Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum


Thin Ice Encompassed by Increasing Fire: Conflict and Struggle for Human Rights in the Middle East
Author:
Catrina Pelton
Course:
Western Civilizations
Time Frame:
10 days
Subjects:
Middle East
,
Declaration Of Human Rights
,
United Nations
,
Analyzing A Visual Presentation

Grade Levels:
12

Classroom/Homework Activity to be performed:
  • The activities for this lesson deal with Human Rights Violations in the Middle East. The students complete the Human Rights in Pictures assignment after a pre-activity lesson on human rights in the international community. This is a group activity that prepares the students for the presentation assignment.
  • The Human Rights Presentations builds on the knowledge the students acquired during the lecture on human rights and the Human Rights in Pictures activity. They are given a scenario dealing with a human rights violation. The students identify the human right(s) discussed in the scenario and then research that human right in the context of the Middle East. The presentation and paper they created depict the human right in the Middle East and predictions for the protection of human rights in the future. 

Rationale:
  • The struggle to protect human rights can be traced back to the beginning of civilization but as a policy of nations and the international community it dates back to the end of World War II. This lesson provides students with an in-depth look at how the international community has worked to protect human rights worldwide. 

District, state, or national performance and knowledge standards/goals/skills met:


  • Common Core Standards for Language Arts: RL.11-12.1; RI.11-12.1; RI11-12.2; RI.11-12.3; RI.11-12.7; RI.11-12.8; W.11-12.1.a-e; W.11-12.2.a-f; W.11-12.4; W.11-12.5; W.11-12.6; W.11-12.7; W.11-12.8; W.11-12.9.a-b; SL.11-12.1.a-d; SL.11-12.2; SL.11-12.3; SL.11-12.4; SL.11-12.5; L.11-12.1.a-b; L.11-12.2.a-b
  • Missouri Course Level Expectations: 2B; 2C; 3a.X; 3b.M; 3b.N; 3b.O; 4J; 5C; 5E; 5G; 6K-O: 7A-F

Secondary materials (book, article, video documentary, etc.) needed:

Primary materials (book, article, video documentary, etc.) needed:

Full description of activity or assignment.

Human Rights in Pictures Activity:

  • The students will have had a short lecture on human rights and their role in the international community.
  • The class is broken into five groups. Each group is given their assignment which includes a copy of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the images being used for the project, and the analysis worksheet.
  • Each group is responsible for taking two of the assigned images and attempting to identify which UDHR article is symbolized in the image. They are also required to identify the corresponding Bill of Rights amendment.
  • Once the groups are finished identifying the human rights depicted they need to discuss and answer the questions for each image.
  • At the end of the activity we will discuss as a class each of the images and what conclusions the groups reached about the human rights seen in the images.
  • Special attention in the discussion will be paid to the vagueness of the definition of the human rights in the UDHR as well as the Bill of Rights amendments.
  • Questions for discussion: At what point do human rights come into conflict with cultural/religious beliefs? How do we, the international community, protect those rights? Do we, as the U.S., have the right to protect human rights in other sovereign nations? Can there be universal protection of these human rights by the UN? What role does the UN play in all of this?
  • Groups are given a scenario where a violation of Human Rights has occurred within the Middle East.
  • They are required to research the specific human right(s) represented in the scenario within the context of the Middle East and present a power point and paper detailing their research and conclusions.
  • They are also required to answer an essential question within the paper and presentation. 

Human Rights Violations Debate

  • Groups are given a scenario where a violation of Human Rights has occurred within the Middle East.
  • They are required to research the specific human right(s) represented in the scenario within the context of the Middle East and present a power point and paper detailing their research and conclusions.
  • They are also required to answer an essential question within the paper and presentation. 

Full explanation of the assessment method and/or scoring guide:
  • Human Rights in Pictures Assessment is classroom discussion and the completion of their worksheets in groups.
  • Human Rights Presentation Assessment is included in the assignment. It is just a breakdown of the grading. The assessment is my expectations for the presentation and the students’ adherence to the parameters of the assignment.  All of this is laid out in the assignment and my lesson.
  • The essential question used for the presentation assignment is also their exam essay question for the unit.