- Melody Casey
- English Language Arts, Social Studies
- Material Type:
- Lesson Plan
- Middle School
- Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial
Human Rights Learning and Reflection Log
GEDB Model UN Discussion Checklist
GEDB Human Rights Unit Model UN Rubric
GEDB Human Rights: Model UN Activity (Lesson 8 of 8)
Students will begin to take what they have learned about human rights, the UN and apply it to an issue that is important to them. Students will work together to write a simple UN resolution to address that issue and present it to the class through a model UN activity. The lesson meets NCDPI global education goals such as investigating the world, recognizing perspectives, communicating ideas and taking action. Note: This lesson was created in accordance with the 7th Grade Social Studies Essential Standards and the VIF/Participate Global Competence Indicators for Grade 7. For more information about VIF/Participate and these indicators, please visit https://www.participate.com/. This lesson was developed by Lindsey Gallagher as part of their completion of the North Carolina Global Educator Digital Badge program. This lesson plan has been vetted at the local and state level for standards alignment, Global Education focus, and content accuracy.
Students will begin to take what they have learned about human rights, the UN and apply it to an issue that is important to them. Students will work together to write a simple UN resolution to address that issue and present it to the class through a model UN activity. The lesson meets NCDPI global education goals such as investigating the world, recognizing perspectives, communicating ideas and taking action. Note: This lesson was created in accordance with the 7th Grade Social Studies Essential Standards and the VIF/Participate Global Competence Indicators for Grade 7. For more information about VIF/Participate and these indicators, please visit https://www.participate.com/.
Students have learned about why the United Nations was created and now will identify a global human rights issue that is important to them, research it for key information and come up with a few ways they think this issue could be addressed by the UN. Students will write a resolution and put it up for discussion in a model UN activity.
Learning Targets and Criteria for Success
- I can successfully research important and relevant information related to my group’s global human rights issue of interest.
- I can write a simple UN resolution to address my group’s global human rights issue of interest.
- I can appropriately and respectfully discuss and debate resolutions that are shared with the class.
Criteria for Success:
- I will research key facts related to a global human rights issue of interest using reliable resources.
- I will work collaboratively with a group to write several possible solutions to a global human rights issue of interest.
- I will appropriately and successfully discuss and debate possible peer UN resolutions in order to better understand pros/cons of each.
- Unit Vocabulary Sheet
- How does the United Nations Work? video
- Sample UN Resolution
- How to Write a UN Resolution
- Preambulatory and Operative clauses vocabulary
- Malala Yousafzai at the UN video
- It’s Your General Assembly 2013 video
- Alternate Malala Yousafzai video interview via TeacherTube
- Alternate video Malala Yousafzai Nobel Prize news clip via TeacherTube
- Simple template created for students to create/write resolution
- Resources for research on issue resolution will be about (SweetSearch, Google Scholar, media center databases, news sites, etc.)
- Computers (teacher and student)
- SMARTBoard to project examples of UN resolution, etc. (see links above and below)
- Student Learning/reflection log
- Model UN Discussion Checklist
- Unit/Model UN Rubric
Learning Tasks and Practice
- The teacher will watch CNN10 with students to start the class asking them to keep an eye out for stories that have a possible human rights connection.
- Students will name a couple possible human rights issues from CNN Student News and list those somewhere they can see.
- The teacher will show students the“How does the United Nations Work?” video.
- The teacher will inform students that they will be participating in a model UN activity by researching a global issue of interest, creating a simple UN resolution (along with a presentation to go with it, if desired) and presenting it to the class.
- In order to do so, students will be getting into small groups of 3-4 and choosing a global human rights issue of interest. Students will spend a day or two gathering new research or information about that issue in order to present relevant and important facts about this issue in their resolution. The teacher will allow students a class period or so to do this. The teacher will provide some resources that students could possibly use for research such as Google Scholar, SweetSearch, media center databases, news websites, etc.
- On the second/third day/class period, the teacher will display for students the sample UN resolution. This may be found on the Model UN website. Teachers may also pull up the website from Best Delegate (How to Write a UN Resolution) with the information and share it with students if desired. The teacher will explain that though it sounds extremely “wordy” and might seem hard to understand, UN resolutions have 3 basic parts - the header, preambulatory clauses and operative clauses. The header includes who in the UN is being addressed (for these purposes, the General Assembly would work), the topic and sponsors that are submitting the resolution.
- The teacher will keep the link to the sample resolution and “how to” website open and show students the Preambulatory and Operative Clauses vocabulary link to help them get started. The preambulatory clauses share important and relevant background information as well as why the sponsoring group thinks it is important to address. The operative clauses are what the sponsoring group thinks the UN should do in response to this issue. Before each piece of background information or suggestion for resolution, students will need to put one of these preambulatory/operative clauses.
- The teacher will provide for students a simple template that may help them organize their thoughts. The link to “How to Write a UN Resolution” might help and includes a list of preambulatory clauses and operative clauses that would be useful to pull from as they write.
- It may also be helpful to write a sample preambulatory clause and sample operative clause as a class on a topic students choose. The teacher will go through the process of understanding the country/issue you are advocating for (a choice from the possible human rights issues they noticed in CNN10). The class will identify a possible solution for the issue and will talk through possible sources they could use to learn more about the issue. For the sake of time, choose a possible solution students have shared and then model how to structure and reference the lists of clauses. The teacher will have students help choose specific words and how they would go together to write one simple resolution.
- The teacher will allow a day or so for students to write their resolution with their group now that they have seen it modeled for them how to write and use clauses. The teacher will show students the video of Malala Yousafzai at the UN as a bit of inspiration. Students may also choose as a group to create a presentation to share with their resolution.
- The teacher will prepare students for the model UN activity by letting students create nameplates for themselves and identifying their group’s “home country” (teacher can decide if these should be actual countries or not if they would want to let students get creative). On the day of the model UN session, students will place these in front of their seats. The teacher will arrange tables/desks so students can see each other (horseshoe around the room, semicircle, etc.).
- The teacher will have an “agenda” set (by the teacher-see feedback/instructional adjustments for suggestions) and identify yourself (the teacher) as the President of the General Assembly. The teacher will how students the agenda for the meeting (could be via a Word document projected on the screen or a presentation the teacher has created) - welcome (include General Assembly video if desired), purpose of the session (sharing/debating resolutions), group introductions, sharing of resolutions and debate and finally voting on resolutions.
- Students will read/share their resolutions and presentations (if created). The teacher will open the floor for questions and discussion on the resolutions if desired. If possible, the teacher will project resolutions from each group on a board for all to see if students need to look back at it while discussing.
- After each group has shared and discussed their resolutions, the teacher will help put up each resolution for a vote. Teach students a phrase if they’d like to be the first to vote in favor such as “The group from (insert country here) favors this resolution and would like to see it pass.” (The group proposing the resolution cannot be the first to put it up for a vote. As President of the General Assembly, the teacher could ask if any group would like to put in a vote in favor of passing the resolution.) Another group can then second that vote and the teacher can then ask for overall votes in favor (raising hands would work just fine).
- At the conclusion of the session, the class will review what resolutions passed and what did not.
- In their learning/reflection log, students will complete a reflection on the model UN activity - what they enjoyed, what they learned, what they would do again if they could and any questions they would ask.
- To wrap up this unit, students will come up with a potential service learning opportunity based on some of the resolutions they discussed. They should research local and global organizations helping with that issue and come up with a way they could get involved. These could be shared in a Google Doc with the class.
Teacher computer/projector to show websites, sample UN resolution, videos and student resolutions, student computers to create/write group resolution (if possible)
Collecting and Documenting Evidence of Learning
- Group resolution for UN session
- Participation on UN session
- Student reflection
- Written resolution (checklist/rubric)
- Participation in UN session (checklist/rubric)
- Learning/reflection log on paper or via computer
Student Self-Reflection and Action Steps
Written reflection on UN activity in learning/reflection log
Require at least one group to have a question for each resolution that is presented.
- Purpose for Meeting
- Introductions for each group
- Groups share resolutions
- Questions/debate on resolutions as they are shared
- Vote on resolutions
Extended Learning Opportunities
The teacher will coordinate with your ELA teacher to make this unit/activity more interdisciplinary. The ELA teacher could aide students with the research process on their chosen human rights issue. Media and technology teachers can help with creation of the presentation.
Teacher Reflection of Learning
One thing I would have added to this lesson or that could be added would be a peer and self evaluation for students to complete. This would have given students a chance to reflect a bit more on what they learned themselves but also share some feedback with other students to help them improve.