Lesson Plans – Human Rights

Competing Visions of Human Rights: Questions for US Policy
Source: The Choices Program
A full curriculum that uses readings, case studies, and primary sources to help students examine the evolving role that human rights has played in international politics and explore the current debate on U.S. human rights policy.
Grade Level: high school
Subject Area: social studies, US History, current events


Fundamental Freedoms: Eleanor Roosevelt and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Source: Facing History and Ourselves
Curriculum including primary documents, connecting questions to stimulate discussion, photographs, maps, political cartoons.
Grade Level: high school


Getting Ready to Learn about Human Rights
Source: Expeditionary Learning, 2013
Two-lesson unit that engages in a close reading and paraphrase of key UDHR Articles so that all words and concepts are understood.
Grade Level: upper elementary
Subject Area: social studies, language arts


Human Rights in the US: The People behind the Statistics
Source: Advocates for Human Rights
Lesson that using puts a human face on the violation of human rights in the USA.
Grade Level: high school
Subject Area: social studies


Human Rights: Whose Rights Are Right?
Source: Global Perspectives
Engages students in aspects of “rights” guaranteed to all human beings. Compares and contrasts rights as they exist in various global documentary sources and discusses their relevance and application in contemporary situations.
Grade Level: high school
Subject Area: social studies


I Have a Right to …

Source: BBC World Service
A collection of case studies that illustrate specific human rights with contemporary examples.
Grade Level: high school
Subject Area: social studies, current events, geography


The Interdependence of Rights
Source: Human Rights: Yes!, 2012
Explores the interdependence of rights using an Effects Cascade. This is Exercise #2 in Part IV, Section 2.
Grade Level: middle school – adult
Subject Area: social studies


Raising Children with Roots, Rights, and Responsibilities: Celebrating the Convention on the Rights of the Child

Authors: Lori DuPont, Joanne Foley, and Annette Gagliardi
Source: University of Minnesota Human Rights Resource Center, 1999
Sessions for pre-school children and their parents to learn about basic human rights and responsibilities through creative activities, games, and songs.
Grade Level: pre-school – kindergarten


Rights Auction
Source: Close Up Foundation
Compares and evaluates US Constitutional Rights and human rights in the UDHR.
Grade Level: high school
Subject Area: social studies, government


Teaching Human Rights

Author: David Shiman
Publisher: Center for Teaching International Relations, 1993
The UDHR provides a useful framework for organizing this collection of curriculum activities on human rights. Can serve either as the core on human rights or a resource from which teachers can draw specific activities to integrate into existing curricula.
Price: About $30
Grade Level: middle – high school
Subject Area: social studies, government


Where Do You Stand?
Publisher: Amnesty International
Lesson plan with interactive game that explores the meaning and scope of “human rights” and introduces the UDHR with an interactive game.
Grade Level: high school
Subject Area: social studies, government


The World as It Could Be
Publisher: The World as It Could Be
Full curriculum that uses the creative arts to deepen learning about the UDHR and provide opportunities for the youth to, in turn, teach their peers and adults about the importance of manifesting the words of the UDHR.  Lesson plans are designed to encourage a progression of learning that starts with objective knowledge, moves to personal connection to both human rights concepts and issues, and then engagement to play a role in advancing UDHR principles.
Grade Level: middle – high school
Subject Area: social studies, language arts, drama, music