This is a single activity session plan from The Lifeskills Handbook. There are 61 activity sessions altogether. The handbook is available from our resources section where you’ll also find downloadable storybooks, books and posters to help you in your work.
LifeSkills Handbook Activity 24 Rights and Responsibilities
Purpose of activity:
To share ideas about children’s rights and responsibilities
To discuss how to ask closer to achieving their rights
Life skills: Critical thinking, creative thinking
Before the session, find out about the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and the laws on children’s rights in the country.
Pieces of paper large enough to make a life-size drawing of a child
Marker pens or crayons
Explain that this activity explores children’s rights and responsibilities.
Rights: what children should have (food, shelter, safe water, health care, play etc.)
Responsibilities: what children should do (respect others’ rights, help one another etc.)
Ask a volunteer to lie down on the large piece of paper on the floor and draw the outline of their body shape.
Ask all the children to sit around the body drawing. Explain that the body drawing will become a child’s rights and responsibilities.
Children brainstorm all the rights they think children should have. The educator writes all these suggestions inside the ‘body’ using a pen in one colour.
Children are then asked to list the responsibilities they have. To help them, show them that many rights have a corresponding responsibility, for example: A right to speak and a responsibility to listen.
Tell the children about the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and your country’s laws.
You can have a break here
Read through all the rights that the children listed inside the body.
Ask each child to vote for the three rights that are most important to them. Children can make three dots beside three different rights using a pen in a different colour, or if possible, give each child three stickers.
If the children are not literate you can create symbols for different rights. Make sure the children can easily identify what the symbols represent. Then children tell the educator which rights they want to vote for and the educator shows them where to put their mark or sticker.
Select the three rights with the most votes and discuss how this right can be realised, for example: What needs to happen for children to ask for the right to protection from violence?
Draw a thin line from each of these three rights. On a card outside the body, write children’s ideas about how to achieve this right.
Encourage the children to work together to develop and implement an action plan to improve their rights.