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What Does a Child Need?

(from Children's Rights Resource Notebook)

Age/grade level: All ages, including mixed-age groupings


Materials: Chart paper, markers, tape


  1. Participants are organized in small groups. Each group draws a large outline of a child (small children can draw the outline of one member of the group). This will represent a newborn member of the community.

  2. The group decides on a name for the child and writes it below the child's figure.

  3. The group then decides on the mental, physical, spiritual, and character qualities they would like this child to have as an adult. (e.g., good health, sense of humor).and writes these qualities below the child's name. They might also make symbols on or around the child to represent these ideal qualities (e.g. books to represent education).

  4. Inside the outline the group lists the human and material resources the child will need to achieve these qualities (e.g., if the child is to be healthy, it will need food and health care).

  5. Using the Children's Convention, the group identifies the articles that guarantee a child each of these needs and writes the number of the article(s) next to that item on the list. Any needs that are not covered by the Convention are circled.

  6. Each group posts its "child" on the wall and explains its choices. As a need is linked to a right, a member of the small group reads that article from a simplified version of the CRC.

  7. The whole group discusses the features common to most posters. What were the most common needs? Why? Were some needs listed only once or twice? Should they also be considered important for all children?

Further Discussion

  1. Were any needs not covered by the Convention? How can this ommission be explained?

  2. Which of these essential needs are provided or not provided for children in your country? By which persons or institutions? Why are some not provided? What action can be taken to meet these needs?
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