Explore TakingITGlobal's collection of lesson plans, research and data, videos, and educational games! Start by selecting a subject or topic:
This lesson plan will explore the concept of Human Rights beginning with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, its meaning and impact on the world. Students will learn how these principles have been realized in Ukraine as the result of the Orange Revolution.
When we look around the globe, we see that upheaval is everywhere. Each instance of unrest culminates in a set of outcomes, some of which are productive, some of which are the opposite. Where there is upheaval, the question of the reinforcement of human rights and human rights abuses inevitably rises. This was the case at the outset of what we now know as The Orange Revolution. This lesson plan will also highlight that with human rights come responsibilities and these rights and responsibilities may also be applied to aspects of citizenship. It is important for Canadian students to understand that these rights are not given lightly nor should they be taken for granted. Therefore it is crucial for Canadian students to understand that enormous sacrifices on the part of a people are often made to acquire these rights. Students will then research the recent political history in Ukraine and examine the conditions leading up to the Orange Revolution. They will discover how human rights issues had been dealt with in Ukraine prior to 2004 and contrast this with current conditions in that country. They will examine the roles of Canadian organizations in the time leading up to the Orange Revolution and during the aftermath and determine how necessary and effective these organizations and individuals were. In this lesson plan, students will draft their own version of a human rights manifesto for Ukraine as a result of the Orange Revolution.
Time Required: 2-4 classroom periods, 80 minute sessions (plus time allotted for homework)
• Read and understand the Universal Declaration of Human Rights;
• Apply human rights and responsibilities to the Ukraine during the Orange Revolution:
• Compare human rights issues in the Ukraine with those in Canada;
• Become aware of Canadians and Canadian organizations working in the field of human rights in the Ukraine;
• Research and understand the political history of the Ukraine;
• Experience through an online simulation how human rights play out during a political revolution;
• Draft their own version of a declaration of human rights;
• Hone critical thinking and analytical skills;
• Work cooperatively in teams.
“Mankind must put an end to war or war will put an end to mankind.”—John Fitzgerald Kennedy
Universal Declaration of Human Rights—www.un.org
On December 10, 1948, the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted and proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Following this historic proclamation, the General Assembly called upon all Member countries to promote the text of the Declaration and “to cause it to be disseminated, displayed, read and expounded principally in schools and other educational institutions, without distinction based on the political status of countries or territories.”
Do citizens have rights? If so, what are they?
“…The General Assembly proclaims This Universal Declaration of Human Rights as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end that every individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance, both among the peoples of Member States themselves and among the peoples of territories under their jurisdiction.”
Article 1: All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards on another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Article 3: Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.
Article 4: No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.
Article 5: No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
Article 6: Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.
Article 9: No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.
In all, there are 30 articles that comprise the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
With rights, however, come responsibilities:
• Understand and obey international laws;
• Participate in democratic political systems;
• Vote in elections;
• Allow others to enjoy their rights and freedoms;
• Appreciate and help preserve the world’s cultural heritage;
• Acquire knowledge and understanding of people and places around the world;
• Become stewards of the environment;
• Speak out against social injustice, discrimination and racism;
• Challenge institutional thinking when it abrogates human rights.
“We have learned to fly the air like birds and swim the sea like fish but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers.” –Martin Luther King Jr.
Step One—Teacher Directed Discussion
Begin with a general discussion about human rights and what that means. Have students familiarize themselves with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and discuss how this affects them when they are at home and when or if they should travel to another country. What do students know of conditions in Ukraine? Are they aware of the Orange Revolution? What do they know about it? Make a list of responses on the board.
Divide the class into teams of four or five students. Using the resource list contained within this resource and with supplementary research on the Internet, the teams will research the political situation in Ukraine and the Orange Revolution in particular. Each team will write up a summary of what they have discovered. Maximum length: two pages. The papers will be handed into the teacher for assessment.
At this point in the lesson, student teams should have a solid grounding on the circumstances in Ukraine during the Orange Revolution. Accompanying this resource is an online simulation that allows students to role play as the Orange Revolution unfolds. The game may be played individually and each team member should access the game at : (?) and work through the various levels. As each student plays the game, they should be thinking about the issue of human rights and how the game brings to light this issue and the conditions that exist in the Ukraine during that turbulent period.
Based on what they have learned in the online simulation, each team will develop a role play. In the role play, a Canadian organization, individual and/or institution must be represented as well as a Ukrainian of the same. The action of the role play should dramatize an incident or sequence of events that focuses on human rights in Ukraine during the Orange Revolution. Team members must determine each individual’s responsibilities and agree on the scenario for the role play. After the responsibilities have been noted, they will be assigned. For example, at least two people are required for the actual role play, plus a writer, director, etc. One person may be designated as a spokesperson to set up the role play and make a brief oral and/or visual presentation as to the choices made and what has been learned about human rights in Ukraine as compared to human rights in Canada. Each team will present their role play to the class.
Keeping the same teams, each will draft their own version of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It can be personal or specific as long as the team is in agreement. This “declaration” may assume any number of media forms such as a song, a poem, a play, a video, a Web site, a PowerPoint presentation, a collage etc. Each team will then present their “declaration” to the rest of the class.
Optional Extension Activities
Working individually or in teams, students will complete at least one of the following:
• Storyboard a human rights vignette based on what has been learned about the Orange Revolution focusing on Canadian involvement;
• Create a storybook for younger children that describes the importance of human rights and is set in Ukraine;
• Profile an organization or individual who worked prominently in Ukraine during the Orange Revolution focusing on their achievements;
• Organize a symposium on human rights and invite the school and local communities.
Evaluate the class teams on their oral reports:
Content: was the content/strategy clearly articulated and well thought out? Were the points the team made persuasive?
Presentation: was the presentation well-delivered, easy-to-hear and understand with good vocal quality, gestures, posture etc?
Effectiveness: were the points presented effective? How practical were the suggestions?
Teamwork: did the group work well and effectively together?
Assess students on their written work:
Grammatically correct with sentences properly structured, i.e., use of complex sentence structure and correct verb tenses, spelling and punctuation
Comprehension of the word/phrases—sentences clearly reveal the meaning
Ideas are expressed clearly
Information is well-organized
Evaluate the groups on their presentation work:
Is the information presented clearly?
What have they done to enhance the presentation?
Is the use of oral and visual communication effective?
Evaluate students on their presentation work:
Their contribution to group knowledge
The preparation undertaken for research and investigation
Articulation of goals, devising alternate solutions, selecting best alternatives
Setting personal goals for working effectively with others
Student Evaluation Questions Specific to Lesson Plans:
Define Human Rights, Good Governance and Democracy.
AFTER (Post- implementation)
Re-state your definition of Human Rights, Good Governance and Democracy with examples from the Orange Revolution unit, Canada’s International Development role and other examples illustrating your understanding.
• Do students understand how human rights issues are applied in Canada as opposed to the Ukraine?
• Are students aware of any specific Canadian organizations or individuals engaged in human rights activities in the Ukraine? Are they aware of Canadian organizations or individuals engaged in human rights activities in other countries in the world?
• Do students know of any specific actions undertaken by Canadian organizations or individuals in the Ukraine within the area of human rights?
Lesson content will support student knowledge and attitudes as they consider the following questions and experience the game simulation:
• How does Canada compare to the Ukraine when it comes to the application of human rights?
• Have human rights in the Ukraine improved as a result of Canada’s involvement in the democracy movement?
• What lessons can the Ukraine learn from Canada in the area of human rights?
• After the involvement of Canadian organizations and individuals in the
area of human rights, what specific actions did Canadians undertake?
• Students will name specific Canadian organizations and/or individuals
they can identify as having been active in the Ukraine in the area of human rights.
• Students will identify specific actions undertaken by Canadian
organizations and/or individuals in the Ukraine with regard to human rights.
• Computers with Internet access • Detailed map of Ukraine • Supplementary materials on Ukrainian history and culture • Writing and drawing materials
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.