By Emily Holmes

It's My Right!

Grades 3-6


1. Students will be able to identify several human rights by getting into groups and discussing the Universal Declaration of Human Rights list.

2. Students will be able to demonstrate their understanding of human rights by writing to a human rights activist explaining how they feel towards a certain human rights issue.


*Universal Declaration of Human Rights list (

* Video-Ruby Bridges



1. Show a short clip from Ruby Bridges (show the part where Ruby is going through the mob she stops to pray for them) and discuss with students their feelings of what they see going on in the video. What human rights do they notice?

2. Lead a discussion with the students: Does anyone know what some of our human rights are? What are human rights? Why are they important for us? Are they just for adults or do they apply to children also?

3. Hand out to students a copy of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights list and see how many they came up with that are on the list.

4. Have students get in groups of four and discuss the different human rights listed on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Have the students talk about some of the different human rights and how they feel about them. Then have them come up with five that they think are the most important. Allow time for them to share their thoughts with the class.

5. Have students look up on the Internet to research some different human rights activists. Once they have found someone they are interested in, have them write a letter to that person explaining why they are taking the time to do so. The letter should contain their feelings about that human right and why they think it is important. They should also include why they chose that particular activist to write a letter to. When the students are done writing their letters, have them swap with a classmate for peer editing. This way, the students will learn more about the different activists by reading what their classmates wrote.


1. While students are discussing the human rights in their groups, pay close attention to the conversations that are going on. Listen for their reasons about why they think certain human rights are more important than others. When the groups share their thoughts and ideas with the class, you will be able to assess whether they really put some thought into their discussions or not.

2. Have students turn in their letters they wrote to a human rights activist and read through them. Make sure they wrote about a specific human rights topic, that they addressed why they are writing the letter, and why they think that human right is important.