The Annual International Day Human Rights Conference is typically a one-day event and has been held each fall since 1997. The conference is designed to educate middle school students on topics related to both local and global human rights issues.


For the 2021-2022 school year International Day will be held on Thursday, April 7th, 2022.

Although the in-person conference was cancelled in 2020 due to the global pandemic, the International Day Planning Committee has compiled a list of resources for teachers to share with their students. All resources align with Iowa Social Studies Standards with an emphasis on Social Justice themes.


Contact Elizabeth Decker at (319) 335-6115 or

2020 Resources

Iowa Social Studies Standards:
7.13 Identify social, political, and economic factors that can influence our thoughts and behavior 

7.14 Examine what causes inequalities and how they exist within a society

Publisher: Facing History and Ourselves

Facing Histories and Ourselves is a global non-profit organization founded in 1976.

Date: Not Identifiable

Description: This website provides free resources for classroom teachers that align with the mission of Facing History and Ourselves, which is to “use lessons of history to challenge teachers and their students to stand up to bigotry and hate.” The first time you use the site, you will have to create a free account. Once you have registered, you can access a searchable database organized by topic as well as a Current Events collection that provides strategies to help teachers connect curriculum with current events. Lesson topics include Democracy and Civic Engagement, Race in US History, Justice and Human Rights, Global Immigration, Genocide and Mass Violence, Holocaust, Bullying and Ostracism, and Religious Intolerance. The site includes resources designed for both remote and hybrid learning. The curriculum of Facing History is designed to increase students’ ability to connect history with their own lives and to build students’ engagement with racism, religious intolerance, and prejudice. The overarching goal is to foster deeper understanding of the roles and responsibilities we all have to one another in local, national, and international communities.

Resources: Classroom materials are searchable by subject and type.

Searching by subject, the dropdown menu includes the following options: Civics/Citizenship, English Language Arts, European History, History, Jewish Education, Music/Art/Culture, Philosophy, Psychology, Religion, Social Studies, US History, and World History.

Searching by type, the dropdown menu includes the following categories: Audio, Blog, Book, Chapter, Contest, Document, Event, Explainer, Featured Collection, Gallery, Grant, Handout, Image, Lesson, Map, Message, News, Office, On-Demand Webinar, Page, PowerPoint, Reading, Story, Teaching Idea, Teaching Strategy, Timeline, Unit, Unit Outline, Video, Visual Essay.

Publisher: Oxfam Education (U.K.)
Subjects: Education, Gender, Health, Inequality, Rights
Countries: Ethiopia, India, Peru, Vietnam
Keywords: Children’s rights, Development, Education, Handling data, Locational knowledge, Poverty, Questioning skills, Role play, Speaking and listening, Activities, Presentations
Date last updated: March 3, 2017

Description: This Oxfam curriculum was created in conjunction with Young Lives, an international longitudinal study (2002–present) by a research team based at Oxford University’s Department of International Development. These teaching resources in the areas of Geography (Social Studies), Math, and English are highly motivating because they use real world data, photographs, and case studies from the four countries (Ethiopia, India, Peru, and Vietnam) as a basis for their activities. The underlying theme of inequality guides students to examine differences between populations in terms of wealth, income, and access to education and health care, both within the same country and between people living in different countries. In addition, students will critically examine their existing knowledge and their assumptions about these countries. Finally, suggestions provide extension options for further investigation of income inequality as a problem that exists at the local, national, and international levels.

Young Lives Resources: Lesson Plans for Geography (Social Studies), Math, and English along with PowerPoint Slides, Detailed Resource Outline, Student Activity Sheets and Teacher Resource Sheets.

Geography Taster Activities: Picturing Countries 

  • Activity One (30 min): Where in the World? Resource: World map. Activity: Identify countries, bordering nations, and bodies of water.
  • Activity Two (30 min): Challenging Assumptions. Resources: Photographs from Ethiopia, India, Peru, and Vietnam. Activity: Use photos to explore prior knowledge and challenge assumptions.

Math Taster Activities: Handling Data

  • Activity One (25 min): Measuring Well-Being. Resource: Table of data and activity sheet. Activity: Interpret data, discuss (think/pair/share), asking and answering questions based on data.
  • Activity Two (25 min): Picturing Data (for younger or less able learners). Resource: Table of data, activity sheet, completed statements. Activity: Designed for younger or less able learners, students will use infographics that represent country data in a visual manner. Students will match infographics with one of the four countries.
  • Activity Three (45 min): Describe it in a different way (for older or more able learners). Resources: Table of data measuring well-being; activity sheet, completed statements. Activity: Designed for older or more able learners, learners will use data that is available to complete missing parts of each statement on the activity sheet.

English Taster Activities: Welcome to My Life 

  • Activity One (20 min): Welcome to my life. Resources: World map, child profiles. Activities: Read, analyze, and discuss texts about children from four different countries.
  • Activity Two (30 min): Interviewing Young Lives. Resources: Interview questions, answering questions. Activity: Role play.
  • Activity Three (20 min): Similarities and Differences. Resources: Activity sheet for similarities and differences. Activity: Reflection and writing to compare the life of a young person in a featured profile with students’ own lives.

Publisher: Oxfam Education (U.K.)  620622
Subjects: Gender, Inequality
Date Last Updated: February 20, 2019 

Description: International Women’s Day is a celebration held every year on March 8th that recognizes the achievements of women and girls around the world. In addition, this celebration gives us an opportunity to examine the existing gaps in gender equality which fall into different categories, such as income, work, and life opportunities. Oxfam’s valuable resources provide teachers and students with basic information on gender equality in activities that foster critical thinking, center student voices, and inspire action to solve real world problems. Based on a “Learn, Think, and Act” approach, all activities incorporate Oxfam’s values of empowerment, inclusiveness, and accountability.  

Resources: A PowerPoint (23 slides), activity sheets, and five activity ideas for students (9–14 years).  

The PowerPoint has been thoughtfully designed for a large assembly, but it could also be adapted to facilitate learning in a classroom setting. The notes help guide the presentation facilitator, with links to original sources of information for each slide as well as links to additional online resources. For example, the second slide provides differentiated links to two YouTube videos, the first video is a basic introduction to help younger students understand inequality, and the second links to a more challenging video that would be suitable for older learners.  

The Activity Ideas is a 12-page, downloadable PDF with five activities and links to online resources. 

  • Equibingo (20 min): A mingle activity to engage learners. Activity sheet is an adaptable 4 x 4 grid activity sheet with “find someone who…” prompts.
  • The Line of Inequality (40 min): Role play cards and power statements are used to investigate factors that affect a person’s life, opportunities, and power. Activity sheets contain 16 different role play cards for the students and a list of 14 power statements for the activity facilitator.
  • Measuring the Gender Gap (45 min+): An activity to gather, analyze, and present data related to gender equality and to think critically about how statistics are presented in our daily lives.
  • Equal or Unequal in the Future? (45 min+): Mind-mapping that helps express positive and negative ideas about the future. Activity sheet is a graphic organizer to guide mind-mapping.
  • Breaking Down the Bricks (45 min+): This activity aims to identify and discuss local examples of gender inequality as a critical step of analysis that can inform action. The activity sheet has a template for creating paper hammers that students can symbolically label and use as a tool for breaking down a paper wall of symbolic bricks that are labeled to represent local examples of inequality.

Publisher:100 People Foundation, Curriculum Development Team

Date: June 11, 2011

Description: This Global Issues Curriculum focuses on the 100 People Foundation’s Ten Areas of Critical Global Concern: Water, Food, Transportation, Health, Economy, Energy, Shelter, War, and Waste. There are four units with ten lessons each, along with activity sheets for lessons, links to 100 People media and online curricula, and rubrics for assessing unit projects. Each lesson is about 40 minutes long and is structured after the workshop model of learning that integrates current events into the classroom in ways that are meaningful and engaging. Stemming from the mission of the 100 People Foundation, this curriculum is designed to help middle school and secondary school students better understand the complex issues that face our planet by activating their consciousness about the important role youth play in managing the resources of our global world. Because it is difficult to visualize a world population of more than 7 billion people, this curriculum uses 100 People as a model to represent all of humanity, with the lives of selected participants portrayed through media and data that is designed to humanize learning objectives by contextualizing and personalizing the information to make abstract concepts more personal and, ultimately, more memorable.

Note: Standards from NY state social studies standards for World History, Geography, and Economics

Themes and projects of the four units are as follows:

Unit One Theme: The Image of The Issues 

Project: Collaborative Poster and Presentation 

Unit Two Theme – Focus on Geography: Critical Issues Around the World

Project: Geographical Walking Tour or Travel Guide

Unit Three Theme – Focus on People: Targeted Populations and Activist Communities

Project: Dramatization or Activist Interview

Unit Four Theme – Think Globally, Act Locally: Students as Community Activists

Project: Service Projects and Presentations

Resources includes lesson plans, supplementary activity handouts, weekly homework assignments, rubrics for project assessments, and a list of NY State educational standards aligned with the content of each lesson. Each of the four units is framed with essential questions to guide learning.


More than 300 students participate in International Day 2019

More than 300 Iowa middle school students learned about the right to adequate living standards at the 22ndannual International Day Conference on Nov. 12th, 2019.

Students gain global perspective on The Right to Rest and Leisure at International Day

At the beginning of November, hundreds of middle school students from around eastern Iowa attended the 20th Annual International Day at the Coralville Marriott Hotel and Conference Center.