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February 2, 2014

Human rights and the Olympic Games part 4: Sochi 2014 and LGBT rights part 2

Introduction

Use this lesson to explain the human rights debate around LGBT rights and the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Students will analyze the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and determine whether or not LGBT people are protected under the provisions of the UDHR. Finally, students will evaluate and argue the merits of extending or not extending provisions of the UDHR for the LGBT community. This is part two of a two-part lesson.

Subjects

Social studies, human rights, geography, politics

Estimated Time

60 Minutes

Grade Level

Middle and high school

Materials

Warm Up Activity

Structured Academic Controversy planning time: 10 min

Give each group time to meet with their partner in order to sketch out the main points of their argument, after which the debate will begin.

Main Activities

Structured Academic Controversy Debate: 20 min

Directions:

  • Each pair of students should be sitting in desks touching and facing the students of the opposing viewpoint for the debate.
  • Quickly review the SAC student procedures. Tell students that they must take note on the opposing viewpoint on their note-taking sheet as the arguments are being made.
  • Instruct one side to begin the argument.
  • All the groups in the room will be discussing at the same time, so teacher should walk around from group to group observing and directing if necessary.
Fishbowl deliberation, 15 min

After about 20 minutes, stop the debates and randomly invite 6-8 students into a “fishbowl” discussion at the front of the room. In a “fishbowl,” students discuss a question amongst one another while the rest of the class observes. Whenever someone outside the fishbowl wants to enter the discussion, they may do so at any time by walking up and tapping a participant who has already spoken on the shoulder. That person must give up their seat to the new participant and so they can join the discussion.

The purpose of this fishbowl discussion is to deliberate and come to an agreement about whether or not the UDHR should include provisions directly protecting the rights of LGBT people. Here, students do not have to take the position they held in the debate. Instead, the group should work to try to come to a consensus on the question.

If the discussion stagnates or the comments and arguments are too generic, the teacher may pose some questions to stimulate the conversation:

  • Russian officials would (and have) argued that LGBT people do not have to worry about being prosecuted, as long as they do not promote LGBT “lifestyles” in front of minors. Is this a fair concession? Would it be in line with UDHR provisions? Why or why not?
  • How can the UN go about adding to the UDHR? Are there human rights abuses against the LGBT community that merit doing so either within this Olympic games or otherwise?
  • Should UN Declarations “trump” the laws of the host country? If so, who should be in charge of enforcement?
  • Are the Olympic Games an appropriate place for political protest?
Debrief and Reflection, 15 min 

Ask students some of the following questions and discuss as a class:

  • What are some of the things that you learned about the Olympics and political protest?
  • Is your view of LGBT rights in comparison with human rights different after completing the Structured Academic Controversy?
  • Does the UN have any power to enforce Declarations like the UDHR?
  • Tags:

  • Common Core Standards

    Tooltip of standarts

    Relevant National Standards:
    • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.7.1 Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence.
    • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.8.1 Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence.
    • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.1 Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.
    • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.11-12.1 Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.
    • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.7.2 Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content.
    • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.8.2 Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content.
    • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.2 Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas, concepts, and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.
    • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.11-12.2 Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas, concepts, and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.
    • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.7.3 Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, relevant descriptive details, and well-structured event sequences.
    • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.8.3 Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, relevant descriptive details, and well-structured event sequences.
    • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.3 Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences.
    • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.11-12.3 Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences. [
    • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.7.1 Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 7 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.
    • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.8.1 Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 8 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.
    • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.1 Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 9–10 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
    • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.11-12.1 Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 11–12 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.

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