Social Justice Lesson Plan

Instructor: Kevin Newton

Kevin has edited encyclopedias, taught history, and has an MA in Islamic law/finance. He has since founded his own financial advice firm, Newton Analytical.

Social justice is no easy topic to teach. However, with this lesson plan, you will be able to put social justice into perspective using examples drawn from education and an activity in which students design a just society.

Lesson Objectives

By the end of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • identify the idea of social justice
  • analyze current arguments about social justice


1 hour

Curriculum Standards


Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary that makes clear the relationships among the key details and ideas.


Evaluate various explanations for actions or events and determine which explanation best accords with textual evidence, acknowledging where the text leaves matters uncertain.

Key Vocabulary

  • Social justice
  • Affirmative action


  • Start this lesson by asking your class if life should be fair. Discuss as a class and introduce the lesson topic: social justice.
  • Watch the lesson What is Social Justice? - Definition, Issues & Examples, pausing for the following discussion points:
    • 1:21 - What do you think is meant by having institutions freely available to people? What is meant by institutions? What do you think could potentially get in the way of making institutions freely available to people?
    • 2:39 - Different school systems spend different amounts per student. Some school systems spend as much as nearly $20,000 per year per student, while the lowest per-student spending is only $6,500 per student per year. How do you think these differences result in different qualities of education?
    • 4:06 - When the government can't afford to pay full tuition for every student in the district, two main options present themselves: government-subsidized education at the expensive schools or government funding for the struggling schools to make them as good as the expensive schools. Why is it so hard to pin down which of these options is more just?

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