by: Clair Thomas

Human Rights Violations

Grades 5-8



Students will be able to write a definition of human rights and give examples of these rights.


- paper and pen

- Internet access: (;;


- poster board

- markers, magazines, glue


1. Anticipatory set: Ask the students, "How would you feel if someone told you that they were going to decide what religion you were? What if you were arrested for having your own individual beliefs? What if they told you could not have a belief?"

2. Explain to the students, " In America we all have certain rights, but that is not the case in every country. Even sometimes our rights are violated in America. We have talked about the Civil War and what that meant for the slaves and their freedoms, but not all countries honor these freedoms and rights we call human rights."

3. Continue the discussion with, "Today we are going to begin talking more in detail about human rights and human rights violations. This is important so you are all aware of the rights we all possess as human beings and how we deserve to live and be treated."

4. Have the students explain their definitions of human rights. Next, have them look up definitions on the Internet and in the class dictionaries (they will need to work in pairs on the computers). With this new knowledge, have the students discuss what their new definitions of human rights are. List the traits students find important on the board and then have students assist in deciding a classroom definition of human rights. Discuss examples of human rights. Reinforce to the students that a violation of human rights is not honoring people's rights, in some way.

5. Pass one piece of poster board to each base group. Using the poster board, markers, magazine and glue, have each group make a poster illustrating the classroom's definition of human rights using pictures of various examples of human rights (e.g., people working, at a church, in court etc.).

6. Hang the posters around the classroom and tell students that these need to be honored at all times, in and out of the class.

7. Have each child then write in their journals the classroom definition of human rights and some examples of these rights.


Check journals for students' definition of human rights and specific examples of human rights.