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Visualizations of Children’s Rights
Jennifer McGuire, Freehold Township High School

CORE QUESTION: How do the messages of the children’s rights issue come across in visual form?

OVERVIEW: The focus of this lesson is to provide a visual picture to define human rights.  The lesson allows students to utilize technology to view how children’s rights are visually expressed internationally.  Students will have the opportunity to demonstrate their understanding of the specific rights, found in the CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD, through the creation of visual aids.  An artistic approach to define human rights opens the door for students to express themselves on the issue of children’s rights, while providing a deeper understanding of the issues.

TIME: 45 minutes

GRADE LEVEL: Grades  6-12.

INTERDISCIPLINARY: Fine Arts, Technology



  1. Students will be able to analyze video interpretations of the CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD
  2. Students will be able to analyze an article from the CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD.
  3. Students will be able to create a visual picture to define and explain specific rights.
  4. Students will be able to present and explain choice of materials and images.
  5. Students will be able to form opinions on how they personally interpret children's rights.


Kick-Off Question:

What do human rights look like?—discuss answers.


Access the United Nations cartoons on the CONVENTION at

Student will examine video cartoons and pictures (you will need to choose which cartoons you want to direct students to examine based on time constraints) and will be required to take notes on what they see in the pictures:

Cartoon #

Article #

Aim of Article

Explain what you see

Was the visual picture effective?

Why?/Why not?

You may choose to look at the first cartoon together. I would suggest that you begin with the first cartoon highlighting the issue of child labor though the two sides of soccer. Once students understand what is expected of them, release them to view required cartoons and still shots.

Remember to inform students that artists and advertisers from around the globe produced the cartoons they will be viewing. The cartoons visually represent how the different nations around the world interpret children's rights with positive and negative images.


Return students to their seats and develop a discussion to allow students to express what they saw and what they found to be most effective.  Have students explain what made these visual images effective.  In addition discuss what the students found to be ineffective, and explore the reasons why.

Instruct students on their independent assignment.

Enrichment Assignment:  (activity may run into a second day)

Each student will be given an article (section) of the CONVENTION with full text (assigned or random) – click the link.

Read through article

Provide a written summary of the article

Create a picture to express the images the articles brings to mind

Provide a written explanation of their picture & type of right represented

Present visual aid to class


You may wish to use the visual developed for this assignment to create a bulletin board for the Convention on the Rights of the Child

The students created visuals could be grouped together to reinforce the rights of provision, protection, and participation.





  • Balton, David A., Human Rights in the Classroom: Teaching The Convention on the Rights of the Child, Social Education, The National Council for the Social Studies, 1992, Volume 56(4), pp. 210-212.
  • Cantwell, Nigel, Conventionally Theirs: An Overview of the Origins, Content, and Significance of the Convention on he Rights of the Child, Social Education, The National Council for the Social Studies, 1992, Volume 56(4),pp. 207-210.
  • Edmonds, Beverly C., The Convention on the Rights of the Child: A Point of Departure, Social Education,  The National Council for the Social Studies, 1992, Volume 56(4), pp. 205-207.
  • Miljeteig-Olsen, Per, Children’s Participation: Giving Children the Opportunity to Develop into Active and Responsible Members of Society, Social Education, The National Council for the Social Studies, 1992,  Volume 56(4), pp. 216.


The internet observation and class discussion could be assessed for a classwork grade.

A suggested rubric for the poster, summary, and presentation is as follows:

25 pts - Visual aid

15 pts – Written summary of assigned article

15 pts – Written explanation of visual aid and use of imagery

25 pts -  Presentation of visual including verbal explanation of imagery

10 pts – Effective use of classroom time

10 pts – Active listening during peer presentation

To learn more about the influence of Children's Rights on our global society, click on the links below:
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