Being Treated Equally


To let children experience prejudice first hand, in reference to Martin Luther King Day.


Lesson Plan:

  1. Before I mention Martin Luther King, I pass out morning snacks to only half of my class. (This year I only gave them to the boys.)
  2. When the other children question this, I explain that only the boys are getting snacks today. The rest of the class will be quite put out at this point.
  3. I wait about 5-10 minutes and call them to our story rug, without any explanation for my actions. I start to read the picture book of Martin Luther King’s life.
  4. After I have completed reading the story, I ask the children who did not receive snacks how they felt about that. They are usually still very upset with me.
  5. Then I ask those who did receive snacks how they felt.
  6. Now I explain that I was demonstrating prejudice or unequal treatment.
  7. The children have a greater understanding of how unfairly black people were treated in Mr. King’s day.
  8. Finally, I give morning snack to those children I skipped earlier. I have a worksheet made to send home so the parents know about our lesson. I explain what we did and have each child express their feelings during my lesson.


As hard as it is to slight my children in this lesson, I feel that it is a real learning experience for them.


Grade Level(s): K
By: MB Farris, Kindergarten Teacher

2 Responses to Being Treated Equally

  1. Edith March 4, 2012 at 6:27 am #

    This seems like an intresting and very good lesson plan

  2. Jenny January 21, 2015 at 8:20 pm #

    I am a psychologist and childrens therapist and I also teach English part-time.
    Your idea is wonderful in essence – and works well with junior high students and high school students . HOWEVER, to be doing your little demonstration with kindergarden children is a no- go. At that age, the soul or rather the psyche of the children solely relies on role-modeling. It is unhealthy to encourage moral judgment to early, likewise it is too early to be confronting children with these type of topics in an INTELLECTUAL WAY ( like you were doing it: e.g. See how you feel now!) Children at that age cannot differentiate their feelings like adults can or older children.
    If you want to do some good, then TELL them about the story but leave out the morality and the snack thing because that is simply too early a lesson in an inappropriate setting.

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