“The one thing all children have in common is their rights. Every child has the right to survive and thrive, to be educated, to be free from violence and abuse, to participate and to be heard.”
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
November 20th is Universal Children’s Day. In 1954 the UN General Assembly recommended that all countries institute a Universal Children’s Day, to be observed as a day of worldwide fraternity and understanding between children. It recommended that the Day was to be observed also as a day of activity devoted to promoting the ideals and objectives of the Charter and the welfare of the children of the world’. (Source: United Nations website)
How can you help with the objectives of this day? How can you bring the ideas of ‘worldwide fraternity’ one step closer to your students’ thinking? How much do your students know about children in different parts of the world? We have collected some ideas and resources you can use to help your classes become more aware of the different circumstances children live in and let them get inspired by other children from all over the world.
1 GET INSPIRED BY CHILDREN
a) Inspiring films to watch with teens
Can you add any films to our list?
b) Find inspirational children in your school
We often just need to look around our own schools to hear about heartwarming stories of bravery and kindness. Talk to children in your school to find out what they are proud of doing. Has anyone fought a serious illness? Has anyone helped others? Are there children who care for other people or the environment around us?
c) Find famous children who inspire you
There are plenty of famous children who can also inspire you. Have you read about any young children or teens who have completed a difficult task, fought for a cause or invented something? Who inspires you? Do a short presentation about a young person who you can look up to.
2 READ STORIES ABOUT CHILDREN WITH CHILDREN
In the Helbling Readers Fiction and Graphic Stories series you will also find original stories with kids who are brave role models and do something special in their environment.
Here are some titles for young readers.
3 LEARN ABOUT HOW CHILDREN LIVE IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD
a) Learn about child labour
How much do you and your students know about child labour in the world? It is important to remind ourselves of the circumstances many children still live in the world.
Here are some useful links for you to learn about child labour:
- United Nations Child Labour – Resources
- International Labour Organization: In their own words… (stories of children)
Read our blog posts and do our worksheet about ethical fashion and fair trade.
- Mystery at the Mill Special and Interview – with worksheet on ethical fashion and fair trade
In a previous we discussed the rights of the child. Talk about them in class. You will find links to the Rights of the Child in child friendly language as well as cartoons and videos about these rights.
b) Talk about the differences in schools all around the world.
Ask your students how they imagine different schools in different parts of the world. Share their ideas in class.
- School around the world – in pictures on the Guardian website
4 HELP OTHERS
Small acts of kindness: act locally and think globally
Make a list of small actions you can do to help children in your community. For example, are there any local organizations which accept book donations?Are there any play groups for children? Think locally first and ask your students how they can help each other in school and in their hometown.
Then extend your ideas so they have a more global focus. Discuss ideas on how to fight against child labour. How can you support ethical businesses which do not use child labour?
Can you think of any ideas for classroom activities? How can you work for the better life of children in your hometown and in the world?