CORE QUESTION: How do children’s roles and rights differ
in different societies?
OVERVIEW: Students will examine case studies of children’s lives in
different societies around the world. They will look at
specifically what the roles and rights are of the children
in the different societies. The societies they look at
will vary in economic, cultural, and political situations.
The students will then be asked to create a visual “model”
of a child from the society that they examined as well as
filling out a chart that summarizes a child’s roles and
rights in that society, and present them to the class.
TIME REQUIRED: 2-40 minute sessions (80 minutes)
SUGGESTED GRADE LEVELS: Grades 6, 7, 8
INTERDISCIPLINARY APPLICATIONS: Reading, writing, art
JERSEY CORE CONTENT STANDARDS: 6.1, 6.2, 6.5, 6.8
will compare and contrast the roles and rights of these
children with their own in the United States.
will evaluate the experiences of children in other countries,
in what their roles and rights are in their society.
This activity will begin with a teacher-initiated discussion
about the role of children in our society, beginning with
the questions: What is the role of children in our society?
What is expected of them in our society? How do children
fit-in in our society? Once the students have responded
to these questions, the teacher should ask the students
if they think that the answers to these questions would
be the same in other societies around the world. After
getting responses to this question, the teacher should introduce
the activity, putting the students in groups, and assigning
them to a country. Once assigned their country, each group
should receive the resource packet corresponding to their
country. Within their groups students will read through
the resource packet, taking notes on what the roles and
rights of children are in the country they are examining.
With the information they collect, they should fill out
the chart entitled “Children’s Roles in Society” on an overhead
sheet. (See chart below).
Children’s Roles in Society
Once their chart is completed the group will receive a large
sheet of paper (36’’x24’’) and a set of crayons or markers.
On the large sheet of paper, using the information in their
chart, the group will create a picture “model” of a child
from the country they have been examining. They should
give their child a name, appropriate to their country, dress
them according to their culture, and give them the accessories
they would need to fulfill their role in their society.
Teachers should remind students to be creative, yet remain
true to the information they have gathered from their resource
When all of the groups have created their overhead charts, and
visual “models” , they will present them to the class.
Students should talk about the information they put in their
chart, as well as why they drew their “child” the way they
did. To conclude the lesson, a discussion can be conducted about how the rights and roles of children
differ in different countries around the world.
Resource packets for the different countries (one for each
group of 3 or 4 students), “Children’s Roles in Society”
charts on large sheets of paper (11x14) or printed on overhead
sheets, overhead markers (if necessary), large sheets of
white paper (36’’x 24’’), markers or crayons.
Resource packets (created by the teacher)
A. R. and P. A. Colon, A History of Children: A
Across Millennia, Westport, CT: Greenwood Publishing
Joseph. and N. Roy Hines, American Childhood : A
Research Guide and Historical Handbook, Westport, CT:
Greenwood Publishing Group, 1985.
Presentation of charts and visual “models”, class discussion
before and after activity.