Human Rights Lesson Plans
- Human Rights Lesson Plans
- "Pressing" Issues in Zimbabwe: Exploring Freedom of the Press (Grades 6-12)
This lesson allows students to explore the nature of freedom of the press through examining a news story about the capture and torture of journalists in Zimbabwe and by participating in a round-table discussion of the issues. Students research an African country of their choice, and will then create timelines detailing significant events in that country's government and attitudes about the press over the course of the 20th century.
- Bringing Peace to the Balkans, Piece by Piece (Grades 6-12)
The New York Times on the Web's Learning Network's special news package, "Kosovo: A Bitter Struggle in a Land of Strife," is a rich resource of articles, editorial pieces, photos, maps, and other features from The New York Times' coverage of Kosovo. Today's lesson plan features multiple suggestions for using this tremendous resource in your classroom.
- Challenging Communism in China: A Global History Lesson Plan (Grades 6-12)
Students will read and discuss the article, "Chinese Dissidents Issue a Sharp Challenge to the Government" on pro-democratic manifestos that were recently written in China, write a journal entry on "what human rights means to them," report on several pro-democratic demonstrations that have taken place in China during the last decade and interpret one of the original manifestos.
- Giving Without Borders: Examining the Work of Doctors Without Borders (Grades 6-12)
In this lesson, students assess the mission, accomplishments and global impact of Doctors Without Borders, the medical relief organization awarded the 1999 Nobel Peace Prize. Students analyze stories of recent work done by the organization in different countries around the world, focusing on why the group was present in each case, the various obstacles that they had to overcome and the difference that their presence made in each country and to the people they helped.
- Riot, Revolution and Reform Revisiting the Tiananmen Square Massacre (Grades 6-12)
Students examine the student protests and subsequent massacre at Tiananmen Square in 1989 and the current petition by victims' family members to open a criminal investigation of the responsible officials. After reading and discussing two New York Times articles about the events, one from 1989 and one from 1999, students will research the perspective of either a student protester or government official and write a research-based diary entry relaying this person's point of view.
- Taking the Human Rights Temperature of Your School
This activity challenges participants to evaluate their school's human rights climate using criteria derived from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The subsequent discussion builds towards identifying areas of particular concern and developing an action plan to begin addressing them. This resource was developed by Kristi Rudelius-Palmer and David Shiman.
- The Fight for Human Rights: Understanding the Quest to Protect Human Rights (Grades 6-12)
In this lesson, students explore the concept of human rights by developing and defending their own "Bills of Human Rights" and by writing a reflective essay that compares their notions of human rights and the protection of them to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
- When Human Rights are Wronged: Designing a "Bill of Human Rights" (Grades 6-12)
In this lesson, students explore the concept of human rights by examining the arresting of prominent Chinese dissidents who are members of the China Democratic Party. Students develop and defend their own "Bill of Human Rights" and write a reflective essay comparing their declarations to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
- Whose Rights are Right? A Lesson About Turmoil in East Timor (Grades 6-12)
Students consider the concept of "human rights" in relation to the current conditions and history of East Timor.
- World Trade-Offs: Exploring the Effects of World Trade on Your City (Grades 6-12)
In this lesson, students assess how global trade impacts the businesses and industries of their city. Students first explore, in small groups, the labor, agribusiness, environment and human rights issues protested throughout the first week of December 1999 during the WTO meeting in Seattle. Students then develop questions about their assigned issues and the impact of world trade in general, interview people at related local businesses and industries, and write newspaper articles which incorporate all of the learning experiences from this lesson.