Fairness is a hot topic among children in Kindergarten! It is one of the first judgments that you hear as one child confidently points out that something isn’t fair. After reading Carmen’s informative and thought-provoking post about equity, it encouraged me to consider it in the context of the Kindergarten classroom.

I have found that read-alouds about topics such as fairness are a good starting point. The stories are didactic in that they provide characters and scenarios that the children can relate to and support personal connections for the students. The message is conveyed in a less instructional, more entertaining way.

The book, Big Red Lollipop by Rukhsana Khan, is an example of an engaging story that addresses the idea of fairness not always having to be the same for everyone. It is a story about a girl, Rubina, who is invited to a birthday party. Her mother insists that she brings her little sister, Sana, an embarrassment to Rubina. When it comes time for Sana to get invited to a birthday party, their mother wants to send the youngest sister. Rubina interjects and tells her mother that only Sana was invited and she should go alone, knowing that her sister will have a better experience if their experiences are different. Sana appreciates her sister’s understanding and shows her appreciation with a lollipop.

 

 

 

 

Another book to read aloud for discussion, is Peter’s Chair by Ezra Jack Keats. In this story, Peter is upset when he realizes that many of his things are being painted pink for his little sister to use. The highchair is already painted, but he rescues his little chair before it succumbs to pink paint as well. He wants to run away with his special chair, but realizes it is now too small for him to sit in. He returns with the chair and they paint it for his sister. Although, the bigger idea is about acceptance and change, there is also a connection to the idea of fairness. As we grow, expectations change and what was once appropriate may no longer be the case. Things do not remain the same, situations change, and what was considered fair may not remain so.

 

 

 

There are many opportunities to talk about fairness in Kindergarten. Often, the teacher may need to respond to the statement, “Why does he get to do that? It’s not fair.” And the teacher will respond, “Fairness isn’t the same for both of you. It is what he needs right now.”

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