Text Analysis: Example 3
Example of a Completed Written
Jae Cody - October, 2005
Theme: Human Rights
Text Title: Menschenrechte (at http://www.exilclub.de)
Grade Level: 11-12
Language Proficiency Level: Intermediate mid
Key related concepts
Human rights, justice, equality, freedom
- The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was codified by the
UN on December 10, 1948.
- Rights listed in the document include:
right to equality under the
law, right to life and freedom, right to education, among others.
all people are entitled to these rights, they are abused around
the world on a regular basis.
Essential Understandings or “Big” Ideas
- Although people can differ in gender, nationality, religion,
skin color, etc., there are certain things that we all share.
rights are so important that everyone deserves to have them,
regardless of who they are or what they have done.
- If we want
to have rights and freedoms, we must protect them.
Unfamiliar cultural assumptions
Products (unfamiliar or familiar but
used in a new way)
Practices (unfamiliar or familiar but used
in a new way)
All people have a right to sufficient, healthy food.
Purpose (e.g., present information, teach
a moral, entertain, etc.)
To present information about human rights and to make students
aware that human rights violations happen around the world.
Text Structure (e.g., introduce setting/character,
events, problem/resolution, etc.)
Definition of human rights, description of included rights (Protection
from the state, freedom of expression and self-determination through
voting, right to food and safety, among others), historical background
of human rights codification, discussion of human rights violations,
examples of organizations that work to ensure that rights are protected.
Linguistic Features related to Genre [connectives,
(e.g., adverbs of time, conjunctions), verb type (action vs. saying
verbs), verb tense, use of dialogue, etc.]
Technical vocabulary: human rights, citizenship, right to…,
Constitution, death penalty
Passive voice: “Human rights had to have been invented, written,
and agreed upon;” “rights, that must not be abused;” “Human
rights must be protected.”
Purposeful use of personal pronouns (exclusion): “People
have rights…” “Everyone can contribute.”
Present tense: “All people have basic rights,” “Human
rights are rights…”
Learning Strategies and Possible Instructional Activities
Make predictions using
the pictures from the web page (Amnesty Int’l
banner, Nelson Mandela, barbed wire, a riot): Who are the people?
What do they have in common? What do these symbols represent?
Activate prior knowledge by brainstorming in small groups:
What is a right? What kinds of rights do we have in this country?
Do people in other countries
have the same rights? Do we know? Information is shared with the class.
As you read, create a checklist of human rights mentioned in the
article. Make a checkmark by any of the rights that are also rights of citizens
country (using the brainstorming from before activity).
Pause between pages
1 and 2, and based on the information on page 1, try to write your own definition
of human rights before reading theirs. Read the second
page; how close is your definition?
Using their individual definitions from the “during
students create a definition of human rights as a class or
in small groups.
Using the checklist they created, students select a right
they feel is most important and justify their choice, using the
Recht auf ___________ ist am wichtigsten, weil…” (the
right to _____ is the most important because…)
of human rights abuses (either that students are aware of or
from the text, teacher may bring in some well known photos
or newspaper headlines). Using the passive structure, students
describe situations where human rights are abused: “Menschenrechte
werden verletzt, wenn…” (human rights are abused when…).
small groups, students address the questions: If human rights
are so important and 192 countries (excluding the US) have signed
this declaration, why do so many violations occur? What is the
point of having this document? Ideas are shared in a large group
after adequate small group time is given.
Students research the
work of Amnesty international (www.amesty.de) or other human
rights organizations that they are aware of independently
and find out about projects that the organizations are working
on. If the class is interested, students may write letters
on behalf of one of the campaigns.
Vocabulary (Words, Phrases, Idioms)
Essential vocabulary for learning the content
Die (pl)Menschenrechte (human rights), das Recht auf…(right
to…), der Schutz vor…(protection from), schützen (to protect), das
Todesurteil (death penalty), gerecht/ungerecht (fair/unfair)
Select vocabulary to review or preview (material
or activity related) (CC)
Government words: die Regierung (government), staatlich/staat (of
the state, state), die Verfassung (constitution), die Öffenlichkeit (public)
Political verbs: beeinflussen (to influence), entstanden (to be
created), gehören (to belong), verletzen (to injure/damage)
Grammatical Structures and Communicative Functions
Essential language structures and functions
for learning the content (CO)
Passive voice, present tense: (werden + past participle)
“…werden diese Menschenrechte verletzt” – These
human rights are abused.
“Todesurteile werden aufgehoben”- Death penalties are suspended.
Select language structures and functions to
review or preview (material or activity related) (CC)
Genative: “Die Idee der Menschenrecht” (the
idea of human rights), “…der Vorstellung vom Wert des
menschlichen Lebens” (the idea of worth of human life)
Compound nouns: Menschenrechtserklärung (Human rights declaration),
Staatsangehörigkeit (citizenship), Menschenrechtsarbeit (human
Dependent clauses using weil and wenn (necessary
for completing after reading activities)