Human rights - day 4 my best interests
These activities help youth learn about human rights and their guiding principles, like “Best Interests”. They can be done alone, but work best with one or more friends on a video chat like Skype, Zoom, Facetime, etc.
Trivia question: Can you name all the 7 dwarves in Snow White?
- Imagine that your pointer finger is a candle.
- Hold up your candle, take a deep breath in, then blow out the candle on your finger for as long as you can.
- Notice how your breath fills up your belly when you breathe in.
The Right to Clean Water – A Water Filtration Experiment
- 2 glass jars
- A cup of small stones or gravel
- A cup of sand
- 4 coffee filters
- A plastic cup with a hole cut in the bottom
Have your child fill one of the jars with dirty water from a nearby puddle or pond. If none of these are near, fill up the jar with snow and wait for it to melt.
Put all of the coffee filters in the plastic cup. Put in a layer of sand, followed by a layer of gravel on top of the coffee filters.
Place the cup into an empty jar. Pour the dirty water into the cup so it filters down through the different layers of sand and coffee filters.
Observe the difference in how clear the water is after the it has passed through the filter system you’ve created.
The Right to Be Included
Every child with a disability has a right to be included in society. This is outlined in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child in Article 23.
Help your child try the following challenges to see how life might be more challenging for people with disabilities.
- Cover your eyes with a bandana.
- Try to walk to the bathroom and wash your hands without looking.
- What challenges do you think people who can’t see very well face every day?
- Without talking, have a 2-3 minute conversation about what you did yesterday. You can do this with an adult or sibling at home, or video chat with a friend.
- What challenges do you think people who can’t hear very well face every day?
- Pretend your feet are glued together. Try to move from your room to the living room.
- What challenges do you think people who can’t move around easily face every day?
The Right to Be Myself
- Blank paper
- Old magazines
Have your child make a collage about all the things that make them unique. Help them by asking these questions:
- What are you really good at?
- What are your favourite things?
- Who are the friends and family in your life who support you?
- What is important to you?
Have your child cut pictures out of old magazines or draw their own. Share the collage with a friend through video chat or send them a picture by email.
My Best Interest
- Cardstock or thicker paper
Children have the right to have adults in their lives who will do what is best for them. This is outlined in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child in Article 3.
- Have your child think about two or three people in their life who have helped them, or who have done what is best for them. It could be a grandparent, a teacher, a coach, or someone else.
- Make a card for them to thank them.
- Share the cards by emailing them, mailing them or texting a picture to them.
Ask your child:
- How does it feel to experience go through challenges that some kids face every day?
- Why do you think it is important for people to have access to clean water?
- How do you know what is best for you?
Answer: Sleepy, Sneezy, Happy, Grumpy, Dopey, Doc and Bashful
Trivia question: In what year was the Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted by the United Nations?
- Sit comfortably.
- Close your eyes, or keep them open.
- Notice how it feels when you say these sentences to yourself: I am safe. I have everything that I need. I am surrounded by people who love me.
Call a Friend
Challenge your child to call a friend and talk about Children’s Rights. The goal is to create awareness about Children’s Rights, share information and discuss ways you can help other children. While you talk, answer the following questions:
- What do you think some of your rights are?
- Why do children have special rights?
- What are the most important rights to you?
- What can you do if you don’t think your rights are being respected?
Write A Short Screenplay
A screenplay is the script of a movie. It has acting instructions and scene directions. Have your child write a screenplay about friendship, or another topic about child rights.
Here are some tips on how to write a screenplay:
- Ask “what if…?” What if I couldn’t drink clean water? What if I couldn’t go to school?
- Who are your characters? What do they want?
- Look for ideas in magazines. Look at the pictures and write down ideas.
- Use your hobbies to come up with ideas for stories.
- Begin the scene with a negative emotion like anger or fear. End the scene with a positive emotion like joy or gratitude.
Making New Friends
It can be hard to make new friends.
- Have your child think about a classmate or neighbor who is not already their friend.
- Find a way to talk to that person by phone or video call about things that interest them. If you can’t contact them, write a letter or make a drawing about friendship. Give it to them when you go back to school.
Ask your child:
- How does it feel when other people help you?
- How do you know if something is good or bad for you?
- What is something you want to do all the time, but might not be in your best interest?
Trivia Question: The average person blinks up to 20 times per minute. How many blinks is that in a year? See mindfulness activity answer at the end of the lesson plan.
B: 10.5 million
C: 25 million
Mindfulness Activity: If you had inside weather, what would it be right now? Would it be sunny? Cloudy? Rainy? Stormy?
When people make decisions that affect you, they should have your best interests in mind.
- Think of four adults in your life who have your best interests in mind. It could be a parent, teacher or coach.
- Cut a blank piece of paper into four rectangles. Make a trading card of each person who has your best interests in mind.
- Write the person’s name at the top. Draw a picture of the person in the middle. Write their special skills at the bottom.
- On the back of the card, write one or two sentences about how this person has shown they think of your best interests.
- Send pictures of the trading cards you created to each person and thank them for thinking of your best interests.
What are my best interests
Look at the list of your rights below.
- Choose three rights that are most important to you and write them down.
- Ask the other people in your house to pick three rights they think are most important for you and write them down.
- Share what you wrote, and why you chose those rights.
- Ask the other people in your house to share what they wrote, and why they chose those rights.
List of rights:
- Right to life
- Right to express oneself
- Right to go to school
- Right to practice religion
- Right to medical care
- Right to food
- Right to play
- Right to rest
- Right to security
- Right to privacy
- Right to equality
- Right to choose my friends
- Right to information
- Right to a name
- Right to live with my parents
- Right to a clean environment
- Rights of children with a disability to participate
What did you notice about the rights the other people in your house chose? Why do you think some were different?
Thank You Cards
- A sheet of paper
- Markers, Pencil crayons
Take the time to appreciate someone who takes care of you.
- Write and decorate a thank you card with a message that shows you appreciate them putting your best interests first.
- Send the card by mail, email or by texting a picture.
- How does it feel to have people caring about your best interests?
- If you were to try these activities again, would you pick any different rights?
- Did you learn anything new about your family members and the rights they picked?
Answer: B: The average person blinks up to 10.5 million times every year.