Human Rights and the Role of Government


Team member

Name:______________Maggie Rice_________

Name:_________WENDI LU_____________

Topic:________Human Rights and the Role of Government_____  

Part 1:  Driving question:   

  • What are your three initial driving questions?

    • 1 : How do different forms of government protect their citizens more effectively than others?

    • 2 : Do countries have similar foundational human rights?

    • 3 : Do governments exploit rights on purpose?

  • What is your one, final driving question?

How can government forms that violate human rights be changed to protect citizens more effectively?

  • Background information of this driving question:

We are targeting 7th Grade with this project.

The standard we used is standard 7.2.3 “Describe how major forms of governments of Japan, North Korea, India, South Africa and China currently protect or violate the human rights of their citizens.”

Some forms of government protect their citizens rights more than others.  The class will watch a teacher created  powerpoint presentation and hold a class discussion on rights. Students will research various governments across the world and compare and contrast their levels of protection for human rights. They will choose a specific one and draft a bill to present to the senate, which will be represented by the rest of the class. They will show understanding of the differences between governments in other countries.

  • Why do you think this is a good driving question?

    • Does the DQ warrant in-depth study?

Yes. They have to research a variety of countries and governments.

    • Is the DQ an authentic and relevant issue/problem for my students?

    Yes. With the current American political situation there is a lot of discussion about human rights and the role of the government in protecting them.

    • Is there more than one plausible solution to the DQ?

    Yes. Students are coming up with individual bill propositions, each will be unique.

    • Does the DQ provide opportunities for students to evaluate, analyze, present, and defend their solutions?

Yes. They must revise their bill, present to the class, and defend their stance based on questions from the class.

Part2: Grabber

  • What is your grabber?

Intro: Students receive and read an article with the teacher detailing a Russian bill that will remove laws that persecute domestic abusers for their first offense, providing it does not cause serious bodily injury. The teacher will first tell them the general overview of the article, then they will read along. This will be a shocking article because students at this age have been taught that abuse is an atrocious thing. Students then will be introduced to the fact that the government is in charge of protecting the rights of their citizens and that some governments do a better job than others. Students will know that it is important to have rights and will be motivated to see what different countries protect or violate rights.

Question: After we have a discussion about the article, the teacher will move onto the central question. This question is “How can government forms that violate human rights be changed to protect citizens more effectively?”, because students will be motivated to find a solution to help others.

Lecture: We will now look past the article and talk about different forms of government (dictatorship, monarchy, democracy) and how they can help and harm their people. This will give students a basic background on what to look for. We will then introduce the culminating activity.

  • Why do you think this grabber is beneficial and how it  align with your driving question?

Try to answer these questions. (But you should not answer them with yes or no, instead explain the details and convince me that you’ve met these criteria)

  • Does the story, article, video, announcement, role play, or other resource hook the learner into asking more questions about the topic?

Yes, because the topic is highly controversial (abuse of women and children) children will be curious to see why the government is removing these protections.This article is related to the topic that human rights in a country(russia).

  • Does the grabber capitalize on novelty and / or high emotion situations?

Yes, it discusses not persecuting abusers. By this age, children will know that domestic abuse is a terrible thing and that removing laws will promote its happening.

  • Does the grabber establish authenticity & relevance?

Yes. It is a current event and the US places high emphasis on educating about the effects and prevention of domestic abuse from a young age.

  • Make sure to explain in detail how this grabber would be used.

Details above.

  • Culminating activities: List all your activities here:

1) Activity 1

  • What is your first activity?

Intro: Students will research various countries and determine their current government situation. They will determine the government form (democracy, dictatorship, monarchy), how the people in that country feel about their government, and how that government protects or violates human rights. They will pick one country and draft a bill that will protect a right that the government in question does not currently protect. They will then present their bill to the “senate”, which is comprised of their classmates. Students should use websites such as Newslea, CNN, and other credible news sites. If a student is unsure of whether or not it is a credible site, they should come ask the teacher.

Presentation: Students must dress formally for the day of their presentation. Each presentation will last from 5-8 minutes. The group will stand in front of the “senate” and present their perspective legislation. They will discuss the bill, discuss why that bill is beneficial, and state why the government should make it a law. They may have a visual aid, but it is not required. After they finish presenting, the audience will ask them questions.

List the name of your activity here. And explain how it would be implemented  in the class, describe the process, such as how to group your students, when to present information to your students, what resources you will use, what students will create or share, etc.

  • Why do you think this is a good activity for PBL?

Try to answer these 4 questions.  (But you should not answer them with yes or no, instead explain the details and convince me that you’ve met these criteria)

  • How is the activity authentic?\

All the information current event websites. A big question in today’s world is human rights and the government, and with this activity students will be getting a hands on approach to protecting citizens in the same way the government would.

  • Does the activity provide students with the opportunity to present and defend problem solution?

Yes. They must present to the entire class and answer questions from the “senate”.

  • Does the activity require student collaboration?

Yes. Students will be working in groups to create their bills and while researching they may discuss among themselves and compare and contrast different governments they have researched.

  • How will I judge what students have learned from the activity?

    • You will need to create a rubric for this step and potential example materials as well.

Example: How to Write a Bill from Princeton Student Congress


RubricPBL Rubric.PNG

To create this rubric we used Rubistar website. The criteria mainly focuses on their presentation skills as this is a presentation project. It also looks at content, as students must have good content to be persuasive about their bill. This allows students to know that their presentation is the most important part of their project so they can practice accordingly. This gives the teacher an objective standard to grade students off of.

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