Roots: Parents, communities,
and governments that work for and support
human rights for children provide free
and compulsory education for every child,
aimed at developing the child's personality,
talents, and mental and physical abilities
to the fullest extent, school discipline
that is consistent with the child's
rights and dignity, and continuing access
to information and lifelong learning
(CRC Articles 17, 28, 29).
Rights: Children have the right
free and compulsory education;
discipline consistent with their
rights and dignity;
education that prepares them for
an active adult life, fosters respect
for their parents, cultural identity,
language, and values, and for the cultural
background and values of others.
are responsible for
applying their attention to learning;
being prepared to benefit self and
cooperating with teachers, parents,
- gain understanding of their responsibilities
in obtaining an education.
- understand the right of every
child to be educated;
- understand their responsibility
in supporting their child's education;
- learn ways to prepare children
for assuming their responsibilities
- increase skills for problem-solving
in a group.
- Three colors of paint, marbles,
plastic spoons, construction or other
paper, cardboard box with sides cut
down to two inches. A shoe box cover
works well with small sheets of paper;
- Any set of blocks;
- Easel, paper, and two colors of
- Outline of a hopscotch board on
the floor. Use masking tape for carpeted
floor or chalk for a cement floor.
Make it large enough for standing
on each number without stepping on
a dividing line;
- A small bean bag or stone for each
Greet as usual. Make sure
everyone gets a name tag.
- 1. PLAY SCHOOL (SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL
Provides the children
with the experience of being the teacher.
Reversing roles with parents/teachers
often gives insights.
- Child pretends to be the teacher
in a small classroom set up in the
drama area. Parent pretends to be
the student. Parent asks questions
so the child can be a teacher.
- 2. MARBLE PAINTING (CREATIVE
Provides practice in
creative play and artistic expression.
- Parent and child create art designs
by rolling marbles in different
color paints and then on sheets
of paper in a box. For toddlers,
you might like to use golf balls
instead of marbles.
- 3. BLOCKS (MANIPULATIVE/ PRE-MATH
- Small shoe to pass;
- Art easel with paper.
- Parent Education Handouts PE
#8a and #8b;
- Extra copies of the Convention
on the Rights of the Child;
- Chart paper or chalkboard and pens
Provides concrete learning
in pre-math concepts.
- Parent and child manipulate classroom
unit blocks to create structures,
roads, buildings and designs.
- 4. MIXING PAINT COLORS AT EASEL
for education about primary colors and
creation of secondary colors.
- Provide red, yellow, and blue paints
and place two of these colors on either
side of the easel; add paint brushes
and extra cups in which to stir new
colors. Participants will mix two
primary colors to create a new color.
- 5. BOOK CORNER (LANGUAGE )
Helping Out, by George Ancona
Julius, by Agelo Johnson
We Play, by Phyllis Hoffman
Crow Boy, by Turo Yahima
My Apron, by Eric Carle
The Fourth Question: A Chinese
Tale, by Rosalind C. Wang
- 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
- 2. "I'm happy to see
all of you!" Sing "Shake
Hands With Friends and Say Hello."
- "Today, I'd like to tell
you a story. . . Once upon a time
there was a land where only the
sons and daughters of the kings
and queens and very rich people
went to school. All the other kids
had to stay home and work with their
parents all day long. They were
not allowed to go to the schools.
Some would learn many things from
their parents, but some would not
learn very much. Who can name a
few things they learned from their
parents?" (Take a few comments.)
- ". . . Anyway, back to our
story. Some of the people began
to worry that the children weren't
learning certain things they needed
to know. Like, they didn't know
how to count, so things couldn't
be fair. They didn't know how to
read, so people couldn't read the
good stories others wrote. So the
people got together, and they decided
to build a school for all the children.
- "Let's see what's involved
in building a school. Let's
use these materials and build one
ourselves. We won't take years and
years; we'll just take a few minutes."
(Provide Legos or Tinker Toys,
or Lincoln Logs, or blocks for small
groups, or for the entire group,
if small enough. Notice how some
people begin to give directions,
others are silent, some are helpful,
some are watching.)
- "The people in our story
had some trouble building their
schools. Some people wanted to do
it one way, other people wanted
to do it another way. Some people
were planners, some were doers,
and others were watchers and evaluators.
Finally, they came to some agreements
and were able to build together.
When they finished their school,
they were very happy. Did you experience
any of the same things in your building
project?" (Discuss for a few
moments what their building experience
was like. Ask, "Who was a leader
in your group? Who was a builder?
Who was an evaluator?") "All
these roles are important."
- "In our story, after the
community finished their new school
building, they found a teacher and
the kids came to school. Most were
very happy to finally be able to
come to school to get an education,
but others didn't take the responsibility
to work hard and learn in school.
The people who built the school
were very sad that some children
didn't seem to appreciate all the
hard work and money it took to build
their school. But they still kept
the school going for all the kids
who were eager to learn.
- 3. "The Convention
on the Rights of the Child says
that kids have a right to have their
education be free, all the way up
to 12th grade. Do you have any brothers
and sisters who are in school? Well,
they get to go to school free. Isn't
that great? In some places in the
world they don't have it set up
that way, and the kids don't get
to go to school because there is
not even a school there, or the
people can't afford it! Do you think
it's fair that you can go to school
and they don't?"
- 4. "It is a great
gift of our society to help children
get an education. What do you children
think you need to do to show you
appreciate this gift?" (Talk
about the responsibilities of being
a student. Thank children for their
thoughts and everyone for their
- 5. Sing your regular closing
song or "This Little Light
Separate learning time
Children's Learning Circle Session
Preparation: During the free
choice time, observe children and
look for ways they contribute to society
or the classroom: cooperating, helping,
cleaning up, paying attention, thinking
hard, and so on. Take notes so you
have a comment for each child.
- 1. Gather the children
with your gathering song.
- 2. Thank children for their
contributions in the play area and
the Community Circle. Tell them
some specific ways you saw them
appreciating the gift of an education.
For example, thank those who helped
others, helped clean up, or cooperated
in a game. Try to find something
to thank each child for.
- 3. "You are doing
a good job of taking your responsibilities
for getting an education. Let's
practice being responsible learners
and learn a game to play."
- 4. "Cobbler, Cobbler,
Mend My Shoe" game:
- Sit in a circle with legs crossed.
One person has a shoe, which is
passed around the circle behind
everyone's back as you sing or chant
Cobbler, Cobbler mend my shoe,
Have it done by half past two.
Mend it up and mend it down. Have
it done when I come from town.
- Ask, "Who do you think has
the shoe?" Invite children
to say aloud who has the shoe. The
guesser is celebrated for being
a responsible learner and paying
close attention. Then he or she
gets to start the shoe. While the
shoe is being passed, chant the
- 5. Your regular closing
song or "This Little Light
Books to read:
- Helping Out, by George
- The Saucepan Game, by Jan
- My Apron, by Eric Carle
Songs to sing:
- "Vivala Company," "Sharing
Song," "Ring Around the
Rosie" (), "Pat -a-Cake"
- "The More We Get Together."
Parent Education Session 8
Preparation: Write the topic
title, "Free and Compulsory Education"
on chart paper or chalkboard.
- 2. Action Steps and Journaling
Report: "Who would like
to share an action step they did
this week, or something from their
journal? . . . Thank you. Every
time we take action or do reflective
thinking we learn. Education, or
learning, comes in many forms."
- 3. Activity: "Let's
think for a minute about the "education"
the learning we experienced in the
parent/child interaction time."
List the activities each parent
and child did in the early childhood
classroom. Ask, "Why did we
have these activities? What learning
or potential learning did our child
gain from each activity?"
- 4. Explain the following in
your own words, if it doesn't come
out in the previous
- discussion: "We know
that education starts at the earliest
age, and we are still learning at
the end of our lives. This program
is a perfect example of adult learning.
One of the things we know, too,
is that children learn through their
play and recreation. Playing is
a child's work."
- "The focus in early childhood
education is toward hands-on, active
learning. Children learn reading,
writing, and problem-solving through
play. For example, marble painting
and color mixing develop small
muscle coordination, creativity,
and self-esteem through satisfaction
in the process of a project, organization
in following the steps of a project,
and learning how to follow directions
from the teacher or parents present.
Block building teaches mathematical
concepts (for example: two small
blocks are equal in length to one
long block), spatial relationships,
creativity, and cooperation skills.
Organized games with rules like
hopscotch teach spatial relationships,
physical skill development, turn
taking, rule following, and concepts
of competition. Circle time
teaches cooperation skills, listening
skills, following directions, skills
in answering questions in a group
setting, word meanings and rhyming,
coordination, rhythm, and musical
development with voice and body."
- 5. Discussion:
- Distribute Why Teach and Learn
About Human Rights in Schools?
Do you believe children have a right
to this kind of learning? Why or why
What does a free education mean to
you? What does the law say about a child's
right to education?
Read CRC Articles 17, 28, and 29,
either as a group or individually.
- 6. Small group activity:
Ask the class to divide into three
groups one to focus on each of the
three articles. Ask them to condense
to one sentence the article they
- There are short summaries below,
along with questions that may be
asked to stimulate discussion on
- Article 17 speaks to the
education of the masses and the
influence of the media on how our
- What is our role in this type
- How can we advocate for our children's
- How can we be role models?
- What are our responsibilities,
as parents, in supporting our children's
- Article 28 deals with the
system of education.
- What is this article telling
us to do?
- Are we doing this in the United
States of America?
- Article 29 speaks to preparation
of our children for living in our
society and for helping our children
reach their fullest potential.
- What is this article saying about
- How are we doing as a nation
in helping our children achieve
- Are the systems set up to support
the best interest of the child?
- If children have a right to a
free education, what are their responsibilities?
- 7. Discussion: Distribute
Twenty-five Lessons for Life
PE #8a) and ask participants
to read it over.
Would you design an educational program
around Marian Wright Edelman's 25 lessons?
Why or why not?
What should education prepare children
Which points made in the education
articles of the Convention are
addressed or covered by Edelman in these
Twenty-five Lessons for Life?
What implications might these articles
have on our current educational system?
What might Edelman be saying about
our current educational system?
- 8. Optional Discussion: Play/Learner
- You may wish to add some information
on how recently public education
was established in the United States.
U.S residents have gained the privilege
of education, but it's not so
available in all other countries
of the world. The class may want
Discuss whether education is a privilege
or a right or both;
Brainstorm how education has helped
Generate a list of things they want
to learn about and/or things they want
their children to learn;
Generate a list of things parents
teach their children;
Discuss opinions concerning illegal
aliens and recent refugees having these
same education privileges as those who
have been born in this country.
1. Many times our attitude about
schools and learning is affected by
our own experience. What is my attitude
about getting an education?
2. If my own experience was positive,
how can I help my child to have a
positive experience as well? If my
own experience was negative, how do
I talk about education with my children?
3. How do we want our children to
approach learning or education? How
can we help them to do so right now
(when they are toddlers and preschoolers)?
4. Who might support these articles
we have discussed today? Who might
oppose them? Why?
5. What are the implications/consequences
of these articles for underdeveloped
nations? What might my role be in
supporting high quality education
- 10. Summary: "The
United Nations Convention on The
Rights of the Child identifies
the aim of education and calls for
the full development of the child's
personality, talents, mental and
physical abilities, and respect
for human rights and values. It
also prepares the child for life
in a free society in the spirit
of peace, tolerance, equality, and
respect for the natural environment.
Thank you for helping to make that
- "11. Assignment: "Next
week we will talk about children's
right to play and express their
- "culture and religion. Before
we meet again, I'd like each of
you to think of a game that is played
in the country of your ancestry,
or in some way represents an aspect
of your heritage, to teach the group
during our Community Circle
time. If you can't find a game to
play, bring in a memento to share
that represents your religion or
cultural heritage. Plan to briefly
describe it to the group. You may
also bring in favorite family books
to share with the children in the
Children's Learning Circle."