Teaching Students to Play Fair
The focus of this lesson is to help children demonstrate their understanding of playing fair during organized games.
- Grades: PreK–K, 1–2
About this book
Woof! Woof! The focus of this lesson is to provide children with opportunities to demonstrate their understanding of playing fair though reading and participation in organized games.
Clifford’s Big Idea: Play Fair
When children are involved in an environment where fair play is emphasized, they experience how important it is to treat others fairly. Teamwork, taking turns, and sharing all reinforce social skills that help children interact successfully at home, school, and playtime.
The following activities nurture essential:
- Social and emotional skills
- Language and literacy skills
- Critical thinking and problem solving skills
- Physical and motor skills
Day 1: Playing Fair Is Fun!
Step 1: Discuss how much fun playtime with friends can be when everyone participates and follows the rules.
Step 2: Read aloud Clifford's Sports Day by Norman Bridwell.
Step 3: Ask students what happens when Clifford participates. Have children retell the story describing Clifford's actions.
Step 4: Ask children to name their favorite games and explain game rules. Inquire how they value playing fair and ways that they can handle unfair situations on the playground. Also discuss how important it is to include everyone, especially new friends, when learning and playing at school.
Teaching Tip: Help children identify with realistic expectations of competitive play. For some children, this issue may need to be discussed frequently. Talk about the fact that playing fair does not always lead to winning, a reality of competition. Explain that the true goal in any competition is to do your best and enjoy participating. By giving participation rewards of "choice time" in a favorite center, or a small sticker for being a good sport, the emphasis on being "No. 1" can become less traumatic for children that have challenges not being the declared "winner" every time.
Day 2: Games Galore!
Step 1: Remind children that playing fair means taking turns, sharing equipment, and being considerate of others during games.
Step 2: Use these fun game ideas to reinforce the concept of playing fair:
Who's Missing Now?
Have children sit in a circle with closed eyes...no peeking because that's not fair! Sneak one child out of sight. Then let the children guess who's missing!
Play catch with different kinds of balls, encouraging children to take turns throwing, catching, and retrieving the balls.
Encourage children to keep a large beach ball from touching the ground for as long as possible by passing/bouncing the ball from person to person.
Divide children into three, four, or five groups. Give each group a different color of crepe paper steamers. Children will move on command as directions are given for each group to take turns running, circling, skipping, walking, zig-zagging, etc.
Cooperative learning is fun when everyone gets involved!
- Involve children in creating a new variation of a game that they love. Vote on a new game name and cooperatively make new rules. Play the game after everyone demonstrates understanding of the new game's rules of fair play.
- Have children color the "F is for Fair" Reproducible.
- Play the BE BIG: Play Fair Video Clip for students.
These books support Clifford’s Big Ideas and reinforce valuable early literacy skills:
- Clifford's Kitten by Norman Bridwell
- The Show-and-Tell Surprise (A Big Red Reader) by Norman Bridwell and Teddy Margules
- Playing Fair by Shelly Neilsen
Also check out the Clifford the Big Red Dog Book List.