Nobel Prize Lessons – The fight for human rights

The Swedish version of this lesson can be found on the Nobel Prize Museum’s website.

This is a step-by-step timetable for the Nobel Prize Lesson “Fight for human rights”. The purpose of this lesson is to give students an introduction to human rights and its history. It will also give students an understanding of the state of human rights in different parts of the world by studying Nobel Laureates’ struggles with human rights. The lesson includes a teacher’s guide, a slideshow with a speaker’s manuscript, four films and assignments for students about Nobel Laureates Martti Ahtisaari, Malala Yousafzai, Nelson Mandela and F.W. de Klerk, as well as Betty Williams and Mairead Corrigan.



  • Make sure the slideshow works in the classroom. Send your students this link to the learning resources:
  • If you’re using the printable worksheets reached at the bottom of this page, print enough copies so that a quarter of the students get the Martti Ahtisaari worksheet, a quarter get the one on Malala Yousafzai, and so forth.

Warm-up (5 min)
Ask the students the following questions:
What is the Nobel Peace Prize?
Do you know of anyone who has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize?
What are human rights?

Show the slide show (15 min)
Show the slideshow, using the speaker’s manuscript to narrate. Pause on the question after slide 8 and let the students think for a minute or two, either individually or with a partner. Let any students who want to give their responses to the full class.

Slide show (PDF 4 Mb)
Speaker’s manuscript (PDF 600 Kb)

Work with videos (30 min)

  • Refer to the link you sent out with the learning resources and distribute the work pages about the different Nobel Laureates (and any worksheets you printed) so that a quarter of the students can work with Martti Ahtisaari, a quarter with Malala Yousafzai, etc.
  • Let the students work individually with their video and questions and then discuss with the closest neighbour who has worked with the same Nobel Laureate.

Student worksheets:
Martti Ahtisaari (PDF)
Malala Yousafzai (PDF)
Nelson Mandela & F.W. de Klerk (PDF)
Betty Williams & Mairead Corrigan (PDF)

Presentation (about 10 min)
Let at least one pair of students for each video make a short presentation about the Nobel Laureate they worked with and what they came up with in response to question 4.



To cite this section
MLA style: Nobel Prize Lessons – The fight for human rights. Nobel Prize Outreach AB 2023. Thu. 30 Nov 2023. <>

Nobel Prizes and laureates

Eleven laureates were awarded a Nobel Prize in 2023, for achievements that have conferred the greatest benefit to humankind. Their work and discoveries range from effective mRNA vaccines and attosecond physics to fighting against the oppression of women.

See them all presented here.