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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.

How to develop attitudes?

  • The students begin to delve into the issues of children's rights by engaging in the various activities presented in the lessons. As the students expose themselves to situations in their home community and around the world, they will hopefully begin to develop empathy and respect for difficult situations. The lessons invite students to read, debate, write and follow up on specific violations of children's rights situations.

What important ideas are implied by the resource, but not taught explicitly?

  • The resource does not explicitly discuss the sustainability aspect of ensuring all children and by extension all people have their basic human rights met. In other words, "live simply, so others can simply live."
  • The lifestyle many of us in the western hemisphere enjoy, has negative impacts on individuals who live in less developed parts of the earth.  This demands action on our part to create more equity and opportunity for others.

Relevant Curriculum Units

The following tool will allow you to explore the relevant curriculum matches for this resource. To start, select a province listed below.

Themes Addressed

  • Human Rights (1)

    • Social Justice

Sustainability Education Principles

Principle Rating Explanation
Bias Minimization Good

A variety of perspectives have been included.

Bias Minimization: Presents as many different points of view as necessary to fairly address the issue(s).
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:

The resource effectively addresses multiple dimensions of problems and solutions. These should include the environmental, economic and social dimensions of the issue(s) being explored.

Respects Complexity Good

Effectively done in an age appropriate manner

Respects Complexity: The complexity of problems is respected. A systems-thinking approach is encouraged.
Action Experience 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.

Action Experience: Provides opportunities for authentic action experiences in which students can work to make positive change in their communities.
  • Poor = action activities poorly developed
  • Satisfactory = action opportunities are extensions instead of being integral to the main part of the activity
Action Skills Very Good
Action Skills: Explicitly teaches the skills needed for students to take effective action (e.g. letter-writing, consensus-building, etc.).
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: Actively encourages a personal affinity with non-humans and with Earth. For example, this may involve practical and respectful experiences out-of-doors.
Locally-Focused Good

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

Locally-Focused: Encourages learning that is locally-focused/made concrete in some way and is relevant to the lives of the learners.
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.

Interdisciplinary and Multidisciplinary Learning Satisfactory

The lesson essentially focuses on social studies outcomes.

Interdisciplinary and Multidisciplinary Learning: Multidisciplinary= addresses a number of different subjects Interdisciplinary= integrated approach that blurs subject lines Good: The resource provides opportunities for learning in a number of traditional 'subject' areas (eg. Language Arts, Science, Math, Art, etc.). Very Good: The resource takes an integrated approach to teaching that blurs the lines between subject boundaries.
Discovery Learning Good
Discovery Learning:

Learning activities are constructed so that students discover and build knowledge for themselves and develop largely on their own an understanding of concepts, principles and relationships. They often do this by wrestling with questions, and/or solving problems by exploring their environment, and/or physically manipulating objects and/or performing experiments.

  • Satisfactory = Students are provided with intriguing questions, materials to use & some direction on how to find answers. The learning involves unique experience & provides some opportunity for an 'ah-hah' event
  • Good = Students are provided with intriguing questions, materials to use, & make their own decisions on how to find answers. The learning involves unique experience & provides definite opportunity for an 'ah-hah' event.
  • Very Good = Students choose what questions to investigate as well as the materials/strategies to use to answer them.
Values Clarification Good

This is a definite strength of the resource.

Values Clarification: Students are explicitly provided with opportunities to identify, clarify and express their own beliefs/values.
  • Poor = Students are not explicitly given an opportunity to clarify their own values.
  • Satisfactory = Students are given a formal opportunity to clarify their own values. The range of perspectives in the resource is limited, therefore, students do not have an appropriate amount of information to clarify their own values.
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 learning styles/different intelligences. They teach to both cognitive and affective domains. Accommodations are suggested for people with learning difficulties.
Experiential Learning Good
Experiential Learning: Direct, authentic experiences are used.
  • Satisfactory = simulation
  • Good = authentic experience
  • Very Good = authentic experience related to the primary goal of the lesson
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 used. Case studies are thorough descriptions of real events in real situations that can be used to examine 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.