Lesson 1
Get Started - Explore Human Rights

Introduction to the Convention on the Rights of the Child


After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Make connections between the CRC and themselves
  • Make connections between the CRC and the world


The Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) is presented as a foundation for students’ awareness and understanding of children’s rights.

Guiding Questions:

  • What is the Convention on the Rights of the Child?
  • What rights are granted under the CRC?
  • How do these rights apply to me?

Recommended Time:

45 minutes

The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) is the most widely ratified human rights treaty. The CRC establishes a comprehensive set of goals for individual nations to achieve on behalf of their children.  The unprecedented acceptance of the Convention clearly shows a wide global commitment to advancing children’s rights.  The CRC has been ratified by 196 countries so far. More information about the CRC can be found here and here.


Common Core State Standards:












Summary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child



Lesson Design:

  • Explain that in order to understand issues that children face around the world, it is important to understand the rights guaranteed by the Convention on the Rights of the Child.


  • Distribute copies of the CRC and model ways to respond through think-aloud responses such as:
  1. “I was surprised to read article 31 that states, ‘children have a right to play and rest’.
  2. “I wonder, are there places where children are deprived of play and rest time? And how can this right be guaranteed?”


  • Ask students to take time to read the CRC, mark it up, and make comments about what they notice, what questions they have, and what their thoughts are about these rights.   Have them consider if there are any other rights that are not included that they think should be.
  • Ask students to think about the rights guaranteed by the CRC, and consider how these rights impact their own lives.  Continue the discussion by making lists of people in their lives, as well as people they have heard of, whose rights are being violated.  Ask students to also list places where they think these rights may not be guaranteed.
  • Discuss the implications of being denied or allowed these rights and how that might impact one’s life.
  • As a possible extension activity, introduce the class to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights with this lesson.