures intended for the common good throughout history and around the world. Give examples.
  2. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 02. Diverse Cultures
      1. Benchmark MS.1 Examine several examples of philanthropic traditions practiced in diverse cultures.
      2. Benchmark MS.2 Describe the importance of hearing all voices in a community and respecting their right to be heard.
      3. Benchmark MS.4 Identify civil society organizations that protect and speak for minority viewpoints.
      4. Benchmark MS.5 Discuss examples of groups denied their rights in history.
  3. Strand PHIL.III Philanthropy and the Individual
    1. Standard PI 01. Reasons for Individual Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark MS.4 Identify and describe the actions of how citizens act for the common good.