Fair and Impartial

6, 7, 8

Students define the meaning of impartial and connect it to fairness through the use of a Frayer model graphic organizer.

PrintOne 20-minute lesson

The learner will:

  • compare the meaning of impartial with the meaning of fair in two sports examples.
  • complete a graphic organizer to analyze the meaning of fair.

copy of Handout One: Frayer Model for each small group


  1. Anticipatory Set

    Have the students imagine that they signed up to play basketball on a recreation team. Recreation teams are about exercise and teamwork, and all players are supposed to get equal play time. Say, "You are a pretty good player and you show up and work hard at practice every week. At the Saturday games, you notice that three kids on the team are treated extra special. They get more play time, get the best positions, and get lots of praise from the coach. How do you feel about this?" Discuss student reactions about favoritism [showing special treatment] and feeling helpless. Ask the students why they think the coach is treating those players differently. Do they think the coach knows he is being partial [favoring one over another]? Do they think the coach is being fair?

  2. Tell the students that the recreation basketball coach is expected to be impartial and give everyone equal opportunities. Impartiality looks like "treating people equally." Ask the students to name some situations where they expect impartiality (grades, competition).

  3. Ask the students if a high school football coach has to be impartial about playing time during a game. Discuss why this is different. Does fairness mean the same thing as equal [same amount or number as another] in this case? The expectation of the players is the coach will play the players strategically to win, not togive all players equal time. Discuss how the football coach can be fair and impartial in other ways. Example: The coach may be fair by looking at their skills and strengths, not unrelated factors (like skin color, wealth, friendships, or bribes).

  4. Put the students into groups of three or four, and give each group a copy of Handout One; Frayer Model. The groups discuss impartiality and fill out the Frayer Model graphic organizer with a definition of impartiality, characteristics, examples, and non-examples. Optional: give each group one of the following relationships to analyze with the graphic organizer: parents and siblings, judge and defendant, friends playing a sport, black and white students in 1950's schools, women and men applying for the same job, teacher and students, or another situation that comes from a relevant area of study.

  5. After ten minutes, have the groups share key observations from their discussion of impartiality. Discuss what opportunities they might have to be impartial.


Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.I Definitions of Philanthropy
    1. Standard DP 01. Define Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark MS.4 Give examples of how individuals have helped others.