communities, and governments that support
human rights for children provide an environment
which includes freedom of opinions, thoughts,
expressions, conscience, religion, and
association. (CRC Articles 12-16.)
Rights: Children have the right
- an opinion;
- have their opinion taken into account
in matters affecting them;
- freedom of expression;
- freedom of association;
- protection of privacy.
Responsibilities: Children are
- accepting and supporting others'
- using their freedoms in such a
way as to not infringe on the freedoms
or well-being of others.
- learn about their rights and
gain skills in respecting the rights
help parents understand
what the Children's Convention
states regarding children's freedom
of expression and association;
help parents understand
ways to provide guidance and direction
to children in the exercise of their
freedom of thought, conscience, and
promote family empowerment
by helping families learn peaceful
ways to solve problems;
gain a deeper understanding
of what it means for children to have
the right to freedom of opinion, expression,
* Green paint, easel paper,
paint brush, and easel;
* Sensory table, water,
plastic, or rubber fish and other sea
creatures, fish nets;
* Building blocks that
connect with play figures;
* Colored construction
paper or newsprint and scissors for paper
chains, or colored tissue paper cut into
* white paper cut in dove shapes, paint
brushes, liquid starch.
* Large chart paper and
pens or markers;
* Paper, pens, scissors,
string, and tape for the kite activity;
* 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
and paper at easel. Allow
for free expression with the paint.
2. FISH IN WATER (SENSORY)
Water play is very soothing and
enjoyable to children and adults. It
represents comfort, calmness, and returning
to the waters that gave us birth.
Assortment of plastic
fish and other water animals and small
fish nets in water at sensory table. (Fish
nets can be obtained at most pet stores.)
3. PAPER CHAIN PEOPLE
A paper chain of people symbolizes
our connectedness to each other and
unity among peoples of the earth.
Paper suitable for cutting
several thicknesses, scissors, and an
example pattern. Cue card explains instructions
for parents to follow.
4. TISSUE PAPER DOVES
(SMALL MUSCLE AND CREATIVE EXPRESSION)
The dove is a symbol of peace through
out the world.
Paper cut in the shape
of doves, assortment of colored tissue
paper, cut into small squares, and liquid
starch. Parents and children dip tissue
paper into liquid starch and stick to
paper doves. Parents and child work together
to brush the dove with liquid starch,
crumple the tissue paper squares, and
glue them onto the dove shape.
5. BOOK CORNER: (LANGUAGE)
- Nobiah's Well, by Donna
- Blue Berries for Sal,
by Robert McClosky
- Brother Eagle, Sister Sky,
by Chief Seattle
- The Little Engine That Could,
by Watty Piper
- Sauce Pan Game, by Jan
- Tickle, Tickle, by Helen
- Follow the Drinking Gourd,
by Jeanette Winter
- 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. "I'm happy to see
all of you!" Sing "Shake
Hands With Friends and Say Hello."
you had the freedom to choose which activity
to do and how long you wanted to be there.
Each week you have the freedom to choose
the activities you want to do. You can
dwell in one area as long as you want
to. Sometimes, however, there are limits
to your freedoms. Who can name something
that has limited you? (Take some comments.)
Yes, our time, our ability, and our materials
can limit us. Another limit we always
need to be aware of is our responsibility
to respect others and our space, or our
environment. Did some of you experience
a limitation of respecting others?
- 4. "When we limit ourselves
without waiting to be told by someone
else, it is called taking responsibility.
We have been learning about responsibility
throughout these weeks together. You've
all learned that with rights come
responsibilities. You've gained more
knowledge and practice with being
responsible as you have learned to
limit yourselves in order to respect
- 5. "In today's circle
you will be free to express your choice
of song or activity. What would you
like to sing, or what game would you
like to play?" Wait for someone
to say their favorite, or go around
the circle and let each person state
their choice. Then continue:
- 6. "We are limited by
time, so we may not be able to sing
all your favorites, or play all your
favorite games. How about if we try
to agree on one to start with? How
many would like to sing ______ (name
the song the most people mentioned).
Is there anyone who doesn't want to
sing that? (If so, let that person
pick a song too. Then sing the songs
they chose.) There, today, we had
free choice in our singing!
- 7. "We have many freedoms
in this country. But it wasn't always
free for everyone. A while ago there
were people who had slaves and the
slaves weren't free. They couldn't
say what they wanted or do what they
wanted. We don't ever want anyone
to be a slave in this country or in
any other. We can speak out for freedom
for all people.
- 8. "Let's sing a song
about freedom." Songs: "Follow
the Drinking Gourd," "All
for Freedom," "This Land
is Your Land," "What A Wonderful
Separate Learning Time
Children's Learning Circle Session
What do you think it means when we
say we have freedom?
What does taking the responsibility
to accept and support freedoms of others
Who has seen any children accepting
this responsibility in class today?
(Take responses from the children,
then tell them what you've seen.)
- 1. Invite the children to
come to the circle with the gathering
- 2. Discussion: .
- 3. "Now let's sing
a song about freedom." Sing
"All for Freedom," by
Sweet Honey in the Rock, on their
All for Freedom cassette.
- 4. Activity: Show two or
three books from this week's selections,
and tell the children they are free
to choose the one they would like
to read today. You might ask for
a show of hands or take a vote so
everyone gets to express his or
her opinion. You might also wish
to vote on the other songs you will
sing. Or go around the circle and
sing the ones each child chooses.
- 5. Activity: Use the easel
with 9 x 13 black construction paper
on it. Cut out seven yellow star
shapes. Trace the Big Dipper outline
in pencil on the black paper. Ask
seven children to place the stars
in their spots on the Big Dipper.
You could have smaller stars available
so each child could place a star
in the sky. Explain that when there
were slaves in the south, the slaves
would look to the North Star, in
its position in the Big Dipper,
as a guide northward and a symbol
Now, practice this refrain:
When the sun comes back, and the
first quail calls,
Follow the drinking gourd.
For the old man is a-waiting
for to carry you to freedom
If you follow the drinking
- 6. Read
Follow the Drinking Gourd. Ask
the children to sing or chant the
phrase each time it's used in the
- 7. Close with additional
songs of the children's choosing.
Parent Education Session 11
Preparation: Write this topic
title, "Freedom of Thought, Expression,
and Association" on chart paper
and underneath write: "You have
five minutes to use as you choose. This
time will demonstrate (briefly) the
rights we will be talking about today."
- 1. Discussion:
- How much do you value those freedoms?
- Do you think they are important
for all people?
- 2. Debate Activity: How much
freedom should children have?
- Hand out and read the articles for
today's discussion, from the United
Nations Convention on the Rights of
the Child (CRC Articles 12 to
Separate participants into two groups.
Designate each group as either a "pro"
or "con" group for the following
debate. By assigning people in a random
fashion to one group, the debate will
be less polarized since many people
will be debating on the side they do
not support. Ask each group to spend
some time preparing their side of the
argument regarding freedoms for children.
Debate Topic: Many adults
feel that children are not mature
enough to be able to choose with whom
they will associate, and that this
right will usurp parental rights to
protect their child. Other people
feel that young persons deserve to
choose their associates and express
their own opinions. This debate often
centers around the age that children
will be given these rights, rather
than whether or not children should
have these rights at all.
Give each group chart paper, pens,
and about ten minutes to write their
main reasons why these articles are
good for children and parents or why
these are a problem for children and
parents. Ask each group to choose a
recorder and a reporter.
Call the groups back and have them
tape up their chart paper and begin
the discussion with one person from
the pro group making a point and one
person from the con group making a counter
point. Continue until all participants
have had their opinion expressed and
the issue has been thoroughly debated.
- 3. Activity: Why Children
are Like Kites
1. Hand out the essay: Why Children
Are Like Kites (Handout
PE #11 ). Read it out loud.
Ask participants if they can draw
parallels between what this essay
says and what they have discussed
in the articles.
2. Provide materials to make a paper
kite and invite participants to create
one. It can be as simple or elaborate
as participants wish.
3. Attach the essay to the kite using
glue or tape.
Read aloud these first few lines
from Kahlil Gibran's poem titled "Children."