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Focus question 2: Where did human rights come from?

ESL activities

Teacher instructions

Conduct all activities.

Activity 1 | Activity 2 | Activity 3

Activity 1: The French Revolution and the defining of human rights

Vocabulary: universal human rights, Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen (1789), declaration, constitution, nobility, privileges, taxes, clergy, exploit, legal representation, torture, traditional obligations, peasants, revolution.

  • Explain 'France before the Revolution of 1789', instead of reading aloud. A pyramid diagram with simple graphics for each layer of society would assist comprehension.
  • Conduct the identification and listing in 1a as a whole-class activity. Students copy the list in their workbooks.
  • Prepare a simplified version of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen using language similar to that in the 'Simplified version of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights'. Distribute and discuss the Declaration with the class.
  • Students complete 1b in small groups.
  • Conduct parts 1c and 1d as a whole class discussion.

Activity 2: Comparing rights defined in the past with rights today

Vocabulary: United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), violate, ratify, pledge, affirm, dignity, worth, common standard. Stories of Democracy

  • Explain the United Nations.
  • Students undertake 2a in small groups. Divide the number of articles among the groups.
  • Conduct 2b and 2c as a class discussion, recording the main differences on the board.
  • Conduct 2d as described, with ESL learners working in pairs.

Activity 3: Rights and responsibilities

Vocabulary: Confucianism, philosophy, relationships, well-being, loyalty, subjects, benevolence.

  • Explain the five rules.
  • Conduct parts 3a to 3d as a class discussion.
  • For 3e, draft the set of family relationships as a joint group or class construction.

Back to 'Human Rights - At a glance'

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