Image by Moving Mountains Trust
Celebrated every year on the 20th November, Universal Children’s Day is renowned throughout the world as a day that is used to celebrate the welfare of children and to bring rise to any inequality found in their welfare.
With every other child in the world being recorded as living in poverty, it’s important that we educate our children about the more vulnerable and less fortunate; inspiring them to take efforts in helping other children, in addition to appreciating what they themselves have. Such a day can be a great basis for any PSHE lesson for children in Key Stage 3, and here are five ways in which you can implement it.
Learn How the Other Half Live
One great way to carry out a lesson about Universal Children’s Day with secondary school children is by instructing them to identify the differences between their upbringing and that of the children who live in countries which are rife with poverty.
- After introducing the lesson, section your pupils off into groups, providing each group with a selection of photos capturing children in different environments. This selection from UNICEF could come in useful.
- Ask the children to consider what differences are visible and what rights these children do have or should have. Are they being implemented effectively?
- Encourage each group to write down their ideas and share them with the class. These can later be displayed in the classroom on your bulletin board.
What better way to get your class thinking about child welfare on a global scale that by getting them to ‘debate it out’ in your own class parliament?
Such a lesson would need to be prepared for in advance, but can be an effective way of getting your class to consider and recall the rights of children in other countries, as well as their own.
Before the lesson, instruct your children a few days in advance, to research the rights of a certain country and split them into a “for” and “against” party. In turn, ask them to come to the front and debate the issues in a civilised manner.
This will make for an intriguing and educative lesson for both the class and you!
Celebrate Universal Children’s Day with all of the children in your school this year by setting up an entertaining performance for everyone to enjoy. Whilst this will require a lot of preparation and dedication from your pupils to make it a success, it would be a great addition to the school assembly that week.
In many other countries, Universal Children’s Day is used to commemorate that specific country’s culture. Just take a look at India’s celebrations in 2010!
So how about incorporating something similar into your lesson plan? Hold an activity, prior to Universal Children’s Day, where you and the class brainstorm stereotypically British activities and traditions and then implement them into a performance.
An educational and enjoyable activity for everyone – and the kids get a chance to be creative.
Visit our Drama section to discover a range of rewards to act as motivating awards for hard working pupils.
Why not give something back by holding a fundraising activity for you and your class to carry out? Not only will you be able to draw your class’s attention to the welfare of other children in poverty, you will also give them the opportunity to do something to help.
Often around late November/early December, schools hold annual Christmas fairs on the school premises. You and your class could organise the running of a stall from which the profits would go to a chosen children’s charity.
Lesson plans such as this, given by Red Nose Day, can be a great introduction to the welfare of children in poorer areas. Demonstrating and inspiring children to think about how they can fundraise themselves.
Bring a historical element to your activity by getting your children to look at childhood through the ages. Not only will this help your kids understand how different their lives are to children in their position several decades ago, it will enrich their historical education also.
Whether you want to bring their family’s personal experiences into this is up to you, but bringing in pupil’s experiences can heighten their engagement- grounding content into a more personal context.
Ask the children in groups to look at a specific historical period (this could be based on a relative they’ve obtained information from) and write up their findings on that period. This can be done through the use of a fact-file sheet or a research template which will help guide your students in their research.
There are a whole range of activities and subjects that celebrating Universal Children’s Day can tap into; providing you as a teacher a great platform to introduce your pupils to a new topic. Whilst some of these activities will require more time and dedication, others can easily be slotted into your teaching day as a one-off lesson.
By celebrating Universal Children’s Day, you will be introducing your children to a new moral outlook on childhood; drawing their attentions to topics such as world poverty, child welfare politics and history. And if you’re looking for some great motivational stickers, stamps, badges and certificates to help you out our secondary range is a great place to start.