5th Grade Human Rights Expedition Celebration
5th graders recently completed their Human Rights Expedition.

   Presumpscot teachers Heidi Nichols and Stevi-Lynn Nichols' fifth grade students recently completed an expedition engaging students in a comprehensive study of Human Rights. Their journey began with a close reading of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) which was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948. Students learned about the United Nations, as well as historical events that led to the creation of this important international document. With this background knowledge they next read Pam Muñoz Ryan’s novel, Esperanza Rising based on the real life experiences of the author’s grandmother who emigrated from Mexico to the United States in the 1930s. Students drew connections to the Declaration throughout their reading of the novel. A key learning was the understanding that immigrants find that they must re-locate to protect their own human rights.     Karen Fox, an immigration law attorney, presented to students on immigration law, and the important work she does in our city to help immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers to protect their rights once they are living in the US.  And on December 10th, Human Rights Day and the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, parents, family members, neighbors, teachers, and Superintendent Xavier Botana, were invited to school to share their experiences in interviews with students.     Students took all the notes and recordings from each interview and turned them into a detailed narrative of the journey each interviewee took to the United States. Accurate maps of their journeys were created to help readers visualize the distance traveled. Through the process of creating this anthology, students learned a great deal about themselves and the world. All who participated in these interviews and fifth grade parents were invited to a culmination of learning celebration to learn more about this experience, and received copies of the books the students created.