TO HUMAN RIGHTS
(Taught in the middle of first semester.)The
goal is to learn basics about the Universal Declaration
of Human Rights and the United Nations. There
are two and a half to three days of 90-minute block
lessons.What are Human Rights? What is the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights? Can it prevent war? How
or why not?
- In my classroom I have a writing prompt, 'Daily
Reflection', on the board each day before the class
starts, students are to begin work on it as soon
as they arrive. It serves as a free write opportunity
and as a review and preview question and as a procedural
way to get started on time. It is almost always
in the form of a question or several questions.
There is no right or wrong answer. I would like
to review the reflections each night, but in reality
it is a little less frequently. When I do review
them I award 20 points if it strikes me as thoughtful
and complete (at least 5 sentences.) Throughout
the lessons I ask students to share their responses
to these prompts and I use my nightly review of
them to feed discussion and illustrate points. For
this lesson I used two questions. One reviewed our
French Revolution unit weŻd just completed and one
previewed the Universal Declaration. (For example,
What do you know about Human Rights? What rights
did the Declaration of the Rights of Man discuss?
Do women have rights today?)
- I distributed a letter sized manila folder to
each student. These became the 'Human Rights' folder
(HR folder) for each student for each of the segments
of the unit. (When this week of lessons is completed,
collect and store the folders and the materials
stored in the folders.) The students should decorate
and label the folder with "Human Rights"
and their name.
- While students personalized their folders I reviewed
and previewed some information about the UDHR. In
particular I tried to draw in the Essential Question
by explaining the birth of the UDHR: After World
War II and the Nuremberg Trials, governments committed
themselves to establishing the UN with the primary
goal of bolstering international peace and preventing
conflict. To advance this goal the UN established
a Commission on Human Rights which in its preamble
asserts: Recognition of the inherent dignity
and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members
of the human family is the foundation
of freedom, justice and peace in the world.
(this is taken directly from the reading for the
next segment, A Short History of Human Rights,
pages 6-7, Human Rights Fundamentals.)
This whole quote should be posted on the wall so
the class can refer to it throughout the year to
evaluate the strength and success of this premise;
can protection of Human Rights prevent war?
- Distribute a copy of the Universal Declaration
of Human Rights (UDHR) to each student. These should
stay in the classroom in the HR folders.
- As a preview to watching the video by Amnesty
International (several artists commissioned to illustrate
the 30 Articles of the UDHR) have the students review
their copy of the UDHR and pick three Articles they
think are important to them and translate the three
Articles into their own words. Tell them they will
be viewing a film which illustrates each of the
Articles of the UDHR and to watch for the Articles
they chose and critique the artist's presentation
of the Article.
- Homework is to review the list of 'Headlines',
a number of true headlines reporting acts which
violate or protect human rights around the world
and collected by Amnesty International (attached.)
Students pick three headlines and write three sentences
explaining their opinion on whether the human rights
issue effects intra-national conflict and two sentences
explaining how the student would illustrate the
headline to teach other students about the issue.