I. Alberta Curriculum

The Learn Alberta, Programs of Study, Social Studies K-Grade 12 provides the following overview, rationale and terms and concepts for the Grade 3 curriculum:[1]


Grade 3 students will investigate life in four diverse communities around the world. The contemporary communities examined will be drawn from India, Tunisia, Ukraine and Peru. Students will inquire into how geographic, social, cultural and linguistic factors affect quality of life in communities in the world. Students will enrich their awareness and appreciation of how people live in other places. Their understanding of global citizenship will be further developed, and they will recognize Canada's involvement in other parts of the world.

Grade 3 provides opportunities to explore the defining and diverse nature of communities around the world. There will be an exploration of how common human needs are met and how they contribute to quality of life. Grade 3 also introduces students to global citizenship.

Terms and Concepts: equator, export, global, global citizenship, goods, hemisphere, import, poles, quality of life, relative location, resources, services

General Outcome 3.1 Communities in the World
Students will demonstrate an understanding and appreciation of how geographic, social, cultural and linguistic factors affect quality of life in communities in India, Tunisia, Ukraine and Peru.

General Outcome 3.2 Global Citizenship
Students will demonstrate an understanding and appreciation of Canada's roles and responsibilities in global citizenship in relationship to communities in India, Tunisia, Ukraine and Peru.

II. Application of Rights in Play Guide to Grade 3 Curriculum

The following Rights in Play Guide topics are recommended for the Grade 3 Curriculum: Your Rights, Celebrating Diversity, and Games from Around the World.

Learning about human rights through the games under the Your Rights topic will help students understand that all humans have basic human rights and frame an understanding of the things that all humans need to live successful happy lives. Knowing about the human rights of children and others also assists children to understand and appreciate diversity.

Understanding diversity is an important element in the Grade 3 curriculum, particularity when studying different countries of the world. The games under the Celebrating Diversity topic assist students to appreciate the qualities that make them unique and special individuals, that connect them with those around them and around the globe and to understand and appreciate what makes other groups of people unique.

III. Grade 3 Example Sessions

Through playing games under the Games from Around the World topic, students can begin to understand that children from around the world— although different— all play. This also helps students to build connections between their communities and other communities around the world.


Game Name: Suitcase of Rights[2]   

Length: 30 minutes

Curriculum Ties: 3.2 Global Citizenship

Purpose: This game encourages participants to consider the Convention on the Rights of the Child and apply this to their own lives. Participants will also think about which rights are most important to them.

Resources: A copy of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) (see Appendix A) or CRC (see Appendix B), enough small backpacks for each team of 4-6 participants (the bags must be small enough that they will NOT hold all of the items below), a set of suitcase of rights cards, or copies of the UDHR for each team. If using backpacks, use the following items:

  • A ball labelled The right to play.

  • A fake passport or birth certificate labelled The right to a name and an identity, the right to belong to a country.

  • A microphone labelled The right to express yourself, and to have adults listen to you.

  • A box of bandages labeled The right to be strong and healthy, the right to have access to medical help.

  • A bottle of water and a piece of fruit labelled The right to food and clean water.

  • A newspaper or magazine labeled The right to information.

  • A box of chalk labelled The right to an education.

  • Several dolls with different costumes or religious symbols labelled The right to choose your own religion and to know your own culture.

Educator’s Background Information: Before beginning the session, read the background information on basic United Nations and Canadian human rights in Appendix A.


  • If the participants are unfamiliar with rights, begin by explaining what rights are. Tell the group about the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

  • Place children in groups of 4-6.

  • Tell the children to imagine that there has been a human rights problem in their area. They have decided to leave, and they have to do so quickly. They have been told to pack their bags for a new country. Since they will have to travel far, they can only take what will fit in their backpacks. The group’s job is to decide, as a team, which rights they will fit in their bags and which they will leave behind.

  • Give each team a backpack and the items listed above if playing that variation. If playing with rights cards, give each team a set of cards to choose from, similar to the Rainbow of Rights cards.[3] If playing with copies of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, give each team a simplified version of the document. Tell groups they have 5 minutes to decide what they will take and what they will leave behind, and to pack their bag. You can tell teams they can choose their top 8 rights to start and then eliminate rights until you are down to the top 3 or top 1.

  • If the group seems restless, have them finish this game by running a relay race similar to the one described in Rainbow of Rights game. 

Debrief with Students:

  • Begin by asking each group which right is most important to them. If they cannot choose, have them decide what they chose as their most important rights in the game. Why are they the most important rights?

  • Why did groups choose not to pack the rights they left behind?

  • Have participants imagine what it would be like if they did not have the rights they left behind. Have a few participants share their vision of what their world would be like without these rights.

  • How hard was it to decide as a team the rights to pack? Were there different values or ideas that came into conflict? Did people feel differently about what was most important or least important? Was there agreement on certain rights?

  • Discuss the connection between basic human needs and rights. Often rights protect those human needs. Have the group connect some of the rights in front of them with human needs.


Game Name: The Amoeba Race[4]

Length: 30 minutes

Curriculum Ties: 3.1 Communities in the World

Purpose: This game demonstrates the idea that people have different strengths and can come together to use each person’s individual strengths to achieve a goal. It builds cooperation between participants and shows how important it is to respect both similarities and differences.

Resources: A large open space, a group of at least 15 participants.

Educator’s Background Information: Before beginning, review the background information for educators on diversity under Appendix B.


  • Explain to the group that an amoeba is a single celled organism made up of a nucleus (the control centre), cell wall (barrier to the outside world), and cytoplasm (the body of the cell). Tell the participants that they are going to make their own amoeba.

  • Begin by assigning positions. One person will be the nucleus, many people will be the cytoplasm, and enough people to go around the whole group will be part of the cell wall.

  • Tell the different cell parts about their traits. The nucleus acts as the eyes of the cell and is responsible for directing it; the cytoplasm must be comfortable squishing very close together to make up the body of the cell; and the cell wall must be strong and rigid to act as a barrier to keep the cell together.

  • Now that the participants know their jobs, have them form a cell with the wall around it and the nucleus at the front on someone’s shoulders (or alternatively in the centre).

  • Ask them to try to move around together as a cell. Try timing their “sprints”.

Debrief with Students:

  • How did it feel when you were assigned a role? Did you like your role? Did you like being part of the majority? The minority?

  • Was it hard to co-ordinate at first? Was it difficult to coordinate everyone’s individual goals to achieve the group’s goal? What made it easier?

  • If all of the people in your group had the same position (for example, all cytoplasm) would the game have been harder/easier? Would it have been more/less fun? Would it have been harder/easier to stay together or direct yourself as an amoeba?


Game Name: Who is it? (Chile)[5]

Length: 30 minutes

Curriculum Ties: 3.1 Communities in the World

Purpose: This game allows participants to explore similarities amongst children in the world and to develop a sense of global understanding and trust.

Resources: None

Educator’s Background Information: Before beginning, review the background information for educators on United Nations and Canadian human rights laws provided in Appendix D.


  • This is a game for six to thirty players. Players must be very familiar with one another.

  • One child is IT. The players stand in a line behind IT. IT should not see who is behind them.

  • IT takes nine slow steps forward while the other players quickly change places. One of them takes the place directly behind IT.

  • The other players ask IT: “Who is behind you”?

  • IT can ask three questions before guessing who it is. For example: “Are they short or tall?”, “Are you dark or fair?”

  • The other players give one-word answers to the questions. IT must then guess who is standing immediately behind.

  • If IT guesses correctly, that person remains IT for another turn. If IT guesses incorrectly, another player becomes IT.

  • Once the person who is IT guesses correctly, they trade with the player sitting down who was caught.

Debrief with Students:

  • Ask the participants if they know children from other parts of the world. Find out if they have ever visited other countries and if so, did they meet any children there?

  • Children all over the world play games. This is a similarity that connects them. What are some other similarities that might connect participants with children all over the world? Make a list of aspects of culture that are present everywhere.

  • What is the same and what is different about the game(s) just played and games Canadian children play?

  • All children have the right to play. This right is written down in the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Why do you think play is especially mentioned in this document? Why is play important for children?

  • Would it be possible for you to teach children from another country your games, even if they didn’t speak your language? How?