By Gen Burton 

Classroom Charter

Grades 3 and up

Objectives:

Students will be able to compare and contrast rights and responsibilities in a written paragraph.

Students will create a charter of rights to be applied in the classroom, and be able to identify four of those rights in written form.

Students will be able to recall in writing several of the universal human rights.

Materials:

*book (The Universal Declaration of Human Rights&emdash;An Adaptation for Children).

*poster paper

*marker

Procedures:

1. If I told you that you weren't allowed to have a lunch break at school, how would that make you feel? (Would you feel cheated?)

2. When I say that you have the "right" to a lunch break, what do I mean? What is a right? Is a right made to be fair? Just as you have the right to a lunch break, you also have the right to many other things. Discuss with the students other rights that we are entitled to.

3. Today we are going to learn about some of the rights that we have as humans. These rights are not just for our country, but every country.

4. Read The Universal Declaration of Human Rights&emdash;An Adaptation for Children.

5. Reiterate what was said in the book. What were some of the rights that stood out to you? Do you remember the book saying that "people have duties towards the place where they live, and towards other people who live there with them"? With rights, comes responsibility. What does it mean to be responsible? What is the difference between a right and responsibility? A right is the privilege granted and a responsibility is what you have to do to qualify for that right. Answers will vary.

6. With that in mind, we are going to create a charter, our own official document of rights for the classroom. Now remember, just as this document remains in the classroom, so do the rights!

7. Brainstorm on the board, rights the students would like to have in the classroom. Next, have them choose the top ten rights they would like to implement. Write these rights on a poster to be hung in the classroom.

8. As said before, with a right come a responsibility, but also a consequence, if not followed. For each right, develop a responsibility, and a consequence. For example, students have the right to use markers. Their responsibility could be to take care of them (putting the lids on etc.…), and put the markers back in the proper place. The consequence could be a temporary loss of use, if responsibilities are not fulfilled.

9. Review the charter, and emphasize the importance of classroom application only!

Evaluation:

Students will fill out a two-fold booklet to test their knowledge of what was covered in class. On the front page students will identify at least five of the Universal Rights. Inside on the left, students will list four classroom rights from the class charter that was created. On the right side, students will write a paragraph of the difference between "responsibility" versus "rights". Have them put their name on the back and turn in their booklet for teacher evaluation.

 

 

 

 

Resources

Rocha, R. & Roth, O. (1989). The Universal Declaration of Human Rights-An Adaptation for Children. United Nations Publication: Brazil.