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Children of the World
Kris Squitieri West Windsor-Plainsboro (NJ) High School South

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)





  1. Students will compare and contrast the roles and rights of these children with their own in the United States.
  2. Students will evaluate the experiences of children in other countries, in what their roles and rights are in their society.

STRATEGIES: 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


Roles & Responsibilities


Questions and Suggestions











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 packet.

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.

MATERIALS: 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)


Colon, A. R. and P. A. Colon,  A History of Children: A Socio-Cultural Survey
Across Millennia
, Westport, CT: Greenwood Publishing Group, 2001.

Hawes, Joseph. and N. Roy Hines, American Childhood : A Research Guide and Historical Handbook, Westport, CT: Greenwood Publishing Group, 1985.

ASSESSMENT: Presentation of charts and visual “models”, class discussion before and after activity.

To learn more about the influence of Children's Rights on our global society, click on the links below:
Relevance | Lesson Plans | Resources | Results

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