At a Glance
LanguageEnglish — US
DurationOne 50-min class period
- Human & Civil Rights
About This Summative Assessment
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights has inspired many individuals and policymakers to work toward a better world. Eleanor Roosevelt insisted that the document was designed to serve as the foundation for future human rights protections and that, to serve this purpose, it needed to be brought to life through educational programs and instilled in the consciousness of citizens the world over. This summative assessment is rooted in Roosevelt’s belief that human rights begin in “small places, close to home—so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any map of the world. Yet they are the world of the individual person: The neighborhood he lives in; the school or college he attends; the factory, farm, or office where he works.” 1
For this project, students work in groups to come to consensus on five fundamental human rights that they believe every member of their school community—student or adult—is entitled to enjoy. Then, using a free infographic tool like Canva for Education or another template, they create their “My School’s Declaration of Human Rights” infographics and share these with members of their school community.
It is important that students understand the parameters, performance criteria, and grading standards and have multiple opportunities to practice and receive feedback to support their cognitive and emotional development as they read and discuss the text.
- 1 Eleanor Roosevelt, “Where Do Human Rights Begin?,” in Courage in a Dangerous World: The Political Writings of Eleanor Roosevelt, ed. Allida M. Black (New York: Columbia University Press, 1999), 190.
- What is a right?
- What rights should belong to every human being on earth?
This summative assessment is designed to fit into one 50-minute class period and includes:
- 3 activities
Preparing to Teach
Project the following passage from Eleanor Roosevelt’s speech “Where Do Human Rights Begin?” and read it out loud two times. Then have students choose a sentence or phrase that resonates with them, perhaps because it reflects who they are, helps them understand something about the world, or raises a question for them. They should explain why the phrase resonates in a short journal reflection and then share their ideas in pairs.
Eleanor Roosevelt believed that human rights begin in “small places, close to home—so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any map of the world. Yet they are the world of the individual person: The neighborhood he lives in; the school or college he attends; the factory, farm, or office where he works. Such are the places where every man, woman, and child seeks equal justice, equal opportunity, equal dignity without discrimination. Unless these rights have meaning there, they have little meaning anywhere. Without concerted citizen action to uphold them close to home, we shall look in vain for progress in the larger world.” 2
Then discuss the following questions in pairs and as a class:
- What meaning do human rights have for you in your everyday life?
- Are human rights valued and protected in your school community? What makes you say that?
- 2 Ibid.
- Divide the class into small groups and explain that they will be creating a “My School’s Declaration of Human Rights” infographic that, if adopted and followed, would help to ensure that their school is a “place where every man, woman, and child seeks equal justice, equal opportunity, and equal dignity without discrimination.”
- Instruct the groups to start by making a big list of all the rights they think everyone at their school—students, faculty, administrators, staff—is entitled to. Then have them place a star by the five that they think are the most important. They need to articulate why the right is important to them. This process might require some compromise and negotiation!
- Before students start to draft the text for their infographic, show two or three infographic models, which you can find online. Students can also consider the UDHR infographic they analyzed in the previous lesson.
- For each infographic, identify the purpose (what message the designer wants to convey). Then consider how the designer develops that message with text, images, color, fonts, spacing, etc. Invite students to make suggestions for how a designer could improve the infographic to make it even stronger.
- In their notebooks, have groups draft a preamble (three to five sentences) and the text for the five rights. When they are happy with their written statements, they should generate a list of possible images or symbols, as well as colors that they would like to incorporate into their final product.
- If your students have access to computers, they can use a free tool like Canva for Education or another template to create an infographic for their list of rights. Alternatively, they can create posters. For each right, they need a short explanation and a visual. Students should think about how to use text, images, color, and spacing to convey their ideas.
- Share final infographics in a gallery walk. “My School’s Declaration of Human Rights” infographics also make a powerful bulletin board or hallway display to educate and inspire others in the school.
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