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 Kindergarten curriculum:[1]

Being Together

Kindergarten students will explore who they are in relation to others in their world. They will be given opportunities to become aware of who they are as unique individuals and to express themselves by sharing their personal stories. Students will discover how they are connected to other people and to their communities and will be encouraged to express interest, sensitivity and responsibility in their interactions with others. Through inquiry into their social, physical, cultural and linguistic environments, students will see themselves as part of the larger world.

In order to develop the foundations of active and responsible citizenship, social studies in Kindergarten emphasizes the development of a strong sense of identity, self-esteem and belonging.

Terms and Concepts

Terms: community, culture, environment, group, individual, past, respect, uniqueness

General Outcome: K.1 I am Unique
Students will demonstrate an understanding and appreciation of the multiple social, physical, cultural and linguistic factors that contribute to an individual's unique identity.

General Outcome: K.2: I Belong
Students will demonstrate an understanding and appreciation of the characteristics and interests that unite members of communities and groups.

II. Application of Rights in Play Guide to Kindergarten Curriculum

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

The Your Rights topic teaches students about their rights as children which reinforces the understanding that although they have distinct identities, they – and all the world’s children – form a community of individuals who are deserving of and hold special protections.

The Kindergarten Social Studies curriculum focuses on individual identity and community. The Celebrating Diversity topic assists students to learn how they differ from one another, how they share a great deal in common, what makes them special as individuals, but also what connects them to others.

Through playing games selected from the Games from Around the World section, students will experience how different children play and through this gain a better understanding of differences and similarities between cultures, identities and communities.

III. Kindergarten Example Sessions


Game Name: An Important Job[2]

Session Length: 30 minutes

Curriculum Ties:  K.1 – I am Unique

Purpose: This brainstorming activity shows that human rights documents are based on the basic needs of all people.

Resources: Chart paper, markers and a simplified copy of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (see Appendix B).

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


  • Explain that the United Nations (UN) is the Parliament of the world’s nations.

  • Ask the children to imagine that they have been asked by the UN to make a list of all the things that all children everywhere need in order to be happy and healthy, for example, food, play, air and love.

  • Write up these “needs” as they are suggested without judging them.

  • When there are no more suggestions, ask the children to identify which of their suggestions are really needs, and which are wants, for example, TV and candy.

  • Ask the children to identify needs that are the same for all children everywhere.

  • Now show the children the summary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) (see Appendix B). Explain that years ago, a similar list was made by the UN that later became the CRC, which reminds the world’s nations of the needs of all children everywhere.

Debrief with Students:

  • Ask the children to compare their list and the summary of the CRC. Which needs have been identified as rights? Are there any differences between the two lists? Why?

  • Why do they think the UN thinks children’s rights are so important that they need special protection of their own? Do they think children should have their own set of rights? Why or why not?

  • Do they think all the children in their country and in the world have all of these rights? Why or why not?

  • Pick one or two rights. Ask the children to imagine what life would be like without these rights. Give examples.



Game Name:  Children from around the World[3]

Session Length:  30 minutes

Curriculum Ties:  K.2: I Belong – Diversity

Purpose:  This activity helps students explore the similarities between the children of the world regardless of nationality, gender or ethnic group and helps them understand that rights are based on the similar needs of different people.

Resources: Approximately 15-20 photos of children from your local area and around the world. Choose pictures that show as many different sorts of food, climate, physical types and ways of life as possible.

Educator’s Background Information:  Before the session, review the background information on diversity in Appendix E.


  • Show the children the picture collection.

  • Ask the children to help you sort the photos by obvious attributes. For example, warm or cold weather, hair colour, older or younger and so on.

  • Include a mixture of attributes that mix up the pictures from around the world, noting what is the same and what is different. For example, group together children who are talking, or playing, or who are older or younger than the group.

  • Repeat this sorting activity several times with the same photos and different criteria.

Other Resources:  See an example of use of a similar activity and student response at The Human Rights Warrior.

Debrief with Students:

  • What was the same about the children?

  • What was different about the children? (It is critical to emphasize that differences between individuals are just as important to acknowledge as similarities. It is crucial to respect each other’s differences, as well as similarities, which is promoted by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), and Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (Charter).

  • Were there any things in the pictures that you didn’t recognize?

  • What do you think children in the pictures would think if they came here?

  • What would it be like to live in their country?

  • Imagine that some children from the pictures are coming to visit. What would you say to other children about how to treat the visiting children?

  • Do all children in the world have the same needs? The same human rights? (Every child has the same human rights as stated in the CRC).

  • How do human rights promote and protect diversity?



Game Name: My Little Bird (Tanzania)[4]

Session Length:  30 minutes

Curriculum Ties:  K.2: I Belong – Diversity

Purpose: This active game allows participants to explore similarities amongst children in the world and to develop a sense of global understanding and trust. This game can also be used as a warm-up activity.

Resources: World Map

Educator’s Background Information: Before the session, review the background information on Games from Around the World in Appendix F.


  • Introduce the game and the country it is from. Point out Tanzania on the map and show where it is in relation to Canada.

  • The leader stands at the front and says: “My little bird is lively, is lively” then quickly calls out the name of a living thing and says “_____ fly” For example, “lizards ... fly”. If the thing named can fly, the players raise their arms in a flying motion. If the thing named cannot fly, the players remain still.

  • Practice a few times and then explain that if any player’s arms move for something that doesn’t fly, they are out of the game.

  • Play until most people are eliminated or until it’s time to move on.

Debrief with Students:

  • Ask the students 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 (CRC). 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?