Activity 4:
Human Rights Squares


This activity reveals what participants already know about human rights and the issues that are of concern to them. It also stimulates discussion about the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and categories of rights.

Time: 15+ minutes
Materials: Copy of Handout 1, Human Rights Squares
Copy of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Setting: Elementary school - Adult groups


1. Give everyone a copy of Handout 1, Human Rights Squares. Everyone tries to get an answer and a signature from a different person for each square.

Stop after five minutes.

2. Debrief the game:

  • Which were the easiest squares to find answers for? The most difficult? Why?

  • Which squares had global answers? US answers? Local or community answers?

3. Discuss:

  • Can you match any of these squares to articles of the UDHR?

  • Which of the squares are related to civil and political rights? To social, economic, and cultural rights?

  • What additional squares might you create for this game?

Source: Adapted from David Shiman, Teaching Human Rights, (Denver: Center for Teaching International Relations Publications, University of Denver, 1993) 2-3.



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  Human Rights Fundamentals The Right to Know Your Rights Activities Taking Action for Human Rights Appendices