Canadian Human Rights Toolkit

Human Rights Resources for Teachers

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The Canadian Teachers’ Federation and the Canadian Museum for Human Rights have worked in partnership to bring together a rich digital selection of human rights education resources for Kindergarten to Grade 12 in English and French. The resources in this toolkit were carefully reviewed by teachers and will link you to a variety of literature, media and lesson plans that can be used in the classroom.










388 results found.
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  • Adventurers Against Their Will - Lesson Plans for Grades 8-12

    Organization:
    Joanie Holzer Schirm
    Website:
    www.joanieschirm.com

    Lesson Plans available for use and inspiration regarding Human Rights protection. The award-winning author can provide primary source copies for classrooms dealing with true WWII stories about displaced persons. The story centers on the author's Czech father and a group of friends, including later-to-become Canadian Karel Bala, who are forced to leave their native country after Nazi occupation. The group corresponds across five continents, expressing well the loss of human rights and of homeland, family, friends, possessions, and professions. Author Joanie Schirm began in 2008 a search for the writers or their descendants and chronicles what she discovered and why it should matter. The personal stories remind students of the fragility of societies and the consequences of indifference. The Lesson Plan brings modern relevance to the stories of displaced persons - in 2014 nearly 60 million strong, the highest since WWII. The stories help students recognize that ordinary individuals just like themselves can lose their human rights and that they also can play a role in protecting human rights and dignity.

  • Voices into Action

    Organization:
    FAST- Fighting Antisemitism Together®
    Website:
    www.voicesintoaction.ca

    Mobile-ready digital resources for secondary school, available at NO COST to students and educators. Developed by a team of 20 curriculum experts at OISE-UT, addresses many human rights issues such as the Aboriginal experience, homophobia, the Holocaust, Rwandan genocide, Armenian genocide, right of people with disabilities, the Bosnian War, the Black experience, cyber bullying, gender issues, Chinese Immigration and more.

  • Canadian Human Rights Reporter

    Organization:
    Canadian Human Rights Reporter, Inc.
    Website:
    www.cdn-hr-reporter.ca

    The Canadian Human Rights Reporter Inc. (CHRR) is a not-for-profit organization established to promote access to human rights law in Canada.

    Since 1980, the Canadian Human Rights Reporter (CHRR) has published decisions of tribunals, boards of inquiry and courts from all jurisdictions, as well as the appeals which flow from them. Many of the decisions published by CHRR are not available from any other source. CHRR also publishes human rights legislation from all jurisdictions.

    CHRR publishes the Human Rights Digest, an electrontic newsletter providing summaries of, and commentary on, recent tribunal and court decisions from all jurisdictions in Canada.

  • I Have The Right To Be A Child

    Selected for the IRA Notable Books for a Global Society List, selected for the Children's Literary Assembly 2013 Notable Children's Books and the USBBY Outstanding International Book List

    With a very simple text accompanied by rich, vibrant illustrations, a young narrator describes what it means to be a child with rights -- from the right to food, water and shelter, to the right to go to school, to be free from violence, to breathe clean air, and more. The book emphasizes that these rights belong to every child on the planet, whether they are "black or white, small or big, rich or poor, born here or somewhere else." It also makes evident that knowing and talking about these rights are the first steps toward making sure that they are respected.

    A brief afterword explains that the rights outlined in the book come from the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which was adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1989. The treaty sets out the basic human rights that belong to children all over the world, recognizing that children need special protection since they are more vulnerable than adults. It has been ratified by 193 states, with the exception of Somalia, the United States and the new country of South Sudan. Once a state has ratified the document, they are legally bound to comply with it and to report on their efforts to do so. As a result, some progress has been made, not only in awareness of children's rights, but also in their implementation. But there are still many countries, wealthy and poor, where children's basic needs are not being met.

  • Recognizing an Historical Injustice: Canada's First National Internment Operations 1914-1920

    Organization:
    The Critical Thinking Consortium (TC2)
    Website:
    http://tc2.ca/shop/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=1881

    The objective of this publication is to raise critical awareness among secondary school students about the largely unknown story of Canada’s First National Internment Operations during the First World War era. The omission until very recently of the internment of thousands of Ukrainian, Bulgarians, Czechs, Germans, Hungarians, Italians, Jews, various people from the Ottoman Empire, Polish, Romanians, Russians, Serbians, Slovaks, Slovenes, among others, between 1914 and 1920, has left a gap in our understanding of Canada’s history.

  • The Breadwinner

    The first book in Deborah Ellis’s riveting Breadwinner series is an award-winning novel about loyalty, survival, families and friendship under extraordinary circumstances during the Taliban’s rule in Afghanistan.


    Eleven-year-old Parvana lives with her family in one room of a bombed-out apartment building in Kabul, Afghanistan’s capital city. Parvana’s father — a history teacher until his school was bombed and his health destroyed — works from a blanket on the ground in the marketplace, reading letters for people who cannot read or write. One day, he is arrested for the crime of having a foreign education, and the family is left without someone who can earn money or even shop for food.

    As conditions for the family grow desperate, only one solution emerges. Forbidden to earn money as a girl, Parvana must transform herself into a boy, and become the breadwinner.

    The fifteenth anniversary edition includes a special foreword by Deborah Ellis as well as a new map, an updated author’s note and a glossary to provide young readers with background and context. All royalties from the sale of this book will go to Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan. Parvana’s Fund supports education projects for Afghan women and children.

  • Circle of the Sun (1960), Standing Alone (1982), Round Up (2011): An Integrated Educator’s Guide

    Organization:
    National Film Board of Canada
    Website:
    http://www3.nfb.ca/sg/100673.pdf

    This study guide is intended to provide support to teachers in presenting the ideas shared in the "Pete Standing Alone Trilogy" films: Round Up (2011), Circle of the Sun (1960) and Standing Alone (1982). The first film, Circle of the Sun (1960), introduces audiences to a young Pete who is uninterested in embracing the cultural traditions of his people. The second film, Standing Alone (1982), chronicles his attempt to embrace his people’s identity and cultural traditions. The final film of the trilogy, Round Up (2010), finds Pete as an elder, teacher and community leader. He is continuing in his determination to preserve the traditions of his people and pass teachings on to the youth of the community.

    Format: PDF

  • Lesson Plan: For Teachers: Abortion and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms

    This lesson plan is designed for high school students in Business Studies or Political Science courses. It focuses on considering the application of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (1982) in relation to the topic of abortion in Canada. Students will have the opportunity to utilize the CBC Digital archives website to conduct research. Student handouts are available for download as a PDF file.

  • Lesson Plan: For Teachers: 'A Woman's Place'

    Organization:
    Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
    Website:
    http://www.cbc.ca/archives/lesson-plan/for-teachers-a-womans-place

    This lesson plan focuses on the topic of women’s rights and equality in Canadian history. The lesson is designed for high school students in History, Social Studies or English Language Arts courses. Students will have the opportunity to utilize the CBC Digital archives website to conduct research.

  • Lesson Plan: For Teachers: A Question of Rights

    Organization:
    Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
    Website:
    http://www.cbc.ca/archives/lesson-plan/for-teachers-a-question-of-rights

    This lesson plan explores the Charter of Rights and Freedoms (1982) in relation to issues with freedom of speech in advertising. This lesson is designed for high school students in History, Social Studies or Political Science courses. Students will have the opportunity to utilize the CBC Digital Archives website.

  • Lesson Plan: For Teachers: Canada's Free Press

    Organization:
    Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
    Website:
    http://www.cbc.ca/archives/lesson-plan/for-teachers-canadas-free-press

    This lesson plan examines the topic of Canada’s free press and is designed for high school students in History, Media Studies or English Language Arts courses. Students will utilize the CBC Digital Archives website to research the topics. Student handouts are available for download as PDF files.

  • Lesson Plan: For Teachers: Global Meltdown

    Organization:
    Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
    Website:
    http://www.cbc.ca/archives/lesson-plan/for-teachers-global-meltdown

    This lesson plan focuses on the topic of climate change in relation to the Northwest Passage and the potential global impact. The material is designed for high school students in History, Science or Political Science courses. The lesson plan provides students with the opportunity to utilize the CBC Digital Archives website for research.

  • Lesson Plan: For Teachers: Facing Discrimination and Racism

    Organization:
    Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
    Website:
    http://www.cbc.ca/archives/lesson-plan/for-teachers-facing-discrimination-and-racism

    This lesson plan is designed for use with high school students in History and Political Science classes. The focus of the lesson is to analyze acts of discrimination and racism against Chinese Canadians. The lesson utilizes the CBC documentary A Tale of Perseverance: Chinese Immigration to Canada (1997) and is available through CBC’s Radio and TV archives located on the website. The student handout is also available for download as a PDF.

  • Lesson Plan: For Teachers: Healing and Reconciliation

    Organization:
    Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
    Website:
    http://www.cbc.ca/archives/lesson-plan/for-teachers-healing-and-reconciliation

    This lesson plan is designed for use by teachers on the topic of healing and reconciliation of Aboriginal people in Canada. It includes study of Canada’s history of residential schools and media literacy. The lesson provides opportunity for incorporating CBC’s Radio and TV archives as well as suggestions for integration with subject areas. The content of the lesson plan is specified for students in Grades 9 to 12. The student handout is available for download as a PDF.

  • Lesson Plan: For Teachers: The Environment: Issues and Politics

    Organization:
    Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
    Website:
    http://www.cbc.ca/archives/search/10a8405f0133e81723c01f2435e1699b/

    This lesson plan is designed for use with high school students in Political Science, Geography or and Science courses. The lesson includes the use of CBC’s Radio and TV archives to conduct Internet research on current environmental issues and examine the impact on political policy and activism.

  • Lesson Plan: For Teachers: Hana's Suitcase?

    Organization:
    Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
    Website:
    http://www.cbc.ca/archives/lesson-plan/for-teachers-hanas-suitcase

    This lesson plan uses media artifacts found on the CBC Digital Archives website to compare and contrast information presented in reports about “Hana’s Suitcase.” The research and discussion support the writing of an opinion piece. Student handouts are available for download as a PDF. The lessons can be integrated with history and English language arts. Possible topics of study relevant to this lesson are the Second World War, the Holocaust, concentration camps and human rights violations.

  • Games for Change: Socially-based Curriculum Unit

    Published by the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF), this unit is designed for teachers to use with Grade 10 English classes. It explores digital game literacy and the possibilities of creating and using digital games as a means of fostering social advocacy and change. The four lessons engage students in researching a local or global social issue of their own choice and using the digital game medium as a means of educating and informing. Specific knowledge and skills outcomes are included in the unit plan.

    Format: PDF

  • Canadian Aboriginal Books for Schools: Selected and Evaluated by Teacher Librarians (2012-2013)

    Organization:
    The Association of Book Publishers of BC (ABPBC)
    Website:
    http://books.bc.ca/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/AbCat2012_forWeb.pdf

    A catalogue of book titles written or published by Aboriginal people or are about Aboriginal. The book titles have been selected from publisher submissions by teacher-librarians, have been chosen for their relevance to school curricula and are annotated by professional evaluators. The catalogue is organized by grade level: Elementary (K-7), Secondary (8-12) and Cross Grades for both levels.

    Format: PDF

  • Stop Poverty - We Have What it Takes

    This unit includes four lesson plans that engage students in exploring poverty within the contexts of Canada and India. The lesson plans include viewing the documentary Born Into Brothels (2004) and having students evaluate international organizations and grassroots projects involved in working with poverty. Students will create a photographic image to capture issues of poverty within a local or global context. Found on the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF) website, the unit plan and student handouts are available for download as PDFs. The unit is designed for use in a Canadian and World Issues course for secondary level students.

    Format: PDF

  • We Are All Treaty People

    Organization:
    Office of the Treaty Commissioner
    Website:
    http://www.otc.ca/resource.html

    A website providing resources on how to teach the treaties of Western Canada with a specific emphasis on Saskatchewan. Treaty information sheets, a timeline, backgrounders, summaries, histories, a Wikispace, photographs, biographies, and videos are available. Professional development workshops are available for K-12 teachers in Saskatchewan.

  • An Agenda for Social Change: 2016

    Organization:
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
    Website:
    https://www.policyalternatives.ca/publications/reports/agenda-social-change-2016-calendar

    The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives annually publishes a calendar, An Agenda for Social Change. Each month identifies and describes key dates in Canada’s social justice history. Each day, readers have an opportunity to explore how debates about equality, gender, environment, First Nations, labour, trade, and social programs shape our development and identity. The calendar includes a teacher’s guide for those interested in using the calendar as an educational tool.

  • The Rights Angle: Human Rights Education Using the Newspaper

    Organization:
    Alberta Civil Liberties Research Centre
    Website:
    http://www.aclrc.com/rights-angle-kit/

    The Rights Angle is a series of resources produced by The Alberta Civil Liberties Research Centre for teaching students about human rights and the newspaper. Using these resources, students will gain an understanding of human rights, gain knowledge of current human rights issues in Canada and through the world, and will be able identify human rights issues in the newspaper. An activities booklet is available for all regions of Canada, while teacher’s and student’s manuals are available for each province and territory. The Alberta version has been authorized as a teaching resource for Grades 10 to 12 (Legal Studies and Health).

    Format: PDFs

  • The Charter for Children

    Organization:
    DC Canada Education Publishing
    Website:
    http://www.dc-canada.ca/Charter.html

    The Charter for Children introduces children to the basic principles of The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Each story is set in a different province or territory of the country and each addresses a different right or freedom in the Charter. The series seeks to empower children by providing them with a basic awareness of their rights and by fostering a respect for the fundamental values that Canadians cherish.

  • Inspiring Global Citizens - An Educator's Guide

    Organization:
    Aga Khan Foundation Canada
    Website:
    http://www.akfc.ca/en/guide

    A fun and interactive curriculum resource to help students understand their role as global citizens. This resource is designed for intermediate and secondary school classes and features engaging activities, discussion guides, student assignments, backgrounders, videos, and real-world examples.

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