National Child Day

National Child Day Activity Guide

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Age Level: Grade 8 and up

November 20 marks National Child Day in Canada! A time to learn about the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child!

We have put together this activity guide to give you some ideas on how to help students learn about the Convention. We encourage you to take these ideas and build on them to engage children and youth more deeply in learning about children’s rights and the Convention. For more information, we’ve included a link to the National Child Day website which offers other ideas to help you plan even more activities. This is an exciting time of year and we hope you take the time to celebrate!

Activity One: Rights, Wants & Needs

  • Lead a discussion about “wants”, “needs” and “rights” with your students. Refer to the poster to help students determine the difference between “want”, “need” and a “right”.
  • Sample discussion questions might be:
    • Did you know about the Convention?
    • What are some of the rights that are not on the poster?
    • What are some of the rights that are represented on the poster?
    • Are there rights that you see in your school/life/community that are being upheld? If so, what are they?
    • Are there rights that you see in your school/life/community that are not being upheld? If so, what are they, and what could you do about it?
    • Who can you go to if your rights are being violated?
    • Who should be responsible for educating children and youth about their rights?

What are some other ideas?

  • Have students create representations of wants, needs and rights out of a variety of art supplies, and categorize them according to where they think the item belongs.

Activity Two: Researching Rights

  • Encourage youth to research the lives of some of the young people represented in the poster (those with physical disabilities, First Nations youth, new Canadians etc.) and write about their experiences using the framework of the Convention as a foundation to the story.
  • Alternatively, youth can also look at the UNCRC in youth-friendly language and identify a right (example: the Right to Play) and brainstorm how this right is represented in their lives, school and community.

Activity Three: Cross Word Search

  • Using graph paper, create a word search using rights-related words. Alternatively, have youth create a crossword puzzle using Convention words as the answers.
  • Have students swap their word searches when they’re finished their own and have a prize for the one who can find the most words! Or have students share their work with a buddy in a younger grade.

Activity Four: The Right Puppet Show

  • Working with the buddy from the class or in younger grade, have students work through some of these or other activities.
  • Create a puppet show with your buddy using the poster as a place to start. You might want to act out the party shown on the poster, or create a puppet show about the day in the life of one of the young people represented on the poster.
  • Share the puppet show with the rest of the class.


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