Activity Introduction

3characterswithpeoplephotoframeQuick summary: This Tuning In lesson introduces students to the concept of human rights. Students will watch a short video that gives an overview of human rights, then use the Seed Discussion Organiser to summarise their understanding and further queries about the topic. They will then work in groups to explore the articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). In a class discussion, students will then identify where human rights are visible in their own lives. 

Essential questions:

  • What are human rights?
  • What rights and freedoms do we enjoy in Australia?

21st Century skills:

Global Citizenship Communicating Ethical Understanding Critical Thinking

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions:
Year 8 Civics and Citizenship:

  • The freedoms that enable active participation in Australia’s democracy within the bounds of law, including freedom of speech, association, assembly, religion and movement (ACHCK061
  • Appreciate multiple perspectives and use strategies to mediate differences (ACHCS071

General capabilities: Literacy, Critical and Creative Thinking

Relevant parts of year 8 achievement standards: Students critically analyse information gathered from different sources for relevance. They explain different points of view on civics and citizenship issues. Students develop and present reasoned arguments on civics and citizenship issues using appropriate texts, subject-specific language and concepts.

Topic: Human Rights.

Unit of work: Story of Our Rights and Freedoms – Year 8

Time required: 60 mins.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – facilitate class discussion.

Resources required: Student Worksheet – one copy per student. Device capable of audio/visual presentation to present a video to the class. Seed Discussion Prompts, markers. Categories of Human Rights Match-Up (cut up, enough for groups of 4-5), UDHR articles (enough for groups of 4-5), Categories of Human Rights display.

Keywords: human rights, freedoms, United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

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


Teacher Worksheet

unpeople_photoframeTeacher preparation

Overarching learning goal: Students will gain a deeper understanding of the concept of human rights. They will consider the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), and the 30 articles of the declaration. Students will then understand how human rights apply in their own context.

Teacher content information:

To safeguard rights and freedoms, many countries include protections for basic human rights in national law. While the Australian government has been a longstanding supporter of the United Nations and was involved in the drafting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), not all Australian legislation is entirely compatible with the Declaration. However, many of our rights and freedoms are protected by court judgements, Federal, State and local government laws, regulations and in the Federal and State Constitutions.

Australia is a representative democracy, meaning that citizens entrust the decisions about how they are governed

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Student Worksheet

Thought Starter: To safeguard the rights and freedoms of the individual, many countries include protections for basic human rights in national law.


After the class discussion, write down your response to the following question:

Where do you see human rights in action in your life?

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