Activity time: 10 minutes
Materials for Activity
- Bag containing three cookies
- Second bag with enough cookies for the full group
Preparation for Activity
- Decide whether to take a safe or challenging approach to distributing the three-cookie snack:
- Safe approach: Produce the supply of three cookies and ask the group how to divide it fairly.
- Challenging approach: Hand the cookies to any three participants, then sit back to see how the group responds. Choose this approach only if you are quite comfortable that the group will handle it well; stirring up rancor is not in anybody's interest.
- Find out about participants' allergies, especially nut allergies. Obtain a snack food everyone can eat.
- Review your impressions of the group's experience with choosing the Kid for the Day and how fair they will say it has been.
Description of Activity
This activity has two parts. In Part 1, the youth decide and implement fair distribution of an unexpected snack. In Part 2, they discuss the fairness of the Kid for the Day selection process and may decide to change it.
Part 1. Announce that you have a special treat, and produce the bag of three cookies. Say the person who provided the snack was unfortunately confused about the number required, so you have only three.
- If you are taking the safe approach, ask the group how to share them fairly. Divide the cookies as they suggest. Then produce the extra cookies.
- If you are taking the challenging approach, pick three recipients at random, and hand the cookies to them. Then wait to see what happens. Perhaps the three lucky youth will share on their own. Perhaps somebody will say, "That's not fair," and you can ask the group what to do about it. In either case, keep discussion brief and then produce the extra cookies.
Point out that this activity was just a way to start thinking about what is fair.
Part 2. Ask the group how well the selection of Kid for the Day has worked out. Has anybody been selected an unfair number of times? If not, is that because of the process you are using? Does anybody not want to be Kid for the Day? If that is the case, should their names be left in the bag or box, or not? If the process does not now seem fair, what does the group want to do about it? Help the group reach a decision, and tell them you will begin using the new procedure next time the group meets.
To conclude, note that life is sometimes only as fair as you, yourself, make it.
Including All Participants
Find out about participants' allergies or food restrictions. Be sure to provide a snack everyone can eat.