United Nations Day Teaching Tips

Posted by Nick Niesen on October 27th, 2010

The United Nations, an international organization dedicated to keeping peace among the world's nations, was created on October 24, 1945. This month, then, would be an excellent time to focus on how to settle disagreements and learn something about the U.N. Here are a few suggestions:

1. Read this excerpt of the U.N. Charter and discuss what it means:

We the peoples of the United Nations determine...to live together in peace with one another as good neighbors, to work for the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small, and to promote better standards of life.

2. Try making your own criss-cross puzzle from the underlined words in the excerpt above.

3. Relate the word 'equal' to the definition learned in math.

4. Research to find the member nations of the United Nations and write them down. Once they are written, put them in alphabetical order; count the syllables in the names; find them in an atlas and make note of their geographic location (which continent has the most members? the least members?); make tally marks representing each country and practice counting by 5's and 10's. Which nations were charter members? Which countries were added later? Find out more about each country by breaking your class into groups.

5. Unscramble the names of these member countries:


Now put these letters, from the countries above, in sequential order to form two words telling what the United Nations is working toward:


6. Here are two realistic situations. Ask your children how they would solve these predicaments in order to make peace. Is there another way to achieve a win-win outcome?

A. Barbara, Cindy, and Judy have always been best friends. Lately, though, Cindy and Judy have been excluding Barbara from their playtime fun. Consequently, Barbara has decided to turn the rest of the class against them. Which way would achieve peace? Brainstorm other ideas!

a. Talk to the three girls privately to determine why Barbara is being ignored.

b. Punish all three girls by not allowing them to play.

c. Start a class discussion about what it means to be a friend.

B. William and Jose were close pals because they liked doing the same things, going to the same places, and going out with the same friends. When it was time for their first school dance, however, they both wanted to ask the same girl. Having found out that Jose had asked Maria first, William wouldn't talk to Jose at all. Which way would achieve peace? Brainstorm other ideas!

a. Suggest that neither boy take Maria to the dance.

b. Suggest that William, Jose, and Maria all go together as friends.

c. Suggest that William tell Jose how he feels and see what Jose says.

I hope these ideas are useful and inspire your own creativity.

And remember...Reading is FUNdamental!

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Nick Niesen

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Nick Niesen
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