Exploring Human Rights in 1st Grade

This February we had a two week break our Celebration of Learning and starting our next expedition. I took that extra time to explore human rights, and specifically, children's rights, with my first grade crew. This project lived within our opinion reading and writing unit, so we incorporated literacy standards to create these final products. Read below to learn more about the process.

To build background knowledge, we spent a month reading about civil rights leaders and social justice. With each read aloud, students practiced reading skills and standards while they made connections between the concepts and content of the books. Here are some of the books we read:

Peace is an Offering by Annette LeBox
Martin’s Big Words by Doreen Rappaport
Wilma Unlimited by Kathleen Krull
The Story of Ruby Bridges by Robert Coles
Emmanuel’s Dream by Laurie Ann Thompson
Malala Yousafazi: Warrior with Words by Karen Leggett Abouraya
Let’s Talk About Race by Julius Lester
Separate is Never Equal by Duncan Tonatiuh

Finally, we read I Have the Right to Be a Child by Alain Serres. While we read this text, an illustrated version of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, kids made connections between the rights in the book and rights that were violated in other stories we’d read. Then they decided which right was most important to them and thought about why. They chose colors to illustrate the way this right makes them feel and created their silhouette to add their images into the product. Watching my students take ownership of their learning, rights, and artistic ability was a powerful way to spend January and February.