Get Started - Explore Human Rights
Intro to the Universal Declaration
of Human Rights
After this lesson, students will be able to:
- Evaluate interpretations of articles of the UDHR
- Make connections between the UDHR and the world
Once an understanding of the framework of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights has been established, this lesson guides students toward interpreting what these rights mean for themselves and others.
- How can we better understand the articles in the UDHR?
- How does viewing an interpretation enhance and/or alter meaning?
- How does viewing an interpretation enhance and/or alter understanding?
Recommended Time:120 minutes
Common Core State Standards:
- Internet access and projection
- A computer and headphones for each student
- Explain that many people have used art, photography and film to create interpretations of the UDHR. One organization, Youth for Human Rights, created a series of Public Service Announcements targeted for an audience of children and teenagers. They made a PSA for each of the 30 Rights, trying to make the UDHR and each individual right connect to this specific audience.
- Show the first video, “Born Free and Equal” to the whole class and model a written response, using the following prompts provided to students:
- Note the article number and name.
- Write a brief description of the video itself.
- Write an individual response considering what the video made you think, how it made you feel and how the video impacted your understanding of the article in any way.
- Students independently watch the remaining PSAs, being critical viewers. As they watch the films, they keep track of their thinking, using the structure modeled by the teacher.
- Using the following questions to guide them, students discuss their responses to the videos in small groups.
- Which of the videos did you find to have the greatest impact? Why?
- Which of the videos did you find to have the least impact? Why?
- Which of the videos changed your understanding of particular articles? Why?
- Which of the Rights seems most important to you?
- Which of the Rights seems to be most violated – from what you know – around the world?
- Which of the Rights seems to be most protected?
- Each small group will share out with the whole class. Consider collecting class discussion points to be posted in the classroom.