This post is borrowed from Blog Hoppin’–they are not affiliated with us, but I thought this was a a great idea for use in church classrooms!
"I’ve had a saying for a long time that I use with my class: Fair doesn’t mean that everyone gets the same thing, fair means that everyone gets what they need.
I gathered the kids on the carpet (don’t all the best lessons happen there?). Then I told them to think about a time they were hurt. Of course they all wanted to tell me every little detail of every injury they’ve ever endured in their seven little years. This was actually causing my head to hurt, but we pressed on. After I let a few share, I asked them all to close their eyes and imagine that something hurting them right now. They had serious concentration faces on during this part.
Then I had them come up a few at a time, making sure the rest could hear and see the action. When each student approached I asked them where they were hurt. No matter what they said to me, I put a bandaid on the back of their hand. I had a few kids mumbling and whispering and one little girl was just not havin’ it. She kept asking her friends, "Why does she keep putting it on the same spot?" and "That’s not where she said it hurt!". She was so bothered by what I was doing, but it was perfect to make my point, so I let her go on.
I put 16 bandaids on 16 hands and when my 17th student came up for his, I just told him I was sorry, but I didn’t have any for him. He looked a little bummed, but went back to the carpet bandaid-less. I asked the kids if the bandaid made anyone feel better or if I put it on the right spot. Of course no hands raised. Then I asked them if a bandaid would even help if you had a sprained ankle or headache – of course they all said no. So then I launched into a kid friendly discussion of differentiation. I told them that not everyone in our class has the same needs, so not everyone will get to do the same things all the time. We talked about times when I might work with a small group, it’s just because they needed a bandaid at that particular moment, but maybe they didn’t. I assured them that at some time in the year, everyone would need a bandaid for something. We talked about kids who leave the room for special services and how they need a particular bandaid that another teacher gives them. I finally hit the point home when I said, if one student needs a little extra math practice, does that mean we ALL need extra practice? Of course, they said noooo (in only the way a group of 7 year olds can drag out a one word response…)
I also added in how our last student didn’t get a bandaid at all! When I asked him how he felt, he said he felt left out and confused. I told the group that never getting a bandaid was even worse and that’s why when I’m with a student or small group they can’t interrupt because it’s the same as taking away their bandaid.
I have to say, it was a goose bump inducing lesson. The visual of the bandaid and the real life, kid level examples really made an impact on them. They proudly wore their bandaids around all day, until recess when our Dollar Tree bandaids were no match for the Florida humidity."
What do you think? If you try this lesson in your classroom, let us know how it goes!