By: Heather Payne

Daruma-San Goals

Grades 1-2


Students will create a Daruma-san to help them set goals to act in ways to support Human Rights.

Materials: A copy of the Daruma-san drawing for each student, crayons, scissors


1. Does anyone know the meaning of the word discrimination? How about the meaning of the word self esteem? Discrimination is to give unfavorable treatment to someone because of some characteristic. Self esteem refers to the good opinion of oneself. These words go hand in hand with our Human Rights study, so if we were to ask ourselves what we could do to support Human Rights what are some ideas that you have?

2. We have been learning about Human Rights. Today we are going to learn more about these rights, and what we can do to support human rights every day in our own lives. Everybody in our class, school, and world has different tastes and opinions. If one of your friends likes to eat hot dogs, but you do not, you still respect your friend's choice because they have the right to be different. Look around the room. Everybody looks differently. People have different colors of hair or skin. Some children may be short or tall. People are unique and different and deserve respect despite their looks. Every person in our school and on this Earth is important. They need to be respected and have rights.

3. I would like each student to give a suggestion about what we could do here at school or at home that would show respect for other people. We could be respectful of people and not make fun of them because they look differently from you or me. We can try to understand other people's points of view when it is different from our own. We can do many things to support Human Rights. Who has a suggestion? I will write these suggestions on the board.

4. Next, to practice our goal setting with Human Rights we will make a Daruma-san. First, I will explain what a Daruma-san stands for. In Japan, Drama is a nickname for a Buddhist priest from India. San means respect. The folk tale states that Drama sat with his legs and arms crossed thinking about important problems. Some people claim that he sat for nine years, he sat so long that he lost the use of his arms and legs. Today, in Japan the Daruma-san stands for the spirit of courage and determination. A small round doll represents him. He is constructed so no matter how we tip him he bobs back upright. A saying goes along with the Daruma-san it as follows:

Seven times you may fall


Eight times

You rise up again

Does anyone know what this saying means? Who can explain it to us? A Daruma-san is a way to set a goal. It reminds us of our goal and to keep trying to accomplish that goal. A way that they Daruma-san reminds us of our goal that we set is by the eyes. One eye is colored in when the goal is set. The second eye is colored in when the goal is completed.

5. Give each student a copy of the Drama outline. First, each student should cutout the outline of the Drama. Have each student color their Drama any way that they would like, leaving the eyes blank. Have each student think of a goal that they could do to support Human Rights in their lives. If you have any trouble thinking of a goal look back at the list that we made on the board. Then each student will write that goal on the back of the doll. Have the students color in one eye representing the goal that they have just made. The Daruma-sans should be displayed around the room to remind the children of the goals that they have made. They are encouraged to color in the other eye of the Daruma-san when they have reached their goal.

6. Visit for other Human Rights activities.


The children will create their own Daruma-san with one eye colored in to represent that they have set a goal. The children will have written their goal on the backside of their Daruma-san to prove that they understood how to write a goal for themselves and what they can do to be a Human Rights supporter.

Source: Adapted from Lindquist, T. (2002). Seeing the whole through Social Studies. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.