Lesson: Sense & Sensibility: Judgment

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Lesson Objective

Students will understand how fair and unfair judgments are made of people and of situations, and will be able to apply the process and consequences of making judgments to real life.

Lesson Plan


Attached PowerPoint

LCD projector

Vocabulary Notebook



9-10LA2.5 Extend ideas presented in primary or secondary sources through original analysis, evaluation, and elaboration.

9-10LA3.3 Analyze interactions between main and subordinate characters in a literary text (e.g., internal and external conflicts, motivations, relationships, influences) and explain the way those interactions affect the plot.


Anticipatory Set:

Begin by reviewing vocabulary. Choose 10 words (different from yesterday) from the Project Vocabulary Notebook, and for each word ask one student to read all of the entries out loud, another student to recreate their illustration on the board for the class (or on a white board from their seat if they are shy), and a third student to read aloud and/or write on the board their “You Try” sentence in which they independently put the word into a sentence. If you can get these three things to happen simultaneously, this will take less than 10 minutes to complete.


Write the word “judgment” and “judge” on the board/overhead. (Note there are two acceptable spellings for “judgment” and no such word as “judgementalness” or “judgementality.”) Ask students what a judge does. (They decide if people are innocent or guilty, decide punishments, etc.) Given what a judge’s job is, what responsibilities do they have? What do we expect them to do every time before they make a decision?  (Students mention fairness, evaluating all facts)



Tell students that we are going to talk about judgment in ways that it is good and ways that it is bad. We are going to talk about times when judgment happens in the book, and also in our own lives. We want to learn to have fair judgment, not unfair judgment, and we want to understand the judgments that are being made in the story.  The judgments people make are always based on the information they have. Sometimes this information is complete, and sometimes it’s not. Sometimes this information is correct, and sometimes it’s not.



Guided Practice:

Ask one student to share an example of a time when they have been judged. Ask the student to give a “just the facts” report, but include their general feeling in the situation and its consequences. Ask whether they were judged correctly or not. If not, what could the person judging have done to come to a more accurate conclusion? (Usually, gotten to know more about them.) Map this onto the graphic organizer in the attached PowerPoint.


Guide students through the next examples. Once they have completed the ‘actual decision’ part of the graphic organizer, introduce the following information and then complete the ‘decision not taken’ sections.

*            You live in the desert.

*            This guy is an orphan who grew up in a dangerous slum in a third-world country.

*            This woman is a mother of 3 who speaks 4 languages & works for the French government doing translations.

If the “action” part becomes confusing, you can phrase it as “trust this person to watch your suitcase?” or “trust this person to babysit your 3 year old brother?”


Ask students to reflect on what information they “filled in” that wasn’t necessarily there…can they connect this to stereotypes or even racism?


Independent Practice:

Students follow prompt on PowerPoint and compose journal entries. Collect entries when they finish.


Students read novels/graphic novels according to classroom system.




Discuss Marianne’s judgment of Edward Ferrars. Map onto the graphic organizer. Discuss whether this is fair judgment. 

Lesson Resources



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