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Lesson Plan June 21, 2021

Journalism, Justice, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: Project Based Learning

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This unit was created by Stephanie Naegele, a ninth grade history teacher in Chicago, IL, as part of the spring 2021 Pulitzer Center Teacher Fellowship program on Journalism and Justice. It is designed for facilitation across approximately 15 60-minute live or virtual class periods.

For more units created by Pulitzer Center Teacher Fellows in this cohort, click here.

Unit Objectives:

  • Understand the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
  • Understand the role of journalism in ensuring justice in society.
  • Identify human rights violations in underreported global news stories. 
  • Identify human rights violations in underreported local news stories.
  • Identify human rights violations within your own community. 
  • Analyze how individuals and groups uphold the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in the world and our community.
  • Identify various ways you can take civic action to uphold the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. 
  • Use the Design Thinking Process to develop and refine a plan to take civic action. 
  • Use the Design Thinking Process to develop and refine a plan to take civic action. 
  • Take civic action and reflect on it.

Unit Overview:

What is the role of journalism in ensuring justice in society? In what ways has the Universal Declaration of Human Rights been violated in the world and our community? How do individuals and groups uphold the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in the world and our community?

This 15-day unit focuses on the fragility of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and our responsibility to uphold the document. It looks at the role of the media in defining our universe of obligation and highlights the importance of underreported news stories. 

In their analysis of journalism, justice and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, students will use Pulitzer Center texts and materials to identify human rights violations in underreported global and local news. Students will analyze how individuals and groups uphold the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in the world and our community. In the culminating project for this unit, students will take civic action to address an underreported  violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights within their community using the LAUNCH design thinking model.

Performance Task

In the culminating project for this unit, students will take on the role of a journalist to determine the ways in which the Universal Declaration of Human Rights has been violated in their community. The performance task utilizes students’ knowledge of their community by allowing them to identify any issue they feel passionate about.

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