Freedom of Expression

Thursday 2/1/18

Today’s Objective(s): SWBAT

  1. Continue to identify the 30 Universal HR
  2. Consider the limitations of our HR
  3. Communicate ideas effectively (LTO)
  4. Support ideas based on sound reasoning (LTO)

Do Now – 10 minutes

On a lined piece of paper, please respond to the following prompt:

Let’s imagine for a minute that you got the below text from a close friend. What advice would you give him or her? Please write a thorough response in which you offer the best advice you can to your friend, and explain why you think what you think.

“hey, my bro snuck into my room and read my journal. guilty jerk had no right, he knows he’s not allowed in my room. when i called him out, he said he was doing it for my own good. same thing he always says. what should i do?”

We’ll discuss as a class.

LESSON – 45 minutes

Human Rights 19-25

We’ll begin by introducing the next 7 human rights using the same format as the previous 18 human rights.

19. Freedom of Expression
20. The Right to Public Assembly
21. The Right to Democracy
22. The Right to Social Security
23. Worker’s Rights
24. The Right to Play
25. Food and Shelter for All

Freedom of Expression Activity

Next up, we’ll engage in an activity that has us exploring HR #19 – Freedom of Expression. Because here’s the thing, rights do have limits. The Freedom to Move, for example, doesn’t mean we can go anywhere we want. I can’t move into your house, right? I can’t kick you out of your own home just because I want to live there.

A common way to think about rights is reflected in the following idea:

My rights end where your rights begin

And the idea is simple. I’m free to exercise my human rights, but only to the point where they don’t infringe on your ability to do the same. If the way I’m exercising my rights keeps you from exercising yours, then I’m crossing a line. And it’s this line that we’re going to explore today related to the Freedom of Expression.

The Scenarios

You’ll be split into 6 groups and tasked with considering, and discussing, one of the following scenarios:

  1. Members of a neo-Nazi organization dressed in WWII German military uniforms conduct a parade in a Jewish neighborhood
  2. Protesters burn the American flag on the steps of the Capitol building on a 4th of July celebration
  3. An online wiki group publishes thousands of classified U.S. military documents about the Afghanistan war
  4. The local chapter of the Ku Klux Klan opens an office three blocks from the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Alabama where 4 small girls were killed after a bomb exploded
  5. Cartoons of the prophet Muhammad, depicted as a terrorist, are printed on large signs and set up on public property across the street of a mosque
  6. A political organization spends thousands of dollars in advertising to encourage people not to vote in the next election

Whichever one you are assigned, within your group, please identify and discuss the following:

  • Identify the action being taken, who is taking it, and who it affects.
  • Discuss whether you feel this action is protected by HR 19
  • What effect might the action have on the people being offended? What rights of theirs do you feel are being violated?
  • How would you determine whether the feelings of the people being offended outweigh the rights of those exercising their right to freedom of expression?

After you’ve discussed the questions in your groups, you’ll have a spokesperson read the scenario on your card and summarize your group’s discussion. We’ll discuss each as a class.

Closing – 2 minutes

Pair up with one other person at your table and read him/her each of today’s human rights (#19-25). Switch and listen to your partner do the same.


No homework today friends. Enjoy Wellness tomorrow, and have a great weekend.

Unit Objectives

  1. Identify the 30 HRs and articulate why human rights are important to them as individuals
  2. Order and explain the historical evolution of HRs using primary sources
  3. Identify historical and/or modern day examples of HRs violations
  4. Synthesize understanding about existing HRs, and about HRs issues in our community to develop new, relevant ideas that connect to our community

This Week’s Agenda


Performing our mock trials


Human Rights quiz, and introduction to HRs # 12-18.


GQ Review and introduce HR 12-18


Introduce HR 19-25 and explore Freedom of Expression in depth

Quote of the Week

““Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

Martin Luther King, Jr.


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