Fairness Metaphor

6, 7, 8

Students reflect on their attitude about and responsibility for making fair choices about spending. They use the literary device of metaphor for expressing their thoughts.

Lesson Rating 
PrintOne 20-minute lesson

The learner will:

  • define metaphor and simile.
  • write a creative metaphor about the issue of fairness in the music industry or in fair trade.


  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Tell the students that a metaphor is a writers' technique for constructing meaning for a concept by comparing it to something completely unrelated. Ask the students if they can tell the difference between a metaphor and a simile. Give them two sentences and ask them to identify the metaphor. Examples: The wave of music crashed into the room and tumbled everyone into a frenzy of dancing and singing. (metaphor--The music is a wave.) The loud music was like a tidal wave entering the room, and we all reacted with dancing and singing loudly. (simile--The music is like a wave.)

  2. Tell the students that they are going to come up with a creative metaphor today to describe their feelings or choices about fair practices related to music downloads or other fair trade issues.

  3. Prompt students to think of the most recent gift they have received. Then have them come up with a metaphor or an explanation for how this gift relates to the topic of using our spending power to treat others fairly--fair use of music and buying products that have fair trade certification. (Example: My new bicycle speedometer--When I am racing to pick up the coolest trends in music, my speedometer reminds me to note my speed and take time to make sure I'm acting in a fair way.)

  4. Give the students a few minutes to think, then have them turn to a partner and share their metaphors and develop their ideas. After two or three minutes of sharing, ask for volunteers to write their creative metaphors for the fair use of music issue/fair trade issue.

Cross Curriculum 

This character education mini-lesson is not intended to be a service learning lesson or to meet the K-12 Service-Learning Standards for Quality Practice. The character education units will be most effective when taught in conjunction with a student-designed service project that provides a real world setting in which students can develop and practice good character and leadership skills. For ideas and suggestions for organizing service events go to generationon.org.

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.
  2. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 01. Self, citizenship, and society
      1. Benchmark MS.4 Describe the characteristics of someone who helps others.