Holocaust Museum Houston

Lesson Plan: What Are Human Rights?

Friday, Apr. 3, 2020 – Friday, May. 1, 2020


Students will explore the origins and final draft of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and consider the controversies involved in creating the document and the meaning of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in our lives today.


Human rights are standards that make it possible for all people to live with dignity, freedom, equality, peace, and justice. Every person has these rights because they are human beings and every person is guaranteed these rights regardless of gender, ethnicity, national or social origin, economic status, or language. Although human rights have existed as long as human beings have existed, it is only in the mid-20th century that human rights have been recognized and protected by national and international laws. The conditions of World War II, the atrocities associated with the Holocaust, and the persecution of other groups targeted by the Nazi regime propelled leaders throughout the world to consider ways to promote peace and respect for humanity. The newly formed United Nations was seen as the organization that would organize this effort. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, written by members of the UN Human Rights Commission, became the fundamental framework for the modern human rights movement.


World History - 20(D), 21(B), 22(A), 22(F)


2 class periods



Journal Prompt Handout [PDF]

The Power of Laws [PDF]

Decision Card Activity [PDF]

Decision Card Poster Sample [PDF]

UDHR Barometer Activity Instructions [PDF]


  • Monday - Friday, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
    Saturday, 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
    Sunday, noon - 5:00 pm
  • General Admission: Members, children, students, and college-level students (with valid ID) receive free admission; $15 per person; $10 per person Active-Duty Military, Seniors 65+ and AARP members (with valid ID). Free Hours: Thursdays from 2:00-5:00 pm.

Directions & Parking

  • Paid Parking
  • Paid parking is available in the parking lot next to the Museum on the corner of Binz and Caroline St.


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