Anyone who’s spent time in an elementary classroom knows how hung up kids can get on “what’s fair.” They don’t always understand why Jessica gets to wear headphones or why Adam gets to use a fidget. That’s why we’re obsessed with this fairness lesson third grade teacher Aimee Scott from Utah shared on TikTok.
And we’re not the only ones. Scott’s lesson quickly went viral and now has close to two million views. The best part? The only thing the lesson requires is a box of Band-Aids.
Here’s how Scott’s fairness lesson works
She asks students to think about a time they hurt their elbows. She then chooses one student to share their story and says, “Oh, I’m so sorry you hurt yourself. Here’s a Band-Aid for your elbow.” Next, she asks students to think about a time they hurt their heads. She again chooses a student to share and says, “Oh, I’m so sorry you hurt your head. Here’s a Band-Aid for your elbow.”
Do you see where this is going? Scott admits that at first, her students are confused. How is an elbow Band-Aid going to help a bumped head? But that’s exactly the lesson.
It wouldn’t be helpful if each student got the same treatment even though they were experiencing different issues. As Scott explains, “Fair doesn’t mean that everyone gets the same thing. Fair means that everyone gets what they need to be successful.”
Watch Scott explain the lesson herself:
It’s a five-minute activity that has the power to change classroom culture
We talked with Scott about the long-term impact of her fairness lesson, and she says it’s powerful. “You can visibly see the relief of some of the children who have different needs and always felt out of place because of them. They know they’re going to feel like they belong in my class because they realize that everyone is different.”
This fairness lesson can truly change classroom culture and make students more understanding of the needs of others. Aimee noted, “It really helps create a friendly classroom culture, and they feel more comfortable advocating for their individual needs.”
This idea can even be referenced throughout the entire school year. By simply saying, “Remember Band-Aids?” students are instantly reminded of this powerful lesson when something seems unfair.