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Children's Rights

Global Citizenship and Literacy

Elementary, Middle

Description

The students use a variety of resources to become familiar with some of the issues around Children's Rights including the book For Every Child by Caroling Castle, selected articles from the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, Charles' Story and a quotation from Liam O'Neill. The resource engages the students in the following activities related to the issue of Children's Rights:

  • Reading, comparing, and evaluating arguments and discussions, such as a letter to the press, articles, discussion of issues in books, etc.
  • Beginning to understand how arguments are presented, gathering data, etc.
  • Beginning to compose persuasive writing.
  • To present a point of view in writing.
  • Students will become familiar and utilize the The Convention on the Rights of the Child. (Included in the appendix of the resource).
  • Students will be invited to design a poster illustrating the A - Z of Children's Rights. The students are encouraged to have each letter represent one or part of one of the articles.
  • As a culminating activity, the students are encouraged to engage in a letter writing campaign to address a particular issues that has become relevant to them.

General Assessment

Strengths

  • This resource provides excellent background information for  students and teachers (especially the websites and book references).
  • The resource provides authentic opportunities for the students to participate in an action project, namely participating in a letter-writing campaign based on research of situations where children's rights are not a reality.
  • The students are exposed to difficult situations which may be far beyond their own life experience. This begins to foster empathy and respect in the students for the diverse human experiences in our world, in this case specifically for the children.
  • This resource tackles themes of children's rights issues both in far away settings and also close by. This provides the opportunity to make the learning experience comparative and locally focused.
  • The learning experience in this resource is based on an inquiry model giving students the autonomy and opportunity to direct the project based on their particular interests.

Weaknesses

  • Some of the references and resources are specific to Britain. This is especially true of the organizations referenced in the resource.
  • This resource does not lend itself to an out-of-doors experience.
  • The suggested assessment strategies are not clearly defined in the resource.

What skills does this resource explicitly teach?

  • The students will have the opportunity to practice skills relating to persuasive writing and present their point of view to their peers. They will also be invited to compose a letter or script with their specific point of view to the reader.
  • The students will engage in activities asking them to reflect on what kind of basic rights individuals should have around the world, especially children.
  • The students will identify areas or individuals who lack these basic rights and will write a persuasive letter in an attempt to alleviate the difficult situation for these individuals. 

Relevant Curriculum Units

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Themes Addressed

  • Human Rights (1)

    • Social Justice

Sustainability Education Principles

Principle Rating Explanation
Consideration of Alternative Perspectives Good

A variety of perspectives have been included.

Consideration of Alternative Perspectives:

Satisfactory- absence of bias towards any one point of view

Good- students consider different points of view regarding issues, problems discussed

Very good- based on the consideration of different views, students form opinions and  take an informed position

Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions Satisfactory

Teachers will be required to incorporate environmental connections to the issue of social justice.

Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions:

Effectively addresses the environmental, economic and social dimensions of the issue(s) being explored.

  •  Satisfactory: resource supports the examination of  these dimensions
  • Good:  resource explicitly examines the interplay of these dimensions
  • Very Good:  a systems-thinking approach is encouraged to examine these three dimensions
Respects Complexity Good

Effectively done in an age appropriate manner

Respects Complexity:

The complexity of the problems/issues being discussed is respected

Acting on Learning Satisfactory

 A letter-writing action plan is included as a culminating activity.  Suggested targets are UK-based and will require re-routing by the teacher.

Acting on Learning:

Learning moves from understanding  issues  to working towards positive change — in personal lifestyle, in school, in the community,  or for the planet

  •  Satisfactory: action opportunities are included as extensions 
  • Good: action opportunities are core components of the resource
  • Very Good: action opportunities for students are well supported and intended to result in observable, positive change
Values Education Good

This is a definite strength of the resource.

Values Education:

Students are explicitly provided with opportunities to identify, clarify and express their own beliefs/values.

Empathy & Respect for Humans Good

This element is a definite strength of the resource.

Empathy & Respect for Humans: Empathy and respect are fostered for diverse groups of humans (including different genders, ethnic groups, sexual preferences, etc.).
Personal Affinity with Earth Poor/Not considered
  • The focus of this resource is human as opposed to non-human connections
Personal Affinity with Earth:

Encourages a personal affinity with -the natural world.  

  •  Satisfactory:   connection is made to the natural world
  • Good:  fosters appreciation/concern for the natural world
  • Very Good:  fosters stewardship though practical and respectful experiences out-of-doors 
Locally-Focused Learning Good

The effective use of simulation and case studies helps make the learning concrete.

Locally-Focused Learning:

Includes learning experiences that take advantage of issues/elements within the local community. 

  •  Satisfactory: learning is made relevant to the lives of the learners
  • Good: learning is made relevant and has a local focus
  • Very Good: learning is made relevant, local and takes place ‘outside’ , in the community 
Past, Present & Future Good
Past, Present & Future: Promotes an understanding of the past, a sense of the present, and a positive vision for the future.

Pedagogical Approaches

Principle Rating Explanation
Open-Ended Instruction Good
Open-Ended Instruction :

Lessons are structured so that multiple/complex answers are possible; students are not steered toward one 'right' answer.

Integrated Learning Satisfactory

The lesson essentially focuses on social studies outcomes.

Integrated Learning:

Learning brings together content and skills  from more than one  subject area

  •  Satisfactory: content from a number of different  subject areas is readily identifiable
  • Good:  resource is appropriate for use in more than one subject area
  • Very Good:  the lines between subjects are blurred 
Inquiry Learning Good
Inquiry Learning:

Learning is directed by questions, problems, or challenges that students work to address.   

  •  Satisfactory: Students are provided with questions/problems to solve and some direction on how to arrive at solutions.
  • Good: students, assisted by the teacher clarify the question(s) to ask and the process to follow to arrive at solutions.  Sometimes referred to as Guided Inquiry
  • Very Good:  students generate the questions and assume much of the responsibility for how to solve them.  . Sometimes referred to as self-directed learning.

 

Differentiated Instruction Good

The resource incorporates a range of different learning activities that address both cognitive and affective domains.

Differentiated Instruction:

Activities address a range of student learning styles, abilities and readiness.

  •  Satisfactory:  includes a variety of instructional approaches
  • Good: addresses  the needs of visual, auditory &  kinesthetic learners
  • Very Good: also includes strategies for learners with difficulties
Experiential Learning Good
Experiential Learning:

Authentic learning experiences are provided

  •  Satisfactory: learning is made concrete. Working with real objects,  using real sources of information
  • Good: learning takes place in a real-world context. Simulation, mentorship
  • Very good: learning provides experience beyond the classroom.  Addressing real world issues and problems 
Cooperative Learning Good
Cooperative Learning: Group and cooperative learning strategies are a priority.
  • Satisfactory = students work in groups
  • Good = cooperative learning skills are explicitly taught and practiced
  • Very Good = cooperative learning skills are explicitly taught, practiced and assessed
Assessment & Evaluation Satisfactory
  • The assessment strategies are not clearly defined. They seem be implied as a process of the letter writing but not clearly followed up for the teacher or as a self-reflection activity for the students.
Assessment & Evaluation: Tools are provided that help students and teachers to capture formative and summative information about students' learning and performance. These tools may include reflection questions, checklists, rubrics, etc.
Peer Teaching Satisfactory
Peer Teaching: Provides opportunities for students to actively present their knowledge and skills to peers and/or act as teachers and mentors.
  • Satisfactory = incidental teaching that arises from cooperative learning, presentations, etc.
  • Good or Very Good = an opportunity is intentionally created to empower students to teach other students/community members. The audience is somehow reliant on the students' teaching (students are not simply ‘presenting')
Case Studies Very Good

This is another strength of the resource.

Case Studies:

Relevant case studies are included.  Case studies are thorough descriptions of real events from real situations that students use to explore  concepts in an authentic context.

Locus of Control Good
Locus of Control: Meaningful opportunities are provided for students to choose elements of program content, the medium in which they wish to work, and/or to go deeper into a chosen issue.