Monday, January 6, 2014

Rights and Responsibilities

This is officially the longest winter break I've ever had - not only did we have a snow day on the Friday before break, we have another today - and I just got the call that my district has already closed for tomorrow! I'm using these extra days to put the finishing touches on prep/printing/laminating/planning for January. Nice to be able to get even more done than I'd expected - and in my pajamas, no less! ;)

Our January unit is all about Rights and Responsibilities. I've said before that I try to make a youtube playlist with our unit theme each month, to be played while we have arrivals/breakfast time each morning. Here are some videos I've found for this month:

"We've All Got Rights" by UNICEF - catchy! It also touches on issues of refugees - as I have a refugee in my class this year, this one will be good to talk about.

"Rights and Responsibilities of Children" - not a song, but I love how it pairs each right with a corresponding responsibility. The images in the video are a bit young for my kids, and I usually would not use a video like this because of that, but the info is so excellent and in language my students can understand, so I'm keeping it in.

"Here I Am and I Have Rights" - not sure my students will love this one, as it's not as catchy a song as they usually like - but it has a great message/information. The images in the video would be great discussion starters for higher-functioning students, too.

"All About Responsibility" - gotta love Harry Kindergarten! My kids will certainly be singing along to this one.

"Rights and Responsibilities of Citizens" by brainpop  - another one that's not a song, but excellent!

"I Have a Dream" song for MLK Day - how perfect that we're studying rights and responsibilities during January this year!

I also wanted to share about a book I found at the library over break that I'm definitely going to be using in class:
We Are All Born Free: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Pictures by Amnesty International is a fantastic picture book! It uses a simplified version of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and many different artists contributed illustrations for each of the articles.

I'd never read the Universal Declaration of Human Rights before, but I love how this book starts: We are all born free and equal. We all have our own thoughts and ideas. We should all be treated in the same way. These rights belong to everybody, whatever our differences.We all have the right to life, and to live in freedom and safety. And it ends: We have a duty to other people, and we should protect their rights and freedoms. Nobody can take these rights and freedoms from us. What a great summary!

Since the book is rather long (there are 30 articles in the declaration) and my students will not be able to focus on it all, I'm planning on using it during our group circle time but skip pages here and there (the articles that either my students don't have a frame of reference for and/or they would have trouble understanding) and further simplify the text on others. I'll use it in my higher group to discuss further.

I'll be sure to share other "rights and responsibilities" things we do as the month goes on.

Also, don't forget to hop over to Tasha's blog to check out my guest post from yesterday, too: Adapting Books @ A Tender Teacher for Special Needs :)


  1. Thanks so much for sharing your list! I will check some of these out later!

    For more MLK stuff - you should definitely add this song to your list - - my students LOVED it last year! It's to Nelly's song "Just a Dream."

    All of the other items I used for teaching about MLK last year can be found right here - - lots of good, free, stuff from TpT! :)

    1. Brie, thanks so much for the song recommendation - it's fantastic! My students will love it!

      Definitely going to check out your MLK post!! :)

  2. Hi Kara!

    I have been a lurker forever, but not sure I've ever posted on your blog. I have taught students with multiple disabilities and students on the autism spectrum. This year I've returned to multiple disabilities after two years with students on the spectrum. I have talked to my new school about Unique Learning Curriculum and am very excited as they said they would look into buying it and News-2-You for me! They are thinking I might have it by February. I have been interested in seeing how others use it in their classrooms. I'm interested in your playlist idea. How do you make a playlist on youtube? We have limited access to youtube - it only lets us watch certain videos, but I've been trying to put educational videos on during down time. I am also curious about what your daily schedule looks like. I have been using the schedule that the former teacher left, but need to start tweaking it. Trying to figure out how to get everyone's therapy and positioning and academics in. I'd love to hear more about your school day. :)


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