browser icon
You are using an insecure version of your web browser. Please update your browser!
Using an outdated browser makes your computer unsafe. For a safer, faster, more enjoyable user experience, please update your browser today or try a newer browser.

Rights, Responsibilities and Quality of Life

Posted by on October 9, 2013

 The more freedom we enjoy, the greater the responsibility we bear, toward others as well as ourselves. 

~Oscar Arias Sanchez

International Rights Tagxedo

A Tagxedo created by Mrs. Renton using words from the Convention on the Rights of the Child

We have been investigating the Convention on the Rights of the Child in Social Studies. There are many MANY awesome books about this, written in language that we can understand. The REAL document is FULL of language that is tough for eight year olds to comprehend. If you are interested in reading MORE about these rights, from a child’s perspective, you should try reading I Have the Right to be a Child by Alain Serres and Aurelia Fronty.


As a class, we began this discussion by brainstorming, in groups, a list of things we thought were rights. Our first thoughts were VERY interesting and included things such as:

  • to read
  • to have the internet
  • to walk
  • to have hair
  • to have recess
  • to laugh


After some deep discussion, and the exploration of a few incredible books on the topic, we revisited our extensive lists. We quickly discovered that many of our first thoughts didn’t really fit as basic human rights, so we worked HARD to make sure our lists represented these basic rights.


Our rights, as children, include some of the following:

  • going to school
  • having a home/shelter
  • having clothing to protect you from the weather
  • living – safely
  • having enough food to eat
  • having clean water to drink
  • having care and medicine when you are sick
  • having the right to share our thoughts
  • being able to play and NOT having to work
  • having a family that takes care of you and LOVES you


Along with those rights, we have RESPONSIBILITIES … and this is the HARD part!


Quality of life is not the same for everyone. We sure wish it WAS … but … we CAN make a difference!


“With GREAT power comes GREAT responsibility.”

(Although we think of  Spiderman when we hear this quote, Voltaire was the FIRST to say it! )

There are MANY responsibilities that come ALONG with those rights, and it is important to take those responsibilities seriously. Many MANY of us find special ways to try to make a difference in the world. This can be as SIMPLE as giving someone a SMILE. Who KNOWS how powerful that SMILE can be? Share it with someone and you could change a CHALLENGING day into one that seems EASIER to bare! In our classroom ALONE we discovered MANY inspiring ways that families are making a difference:

5 ‘n 5 birthday parties – birthday guests brought in donations, they put these donations in boxes – one for the Drop In Centre and one for the birthday boy.

Inn from the Cold – birthday party – the guests brought in toothpaste, toothbrushes, combs, brushes, nail clippers, socks, toques, scarves, gloves … to donate to the people in Calgary who need to stay at the Inn from the Cold.

Drop-In Centre  – one of us raised 200 dollars – instead of gifts – guests put money in donation box – the birthday boy took the donation down to Drop-In Centre. When the family did this, the man at the front desk was surprised that ALL the birthday money had been donated instead of only PART of it!

Some of us donate food, make sandwiches and drop them off to places in need around the city.

One dad saw a homeless lady downtown, in the winter, with flip flops on … they had a conversation … he asked her what her foot size was … he went to the store and bought her some warm winter boots and then went back to drop them off … and even fed her too.

Some of our church groups make donations. Many churches and families do the Shoe Box Campaign.

Some of us have even been lucky enough to have the people in front of us buy us our drinks … kind of like “paying it forward”. That means if someone does something nice for you, then you pass it on by doing something nice for someone else.

We know that quality of life is not the same for everyone. We also know that we can ALL help to make the world a better place by being the best we can be FOR the world.

We are all human beings. We all have RIGHTS. We ALL have RESPONSIBILITIES. We wonder:

  • IS there enough food in the world to feed EVERYONE?
  • If we ALL have these rights … why do some kids have to work?
  • Why do some families not have enough to eat?
  • Why can’t everyone have shelter?
  • Why do some people think the colour of your skin MATTERS? What SHOULD matter most is what’s INSIDE! (We had a lively discussion about Rosa Parks and Malala here!)
  • Why do some kids have to work so that their families can eat?
  • Why would SOME countries not sign the Convention on the Rights of the Child?

4 Responses to Rights, Responsibilities and Quality of Life

  1. Rebecca :)

    Hi Mrs Renton!!

    Sorry I haven’t checked back in a while… I always have SO much homework!!! It’s AMAZING how far these “new battalion hawk bloggers” got! (Or did you get adifferent name?) school is great so far… And guess who’s my teacher? MISS. –!! ;)(the daughter of Dr. –.) I have to go to school now… It was fun talking to you!


    P.S. did Ross give you a comment yet? If he did… I hope these grade 3s like him! 🙂 😉

    • Laurie Renton

      Hi Rebecca!

      It was lovely to see your comment on the blog! I am glad that you are enjoying school!

      You’re right … the new bloggers have changed their name. They didn’t want to copy last year’s bloggers, so, after a long discussion and several votes, they have decided to call themselves the Battalion Bloggers! 😉

      Ross has left us several awesome comments already this year! The Battalion Bloggers are feeling PRETTY lucky about that!

      Keep checking back!

      Mrs. Renton 🙂

  2. Kennedy

    Hi Mrs. Renton

    I LOVE the new blog post. I told you it’s going to be AWESOME!!!!!! My favorite is the Peruvian Cloud Forest slide show you put on the blog. What is your favorite photo or slide show you put on the new post???

    Did you have an AWESOME weekend? 😉


    • Laurie Renton

      Good morning, Kennedy!

      What a LOVELY surprise to see your comment on this snowy, blowy morning! I am glad you LOVE the new blog post … me TOO! Gosh … I really love the Cloud Forest video. It would be REALLY tough to say which part I love the most because the WHOLE post reflection on our Skype with Ashli and Zoe captures the magic of our chats SO well!

      I found an AMAZING post on the Indigenous people living in the cloud forest … and had it linked … but then discovered some not so great advertising would pop up every once in a while. So … I took the link off … but will share the pictures and information without the advertising!!!

      I have a “surprise” up my sleeve … and … it will probably end up being one of the BIG highlights for this post!!! Cross your fingers that the “big surprise” works OUT for us! 😉

      My weekend has been awesome, so far! I hope YOURS has been magic TOO!

      Mrs. Renton 🙂

Leave a Reply