By: Krista Neil

Creating NEW Human Rights

Grades 5-9

Objectives: Given a class made list of human rights for a new planet, students will write a personal journal entry describing two to four factors that affect the creation of human rights.

Materials: TV, VCR, Video (Armageddon or Deep Impact), 4-5 pieces of chart paper, permanent marker(s), journal writing paper, pencils, parent permission slips to show short video clip rated PG-13 for disaster action.


1. Introduce the video by saying: What if the world were to end this way....

Then play one of three scenes:

*Deep Impact- The scene where the comet hits the ocean, and a title wave starts engulfing certain cities.

*Armageddon- The meteor shower scene in the beginning.

*Armageddon- The scene later in the movie where Paris gets destroyed.

2. We have been studying about the human rights our country has, but I have some bad news, this world is about to end. The good news is my friend has a spaceship, and it is going to take us to a new planet. Have the children help you move the desks to the edge of the classroom, and take a seat on the floor, or spaceship.

3. Get two pieces of chart paper. On the first one have the children brainstorm ideas, issues, and questions they have for setting up a new country.

4. On the second piece of chart paper generate a list of rights that the students would like to have when they get to their new home.

Emergency Questions (in case they draw a blank):

A. What will you do if a physically or mentally challenged child is born in your new world?

B. What will you do if some people decide they want to start a new religion?

C. If someone goes against government what will be their punishment? (Label the crime, and then the punishment.)

5. Identify any rights on the list of rights the students would like to have on their new plant found in our society's current human rights. Ask the students why these rights are important to them. List different things that the students say that affect the creation of human rights. Go over these with them when you are finished. The students could say things like those are my values/beliefs, that is how our government does things, that is dignified/the right thing to do, etc. This list could be very specific, and it will help the students when they go to write their journal entry.

6. Ask the children to think about the situations listed below, they may be used in a class discussion if time is available:

A. Imagine a country where everyone believes that the king is always right, and that no one should question the king's decisions or actions. If this were their world view, what would the students do if the king took away their house because he was angry at them, or put them in jail because they suggested that he might be wrong? How would the rest of the country view the king's actions? How would this kind of world view affect human rights?

B. What if you came from a country where the newspapers only wrote stories that were untrue or showed only the government's view? How would you like to define the right to free speech?

7. Wrap up by having the students write a journal entry on human rights.


Evaluate student journals for factors affecting the creation of human rights. Make sure that they have include two to four thing in the journal entry.