Activity Introduction

australiawithpeoplephotoframeQuick summary: In this social action lesson, students will consider actions that they can take in their local community to ensure that human rights are enjoyed by all people. Students will explore what human rights are, research some of the work being done to address human rights issues through a variety of different initiatives, and then consider the changes that could occur in their local community to ensure access to human rights for all. They will plan and deliver an action to improve the way human rights are experienced in their local community. Students will then reflect on the effectiveness of their action and the personal development that they experienced.

Essential question: 

  • How can we improve how human rights are experienced in the community?

21st Century skills: 

Critical Thinking Team Work Empathy Communicating Cultural Understanding Ethical Understanding Problem Solving

Australian Curriculum Mapping

This lesson can be used with all learning areas of the Australian Curriculum.

General capabilities: Literacy, Information and Communication Capability, Personal and Social Capability, Ethical Understanding, Intercultural Understanding.

Topic: Human Rights

Unit of work: Story of Our Rights and Freedoms, Year 7, 8, 9, 10.

Time required: 210+ mins.

Level of teacher scaffolding: High – facilitate class discussion, student research and project planning. Coordinate student delivery and showcasing of projects.

Resources required: Student Worksheet – one per student. Device capable of presenting a website and video to the class. Human rights areas of work postersHuman Rights in Our Community table (one per group). Devices capable of web-research (enough for one per pair). Sticky-notes, butcher’s paper, markers. Project-specific resources, as identified by students in their planning (such as stationary, access to computers, etc.) Project Planning ToolProject Checklist.

 rights, freedoms, social action, community.

Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.


Teacher Worksheet

srf_y9_protecthumanrights_photoframeTeacher preparation

Overarching learning goal: Students will develop skills and confidence to plan and deliver a social action project. They will be able to identify human rights in their local community and work together to frame an idea to create change. They will develop the skills required to plan and deliver their idea for change and will be able to reflect on the effectiveness of their social action; their own personal contribution to the social action as well as their personal growth. 

Teacher content information

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 Dec
- or - to view worksheets

Student Worksheet

Thought Starter: Human rights should be enjoyed by everyone, everywhere, everyday.

Part A: Identifying the Issue

1. Write down the area of human rights that you have chosen to focus on for your social action project:

2. Use the space below to make any notes during your research into the area of human rights: 

3. Write down your group's 'How might we...?' question here:

Part B: Ideas for Change

After working on some ideas for action, use the S.M.A.R.T criteria to help you choose one.


Record how you and your group will address the ‘How might we…?’ question in the space below:

Part C: Designing Change

Use the Project Planning Tool to plan your social action.

Part D: Delivering Change

Use the Project Checklist to help keep track of what you need to do to deliver your project.

Publicly showcase and celebrate your project, for example by:

Creating a newsletter about your class's projects to distribute to parents and community members.


Producing and screening a two

- or - to view worksheets

Leave your Feedback

We appreciate your feedback. Let us know what you like or don't like about this activity:

Sorry. You must be logged in to view this form.