Happy United Nations Day!

Tomorrow marks United Nations Day, the anniversary of the creation of the United Nations, and a day that we take time to look at the work of this important organization and talk about its impact on the world.

“Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stated in 2010: “UN Day is a day on which we resolve to do more. More to protect those caught up in armed conflict, to fight climate change and avert nuclear catastrophe; more to expand opportunities for women and girls, and to combat injustice and impunity; more to meet the Millennium Development Goals.””

No matter what age group, or what subject matter, a discussion of one of the Millennium Development Goals, can be integrated into class today. Younger grades may enjoy learning about what education looks like in other parts of the world for kids like them. Science and health classes can tackle child health, maternal health and HIV/AIDS. Economics, government/civics classes, and other social sciences may find global partnership and gender equity fitting themes for discussion. Some groups may want to find ways to live more sustainable lives or help end hunger. Find out how close we are to reaching these goals and what you/your students can do to help. Use a video/interactive media resource to add a new twist to your lesson!

Check out tomorrow’s ongoing events at the UN and promotional materials on the live webcast.

See how the UN is participating in New York City Public Schools and find examples of resources to use with high school students.

For a holiday themed addition, transform Halloween into a time to give back: check out Trick or Treat for UNICEF to learn about the campaign and see how you can incorporate donation boxes into your school or neighborhood’s celebration.

For other education resources from the UN to incorporate tomorrow and year-round check out the cyber school bus!

These resources and activities designed to recognize this day and this institution can help to build community by creating common goals for the class to work for and think about through class-wide, school-wide, or community-wide projects. A look at the UN can also help students explore approaches to peace by recognizing the physical, structural, and cultural violence that exists in the world, and highlighting the global community’s efforts to eradicate that violence.

Nonviolent Civic Action Time Line

Goal: Increase exposure to the history of nonviolent action

Objective:  Participants will be able to

  • List nonviolent movements, campaigns and struggles throughout history
  • Identify tactics and methods that nonviolent movements have used
  • Research various moments, times, and themes in history
  • Design a time line of nonviolent movements
  • Collectively learn and research together the history of nonviolent struggles

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Negative Peace: "Economics and Power"

Goal: The purpose of this lesson is to examine negative and positive peace through a hands on exercise. The class will work to solve a specific set of problems present in modern society. The goal for the instructor is to provide circumstances that could potentially create conflict within or between groups. These conflicts would make it necessary to set up institutions related to the concepts of negative peace. Conversely, participants may peacefully work through these obstacles and create a mock society that would be desirable for the concept positive peace.

Objectives: Students will be able to:

  • Understand economics, politics, and potential conflict from a perspective of experience.
  • Participate in an activity that illustrates economics and political cooperation/conflict. This activity will simulate regions with different natural, industrial, and human resources.
  • Examine how trade, negotiation, availability of resources, and strength determines power structures in an international system.
  • negotiate ways to provide for their region under particular set of circumstances; specifically experiencing negative and positive peace structures.
  • Understand how regulation, sanctions, and political influence can create situations of negative peace.
  • follow the rules set forth in the beginning stages of the activity, and examine potential conflicts if such barriers to trade are broken.
  • Begin to understand how a world could be created using positive peace with a strong history of a negative peace structure.
  • explain how they experienced negative peace in the simulation and explain what elements would have to be added or eliminated make a culture of positive peace work; inside and outside of the simulation.

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Conflict Resolution: What Is It and How Can I Be a Part of It?

Goal: To learn how to identify and manage conflicts in a productive manner.

Objectives: Students will be able to:

  • Describe various sources of conflicts
  • List the variety of ways people choose to respond to conflict
  • Reflect on the ways in which they have chosen to respond to conflict
  • Use active listening and “I statements” to solve conflicts

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