Story of Our Rights and Freedoms - Tuning In

Story of Our Rights and Freedoms - Tuning In

Lesson 1 of 5 in this unit

  • Secondary
  • Year 8
  • Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Civics and Citizenship
  • Social
  • Equality
  • Homelessness
  • Human Rights
  • Social Action
  • ...

Lesson summary

This Tuning In lesson introduces students to the concept of human rights. Students will watch a short video that gives an overview of human rights, then use the Seed Discussion Organiser to summarise their understanding and further queries about the topic. They will then work in groups to explore the articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). In a class discussion, students will then identify where human rights are visible in their own lives.

Essential questions:

  • What are human rights?
  • What rights and freedoms do we enjoy in Australia?

Lesson guides and printables

Lesson Plan
Student Worksheet
Teacher Content Info

Lesson details

Curriculum mapping

Australian Curriculum content descriptions:

Year 8 Civics and Citizenship:

  • The freedoms that enable active participation in Australia’s democracy within the bounds of law, including freedom of speech, association, assembly, religion and movement (ACHCK061
  • Appreciate multiple perspectives and use strategies to mediate differences (ACHCS071

General capabilities: Literacy, Critical and Creative Thinking

Relevant parts of year 8 achievement standards: Students critically analyse information gathered from different sources for relevance. They explain different points of view on civics and citizenship issues. Students develop and present reasoned arguments on civics and citizenship issues using appropriate texts, subject-specific language and concepts.

Unit of work: Story of Our Rights and Freedoms – Year 8

Time required: 60 mins.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – facilitate class discussion.

Resources required

  • Student Worksheet – one copy per student
  • Device capable of audio/visual presentation to present a video to the class. Seed Discussion Prompts, markers
  • Categories of Human Rights Match-Up (cut up, enough for groups of 4-5), UDHR articles (enough for groups of 4-5)
  • Categories of Human Rights display

Skills

This lesson is designed to build students’ competencies in the following skills:

  • Global citizenship
  • Communication
  • Ethical understanding

Additional info

Throughout the Story of Our Rights and Freedoms lessons, students will consider Civics and Citizenship concepts through a human rights lens. They will critically assess the Australian system of government and the effect that it has on our rights and freedoms.
There is no universally accepted definition of human rights, and our understanding is continually developing. Some definitions include:

  • The recognition and respect of peoples’ dignity
  • A set of moral and legal guidelines that promote and protect the recognition of our values, our identity and access to an adequate standard of living
  • The basic standards by which we can identify and measure inequality and fairness
  • Those rights associated with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR)

When we talk about human rights we usually refer to principles that have been agreed upon by countries throughout the world. These rights have been set down in international agreements and form part of international law. They can also be written into the domestic law of individual countries. Human rights cover virtually every area of human life and activity. These include:

  • Civil and political rights, such as freedom of speech and freedom from torture
  • Economic and social rights, such as the rights to health and education
  • Individual rights, including the right to a fair trial
  • Collective rights, or those rights that apply to groups of people, such as the right to a healthy environment or to live on one’s ancestral land.

The UDHR is an international document that recognises the basic rights and fundamental freedoms to which all human beings are entitled. It was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 10 December 1948 and marks a key milestone in the history of human rights. The Magna Carta, though limited in who it protected, was an important precursor to the UDHR.

Click here to watch a video about the Magna Carta.

You can view the entire text of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the other core international human rights treaties, on the United Nation’s website or by downloading RightsApp (free from the iTunes App store).

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