Resources - Citizenship

10th September 2010 at 01:00

What the lesson is about

This uses a PowerPoint presentation to ask questions about human rights, and includes tasks and activities to compare how human rights are upheld in different countries. It is aimed at key stage 4 pupils.

Aims: pupils will -

- understand the concept of human rights;

- understand how the Universal Declaration of Human Rights applies in some scenarios;

- learn how human rights are upheld in different countries.

Getting started

Introduce pupils to the concept of human rights. Explain that these are basic needs that never change. Explain that human rights should not apply in one country but not another. Some basics are the right to food, a home, clean water, an education and medical care. Explain that some countries disagree with this and not all respect all human rights.

Split the class into groups and ask them to discuss how they would define human rights. Ask them to list five things they think are essential to life and to write down as many rights as they can. Ask them to rank these in order of importance, then choose one and describe how it might be curtailed.

Taking it further

Present the pupils with scenarios of human rights abuses and ask them what they could do to stop it. How would they stop detention without trial of prisoners in Guantanamo Bay? Or stop scientists testing drugs on animals? Or stop a factory dumping toxic waste in a river?

Present pupils with case studies of countries and discuss human rights there, in groups. Who can vote in Burma? The UK? Russia? Sweden? North Korea? Who can citizens vote for? Are elections free and fair? Do people have the power to criticise governments?

Where to find it

The lesson was uploaded by Lisa Hendy and can be found at

Shine Awards

Secondary teachers in England and Wales can set their pupils the challenge of making their own magazine or newspaper in a new schools award scheme.

The Shine School Media Awards recognise excellence in fields ranging from writing and photography to design and artwork, and aim to promote creativity and entrepreneurship, as well as develop self-confidence and ambition.

They are organised by the Stationers' Foundation, with The TES as media partner. The scheme is supported by the Newspaper Society and magazine trade body the PPA and it aims to build on the success of the Scottish School Magazine competition.

Each school can submit one issue - printed or online. The team can be guided by a teacher, but ideas, content, design and strategy should be pupil-led. Prizes are offered for overall winning title and individual areas. Categories include: best feature article; commercial strategy and business plan; design and layout; front cover or homepage; original artwork; and most inspirational teacher involved. Publications can range from 16 to 96 pages, and printed versions can be A3, A4 or A5.

Category winners will do placements in the media industry or attend talks by well-known industry figures. All shortlisted schools will be invited to an awards ceremony next June at Stationers' Hall in London. Closing date for entries is April 29, 2011. For details,

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