Lesson PlansBack to lesson plans archive February 2, 2014
Human rights and the Olympics, part 1: Introduction to human rights
Use this lesson from New Global Citizens and NewsHour Extra to introduce human rights to your students. Students will explore and learn why it is necessary to have an agreed-upon framework for human rights recognition. Further, they will analyze the structure and format of the UDHR and identify those protected by its provisions.
Social studies, human rights, geography, politics
One 60-minute class
Middle and high school
- Projector with internet access
- UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, printed and cut into strips for each article
Warm Up Activity
Introduction to Human Rights: 10 min
Watch “The Story of Human Rights” (hosted on Gooru) up to 0:43. At 0:43, pause the video and ask students to answer the question, “How do you define ‘human rights’?” Students can craft an idea in pairs or small groups of 3-4 and then report back to the class after 2-3 minutes. Build an agreed-upon class definition and post somewhere visible.
Start, “The Story of Human Rights” from 0:43 and watch until the end. Gooru clip runs to 7:20. If you’re watching on YouTube, stop the video at 7:20.
The UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights: 15 min
Briefly re-cap the historical events in the video with students. Be sure to focus on the role of WWII in garnering widespread support for a universal definition and provision for human rights. At this point, if your class is not familiar with the process behind UN declarations, you might consider adding a mini lesson on this information.
As a class, read the UDHR and then ask students their reactions, using the following guiding questions:
- Who is covered by the UDHR?
- What groups aren’t listed? Do you think those groups are included in the protection of the Declaration?
- Are UN Declarations binding? I.e., are they law? What implications does this have for enforcement?
UDHR Analysis: 25 min
Divide students into small groups of 3 – 4. Give students the 30 articles in the UDHR, cut up individually, and explain to them that the UDHR is typically divided into three sections. Task students with choosing their own divisions of the UDHR to explain to the whole group what kinds of rights are covered under the UDHR. Students can divide the rights into any three groups they like, but the groups must be developed to draw on the commonalities of the rights within the groups that students develop.
After students determine the three groupings of rights in their groups, ask students to briefly share their reasoning with the entire class. Once groups have shared, explain to students that there are three basic categories of rights agreed upon by the international community: 1st Generation or Individual Rights (Articles 1—15), 2nd Generation (Articles 16—29), or Group Rights, and 3rd Generation (Article 30), or Solidarity Rights. 1st Generation Rights are those rights that apply to ever individual equally. This includes the rights to equal treatment under laws, regardless of age, sex, etc. 2nd Generation Rights are those rights that apply to each group equally, typically within the context of a governmental group. Finally, 3rd Generation Rights are those rights that ensure that each individual or group’s rights extends only so far as to not infringe upon the rights of another group. In other words, these rights ensure that we can all coexist peacefully.
Have a brief class discussion about why it would be important to set out rights for individuals, groups, and between individuals and groups.
Exit Ticket: 10 min
As an assessment, ask students to respond to the question, “Why did the UN need to develop an agreed-upon framework for human rights?”
The Materials You Need
Tooltip of materials
Tooltip of related stories
Tooltip of more video block
Tooltip of RSS content 3
Trump complains about rigged election in final debate
Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump met for what was likely their last public meeting before Nov. 8 on Wednesday in Las Vegas. Continue readingDebateDonald TrumpElection 2016Hillary ClintonPresidential Election
How teachers and students discuss the election in the classroom
Ahead of the third and final debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, educators around the country have found themselves struggling to teach and discuss this turbulent election in the classroom. Continue readingCivicsclassroomDebateDonald TrumpeducationElection 2016GovernmentHillary ClintonMaking the GradePresidential DebaterhetoricSocial Studiesteachers
Political commentators on presidential candidates’ behavior
Political columnists Mark Shields and David Brooks, who usually fall on different sides of the political spectrum, agreed on Friday that Donald Trump’s behavior in recent days has harmed his campaign. Continue readingDemocratic PartyDemocratsDonald TrumpelectionElection 2016Hillary Clintonmediapresidential raceRepublican PartyRepublicansShields and BrooksSocial Studies
Student Reporting Labs STEM Lesson Plan: Solar Cars and S’mores
In the PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Lab video, “Man on a mission: Climate change vs. man-made automobile” students learn how solar powered cars can help reduce our carbon footprint. Continue readingenergyengineeringenvironmentrenewable energyScienceSocial Studiessolar energysolar panelssolar powered carsSRLSTEMstudent reporting labsTechnology
Why lead went from household staple to dangerous toxin
Lead has been used in pipes and plumbing dating back to ancient times, but its role as a public health hazard only emerged in recent decades. Continue readingHealthleadScience