Human Rights vs. Animal Rights

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Click Here to Download Lesson Plan: Human Rights vs Animal Rights

This activity will introduce students to the International Bill of Human Rights that is recognized by the United Nations and they will analyze the case of Tilikum vs. SeaWorld in order to develop their own Declaration of Animal Rights.

In the first hour students share what they know about human rights and participate in a jigsaw activity to learn about the United Nations sponsored International Bill of Human Rights. In groups they will summarize the International Bill of Human Rights documents. For homework they should write about how these rights are or are not given to people in other countries.

In the second hour students will think about how human rights should or should not be applied to animals. Students are then introduced to the case of Tilikum vs. SeaWorld. The remainder of the class can be used for students to prepare for the mock trial in the next class.

In the third hour students will conduct a mock trial. At the conclusion of the trial students will be given articles relating to the actual verdict in the case. For homework students should try to answer the question “What rights, if any, should all animals have?”

In the final hours students will begin with student sharing their ideas for animal rights. Next should be a brief review of human rights from the first hour, followed by groups crafting their own Declaration of Animal Rights. The class should conclude with a gallery walk for students to see other groups’ ideas, and then a quick comparison with the Universal Declaration for Animal Rights that was submitted (but not accepted) in 1978.

These are the links to relevant articles used in the lessons: