Protection - Session 10

Roots: A state that supports human rights for children provides protection under its laws against any and all forms of neglect, cruelty, and exploitation of children (Articles 11, 19, 32-37).

Rights: Children have the right

  • to protection from abuse and neglect;
  • to protection from work that threatens their health, education, or development;
  • to protection from the use of drugs or involvement in their production or distribution;
  • to protection from sexual exploitation and abuse;
  • to protection from torture and participation in armed conflicts;
  • to have special care and treatment when they are convicted of a crime.

Responsibilities: Children are responsible for

  • treating others as they would like to be treated, not hurting others, and acting safely.

    Session Outcomes


    • learn about caring for others;
    • learn about how people in our communities help families; through service agencies, churches, programs, and individual efforts.
    • Parents
    • understand what the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child states in regard to neglect, cruelty, and exploitation of children;
    • become aware of human rights violations worldwide;
    • become aware of current U.S. protective measures for all children against child labor, neglect, and cruelty, and areas where protective measures are falling short or are not in place at all;
    • learn about caring for children and how people in our communities help families.

    Materials needed:

  • Interactive Activities

    • Paper in a variety of colors representing skin tones, butcher block paper, paint brushes, and a wash station;
    • As many dolls as you have children, towels, some doll blankets, diapers, bottles, doll clothes;
    • Paper or plastic bags for aprons, markers, crayons or stick-ons, yarn or twine;
    • Dramatic play area equipped with hats and gear used by community helpers such as firefighters, police, medical personnel, construction workers and so on.

    Parent Education

    • Chart paper or chalkboard and markers or chalk;
    • Extra copies of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.


  • Greet as usual. Make sure everyone gets a name tag.

    Parent/Child Interactive Activities


    Our hands symbolize our ability to help others.

    • Cover a table with the butcher block paper. Set up the paint station nearby. Parents and children paint the palms of their hands, then place their hand prints on the paper.

    Aprons symbolize the role of helper. When children view themselves as helpers, they can develop a more positive self-image.

    • Use paper or plastic bags and cut out an apron for each child. Use yarn or twine for ties.
    • Have each child decorate their apron with markers, crayons, or glue-ons. Invite children to wear their aprons during class time.

    Symbolizes our responsibility to treat others gently. It gives children practice in the parental responsibility of caring for another person.

    • Children will get a doll to take care of during class and will be encouraged to think about the help babies need. The sensory table can be set up for water play, and children can give dolls a bath or wash the doll's face and hands. (See Session 6 for the Cue Card for this activity.)

    Provides opportunity to role play community people who keep us safe.

    • Children and parents utilize the props to take on the roles of various community helpers (police officers, fire fighters, safe house representatives, medical personnel, and so on).
    • 5. BOOK CORNER
      • The Vinganese and the Tree Toad, retold by Verna Aardema
      • Fourth Little Pig, by Teresa Celsi
      • Miss Suzy, by Miriam Young
      • Lon Po Po: A Red Riding Hood Story from China, by Ed Young
      • Follow the Drinking Gourd, by Jeanette Winter
      • Here Are My Hands, by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault
      • My Apron, by Eric Carle

    Community Circle

    • 1. Transition: Early childhood teacher speaks to each child, and/or touches them on the shoulder and reminds them that circle time will begin soon. After connecting with each child, the teacher begins a gathering song.
    • 2. "Today we're learning about protecting children from harm. I see that some of you have adopted a baby doll. It's wonderful that you are caring for those dolls so gently and protecting them from harm. We have practiced taking care of dolls so that you children can experience being responsible for someone else. What did you find out about taking care of a doll or a baby?" Take responses. "You can take those dolls to the housekeeping area for a nap." Wait for them to return.
    • 4. "Let's play a game. In this game we pretend that the children are being cared for by the parents because the bridges are falling down. The parents are protecting them from being hurt."
  • "London Bridge is Falling Down"
    1. Ask pairs of parents to join hands and form arches.
    2. Children will pass through the arches in a line.
    3. On "My fair lady," the arches or bridges fall and the parents must save the child trapped under the bridge.
    4. The parents gently and lovingly sway the child back and forth.
    5. At the end of the chorus, they let the child go.

    6. Several children will be held at once, but probably not all the children. Be sure they all get a chance to experience being held.


    London Bridge is falling down, falling down, falling down.

    London Bridge is falling down, my fair lady.


    1. Take a child and hold her tight, hold her tight, hold her tight.
    Take a child and hold her tight, my fair lady.
    2. Take a child and hold him tight, hold him tight, hold him tight.
    Take a child and hold him tight, my fair lady.
    3. Take a child and give him love, . . .
    4. Take a child and give her love, . . .
    • 5. Close with songs suggested by students, or "The Sharing Song," or "The More We Get Together."

    Separate Learning Time

    Children's Learning Circle Session 10
    • 1. Sing a gathering song.
    • 2. "In today's session we are learning more about children's rights. We are learning that children have the right to protection against all forms of neglect and meanness. Neglect is when people ignore what children need. It would be neglect if a child needed to have a diaper changed and no one changed it. It would be neglect if children were not given toothbrushes to brush their teeth. Along with this right, children have the responsibility to treat others in a kind way, not in a mean way to treat others as you would like to be treated to not hurt others and to act safely."
    • 3. "Who has cared for another person in this class? Have you seen anyone showing protection for another person? Who has been taking care of their doll?" (If they don't have ready examples, cite some yourself.)
    • 4. "Earlier today we played "London Bridges" with your parents. Now we get to play it ourselves! Remember, we have accepted the responsibility to not hurt each other and to treat our friends as we want to be treated."
    • Play "London Bridges" with the children, asking just two children to be the bridge. Do the same verses as before. Change the two bridge people and the child who is held each time.
    • 5. Read one or two of the books from today's reading list.
    • 6. Sing a closing song: "The More We Get Together," "The Sharing Song," "Shake Hands With Friends," "You Gotta Sing When the Spirit Says Sing," "This Little Light of Mine," "Every Little Soul Must Shine."
    • Parent Education Session 10
    Preparation: Write the topic title, "Right to Protection from Neglect and Cruelty" on chalkboard or chart paper.
    • 1. Action Step and Journaling Report: Ask for sharing.
    • 2. Read Articles 11, 19, 32-37: "These nine articles of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child deal with neglect, cruelty, abuse, and exploitation. They are designed to protect children from working in sweat shops, abduction, being a migrant worker, any kind of exploitation, drug abuse, and participating in armed conflict. Let's take a minute to read them."
    • 3. Activity: Divide the group into triads and ask members of each group to discuss the areas where they think the children in the United States are least protected.
    • "What does your group think are the two most common violations of children's rights in our country? What are the most problematic violations? Think of a few proactive responses to these problems. Share the problems and potential solutions with the large group."
    • 4. Discussion:
    1. How does this document help children? (e.g., government involvement, laws, responsibility of the state)
    2. Does the individual person have responsibility to protect children, or is child protection all government responsibility?
    3. Has there been anything that has put you face to face with these issues (e.g., visiting another country, working at a homeless shelter, or food shelf)? How has that impacted your point-of-view?
    4. Given the current laws, what does our government need to do in order to be in compliance with the Convention?
    5. What can an individual do when he or she sees a child being neglected or abused?
    6. Wrap up: Read this quotation: "I never thought of it as my responsibility to save the world. I can feed only one person at a time. Only one. So I begin and you begin." Mother Teresa of Calcutta.
    • "What do you think is Mother Teresa's message in this quotation?"
    Journal Assignment:
    • What is a dream you have for children? Write about a time when you took action to ensure that children were protected from neglect, cruelty, or exploitation

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