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What is Justice?

(for elementary school learners)


In this lesson, students will begin to define what “justice” means. They will gain insight into how to define key terms relating to justice, such as food justice and environmental justice. Students will also begin to explore the importance of building community around this topic. 

Essential Questions

  • What is “justice”?

  • How is justice different from equity or equality?

  • What is “environment” or what makes up an “environment”?

  • What is “food insecurity?”

  • What is “environmental justice?”

  • What is “food justice”?

Learning Objectives

  • Students will define and illustrate what ‘justice’ is.

  • Students will begin to define the concepts of ‘food justice’ and ‘environmental justice’.

  • Students will discuss their role as community members to address food insecurity.

  • Students will analyze what justice is and how it can be implemented in their community.

Learning Standards

This lesson was created for elementary school learners. Standards will be sent with the lesson upon request. 



45 minutes


  • Justice

  • Food insecurity

  • Food justice

  • Environmental injustice

  • Environmental justice

Learning Tasks

Warm-Up (5 min): 

Warm-Up Prep:

Warm-Up Tasks:

Step 1 (5 min): Go through the Equality v. Equity v. Justice PPT  powerpoint. Ask students what differences they notice between the pictures. Before moving on to the 2nd slide, ask students what they think the justice slide will look like. 

Activity 1 (12 mins): 

Goal: Students will be able to illustrate and explain what ‘justice’ means and looks like to them. 

Activity 1 Prep:

  1. Construction paper, white boards OR notebook paper

  2. Markers, Dry-Erase markers, or pencils

  3. Justice Terms worksheet

Activity 1 Activities:

Step 1 (10 mins): Pass out a Justice Terms worksheet to each student. Ask students to complete Part I of the worksheet.  

Step 2 (2 mins): Ask students to share out what they wrote or drew for Part I.

Activity 2 (12 mins): 

Goal: Students will be able to conduct research to define the 4 terms in Part II of the Justice Terms worksheet.

Activity 2 Prep: 

  • 1:1 devices or 1 device per group

Activity 2 Activities: 

Step 1 (8 mins): Ask students to use their devices to research the definitions of each of the terms in Part II of the Justice Terms worksheet. Make sure to tell students to record a citation for each source used. 

Step 2 (2 mins): Ask students to share their definitions and examples. 

Activity 3 (5 mins): 

Goal: Students will collaboratively identify and match the pictures to the terms in the box in Part III of the Justice Terms worksheet in groups of 4.

Activity 3 Prep:

  • Pre-cut the photos for each student

  • Glue sticks or tape

Activity 3 Activities: 

Step 1 (3 mins): Ask students to complete Part III of their worksheet by matching each photo with one of the terms on the page.

Step 2 (2 mins): Once students identify the match, ask them to glue the photo in the correct box.

Wrap-Up (10min): 

Goal: Students will accurately match the photos to the correct terms and express their reasoning. 

Wrap-Up Tasks:

Step 1 (10 min): Ask students to share out their group’s reasoning behind each match.

Supplemental Lessons



Curriculum Suite © 2024 by Start:Empowerment is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 


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