Purpose: Students discuss how our ability to be fair is impacted by the way we see people.
- Students will discuss how a bias impacts their ability to be fair.
- Students will discuss how fairness impacts relationships and connections.
His whole life, Edgar the cat was raised to hate dogs. “Aside from being dangerous, they’re dirty,” the old cat Sigmund told him. “They spread fleas. They slobber. They bark. Their clumsy tails knock things over.”
Edgar was thankful they didn’t live with a dog, but one day the humans in the house brought one home. Sigmund was so angry he ran to his spot in the back of the female human’s closet and pouted. Edgar was curious though. He wanted to see the horrible creature with his own eyes, so he padded down the hallway. He heard a loud thumping, so loud it nearly scared him away, but the humans were laughing, so he crept closer. When he got to the living room, he saw the thumping came from the dog’s tail whacking against the wall. The small humans were petting the dog, and the female human was laughing. The dog saw Edgar and came running over. Edgar didn’t know what to do – the dog was huge – so he just stood still, thinking if he did nothing the dog would go away. But the dog sniffed him, and even gave him a big, wet lick.
The next morning, Edgar saw the dog again, and this time the dog pushed a tennis ball toward him. He wanted to play! Sigmund never wanted to play with Edgar. Edgar excitedly swatted the ball back, and they played with the ball, and then played a game of tag until they were exhausted. Edgar, stretching out for his nap, smiled. He’d found a true friend in the big, clumsy, slobbery beast.
Grade 3: What’s the lesson of this story? What does it say about fairness?
Grade 4: How was Sigmund unfair in the story? What can you tell about Sigmund based on his behavior? Does he have many friends? Does he have much fun?
Grade 5: Edgar and the dog were very different, but they could be friends. Write a short story about a friendship between two very different characters. How does the friendship begin? Why is fairness important in the friendship?
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