SEL: Privilege for Sale

Grade Level: 
6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Cultural Competence
Relationship Skills
Social Justice
Social-Emotional Learning
This activity encourages youth to discuss the power of privilege. Participants will understand how their perspectives, identity, and values influence their decisions in this activity. They will also understand that privileges are social constructs, A social construct is something that exists not in reality, but as a result of human interaction. It exists because humans agree that it exists.

SEL Connection: 

  • Self-Awareness: identify their own personal, cultural, and linguistic assets
  • Self-Management: identify diverse social norms, including unjust ones
  • Relationship Skills: communicate effectively with their groups


  1. Discuss the definition of privilege: a right or advantage available only to a person or particular group of people
  2. Ask and discuss, "How do words have power?"
  3. Reflect in writing: Write about a time where someone’s words made you feel empowered.
  4. Watch this Privilege Walk video. 

After viewing, discuss the following questions: 

  • How did you feel after watching this video?
  • How can we use our privilege to advocate for those without privilege?

Activity Instructions

  1. Display the Privilege for Sale Posters (print one copy of handout below) around the room. Print several copies of Privilege Bucks, below.
  2. Assign participants into groups of 3-5 people. Frame the activity with the following introduction:
    “For the purposes of this activity, you do not have any of these privileges displayed around the room. Your group will be given money (Privilege Bucks), and collectively you have to decide which posted privileges you’d like to buy. Each privilege costs $100."
  3. Give each group a different amount of money, but do not reveal this disparity until the large-group discussion. For example $300, $500, $700, and $1000. 
  4. Give groups 5-10 minutes to identify and discuss and decide which privileges they want to purchase as they do a Gallery Walk by the Privilege for Sale Posters.
  5. Give participants a minute warning to wrap up their discussions and write down their choices for how to spend their Privilege Bucks.

Whole Group Discussion Questions

  1. What questions did you all wrestle with when trying to make this decision as a group?
  2. What struck you about the list?
  3. Each group had different amounts of money. How does this make you feel knowing that you had more or less than other groups? How does this relate to the real world? 
  4. What was the process like deciding as a group? What do you think was the value of doing this activity in groups? 
  5. What are some other privileges that we could have included? 
  6. What did you learn about privilege from this activity?

Self Reflection Writing Prompts

  • What privilege (from the posters) do you currently have? How does that privilege enhance your access to opportunities? 
  • What privilege do you wish you had? How does not having access to that privilege hinder your access to opportunities? 
  • What did you learn about yourself from this activity? What did you learn about others from this activity? 
  • How can we use our privilege to advocate for others?

Wrap Up

  • Connect the activity back to the Privilege Walk video. 
  • Share out personal reflection responses
  • Record participants in video responses and share these on social media.


  • Conduct your own Privilege Walk. 
  • Ask participants to create their own Privilege Power Flower. Find directions online.
  • View the video The Unequal Opportunity Race and discuss the impact of the privileges or lack of privileges.
  • View this Pencilsword comic about privilege and discuss the invisibility of privilege.