Facebook Twitter Blog Mailing List

Featured Member

Jessika Richter
Jessika Richter
(Lund - Sweden)

The short and sweet: I have been a passionate teacher since 2001.  I first worked with the National Park Service in Washington (state), then moved to Australia where I completed my DipEd at the University of Melbourne and then taught at Hailebury  ...

The United Nations, NATO and international treaties

Section A: The United Nations

2.11 Rubric for UN Letter Project

A rubric for the Unit 2 project in which students write a letter to the United Nations.

This resource is part of Unit 2: Empire and the Social Studies 7 course.

Open or Download This File:


International Organizations: The UN and NATO

This lesson was created using the Nortel LearniT 6E + S template for integrating technology within the curriculum.


Students will learn about transnational organizations and the purpose of each of the partnerships that involve North American Countries. They will create a PowerPoint presentation that presents an overview of one of the organizations they have researched and specific information concerning the activities of that group.

Technology Integration:

Power Point, Discovering the Internet

Prerequisite Experience:

The Students will have demonstrated competence with navigating the Internet and keyboarding skills. They will possess some basic knowledge of the use of presentation software but should review the PowerPoint videos.

Teacher Prep Time:

1 – 2 hours Teachers will want to become familiar with some of the sites dealing with the topic area. It will be useful to look at the PowerPoint training videos found at Nortel LearniT (www.NortelLearniT.org). Students should be directed to these videos prior to starting their assignment

Estimated Time for Completion:

8 – 10 weeks (one class per week)


Internet-ready computers with presentation software (e.g. PowerPoint) and ro.


Students will create a multimedia presentation that demonstrates their understanding of the transnational organizations and the specific organization they have chosen to talk about.

Time Management Tips:

Students should be divided into groups with each group choosing either one aspect of the topic areas associated with the United Nations.


An evaluation rubric (attached as part of the Word-format version of this lesson plan, attached below) has been provided to use in assessing the presentations.


North American Countries are involved in a variety of international or “transnational” organizations.  These organizations are formed to allow cooperation between countries around the world on a variety of humanitarian, military and economic issues.  The primary purpose of the United Nations, for example, is to ensure world peace. 

Your assignment is to learn as much about international organizations through Internet research and to prepare a brief PowerPoint presentation that deals with one of the types of problems that these groups work together to solve.  Since there are many worldwide organizations that North America does not participate in, we will deal only with The United Nations, NATO and APEC.  
As you work your way through the research in the Explore section, take notes and for each organization, try to find out the information by completing the answers to the questions below.  

  • What is the name of the organization?  What is the short form of the name (acronym)?
  • When was the organization started?
  • How many countries are members of the organization?
  • Which North American countries participate in the organization?
  • What types of problems do the organizations address?
Since the United Nations has a much greater number of issues it deals with, you will also divide into groups and research how the United Nations is involved in one of the following areas:
  • Environment (i.e. pollution, Rainforest)
  • Human Rights (Women and children)
  • Animal rights
  • Peace and Security
  • Poverty
  • Humanitarian Affairs
  • International Law
Remember to record your findings using a word processor.   Take particular note of interesting images, quotes, and/or photos for use with your presentation.



For this part of the lesson you will need a computer with access to the Internet for your research and a word processor to record your findings.   You might want to take a quick look at the Explain section to direct your research to the appropriate goals.  You should try to find additional sites on your own. 


United Nations (Official Website) - http://www.un.org/english/

United Nations: Cyber school bus - http://www.un.org/pubs/cyberschoolbus/

Online Resources (dozens of related links)  - http://www.un.org/pubs/cyberschoolbus/munda/onlineres.html

UN - Economic and Social Development - http://www.un.org/esa/

UN - Women Watch - http://www.un.org/womenwatch/\\
About the United Nations - http://www.un.org/aboutun/index.html




If you need help with PowerPoint, you should check out the PowerPoint training videos from Nortel LearniT (www.NortelLearniT.org)


Before you begin working on your PowerPoint presentation you should demonstrate a basic understanding of international organizations by writing a one page overview of the three organizations you have researched.  The paper should include the following information for each organization:

  • Name of the organization
  • What is the short form of the name (acronym)
  • When was the organization started?
  • How many countries are involved?
  • Which North American countries participate in the organization?
  • What types of problems do the organizations address?
For your PowerPoint presentation, your group should complete an outline of the United Nations topic you have chosen and list the points you would like to cover in your project.  

You must include:

  • A description of the topic.
  • How the United Nations participates.
  • How they are involved?  When did they become involved?
  • What specifically have they done?  What kinds of activities are they involved with to assist with the promotion of the issues?

Submit this information to the teacher before you begin your PowerPoint presentation.


You should now have enough information to plan out and create your PowerPoint presentation 

Please refer to the PowerPoint videos that explain how to develop a PowerPoint presentation at www.nortellearnit.org before moving to the next step.

In your groups:

  • Script your storyboard.   Include each slide and point form information about what will be included (content, text, audio, color, transitions, etc)
  • Choose a layout and slide design for each slide.
  • Assemble and input your information   Be sure to double check your slides for accuracy.
Add interest to the presentation by using interesting transitions, animations or other features.   Try to find and add some interesting graphics or images.   Be sure to acknowledge your sources and do not use materials where permission has not been granted.  

Have different members of your group proof your content.  Run through your presentation several times.

Share your project with the class and discuss your findings. 


An evaluation rubric has been provided as part of the Word-format version of this lesson plan, attached below.


Try your lessons out on some of your classmates.  Begin by pre-testing them to see if they already know what you are teaching.

Perhaps other social studies teachers will want to see your materials. 

You could submit your lessons to the local UN office and get their opinion on the topic area.

You could expand the lesson to have a United Nations group at your school.  See how many students come from or are related to people in the member countries.  Discuss how you would deal with some of the topics.

Invite someone from the UN office to your school, or better yet, arrange a field trip to tour the office.


Required Attachments:



Our Troubled World: A Study of Global Issues

This lesson was created using the Nortel LearniT 6E + S template for integrating technology within the curriculum.


The students will study global issues through a combination of Internet research and interviews with local organizations. The students will develop a basic understanding of global issues though the initial research. Following that the students will focus on one issue and design an eCollage or brief video in which they express their concern or support.

Technology Integration:

Digital Imaging, Digital Video

Prerequisite Experience:

The Students will have demonstrated competence with navigating the Internet and word processing skills. They will possess some basic knowledge of the digital imaging and digital video production.

Teacher Prep Time:

Teachers will want to become familiar with some of the sites dealing with the topic area. It will be useful to look at the Digital Imaging and video production training videos found at Nortel LearniT (www.NortelLearniT.org). Students should be directed to these videos prior to starting their assignment.

Estimated Time for Completion:

6-8 weeks (one class per week)


Students will create either an eCollage or a brief video in which they present their concern about a particular issue. Their primary purpose should be to inform their classmates through powerful images or video. They should be prepared to introduce their materials with a brief overview of their research findings.

Time Management Tips:

Students can be divided into groups and choose one or two areas to present to the class.


An evaluation rubric has been provided to use in assessing the presentations. Students should be encouraged to evaluate their work throughout the process.


Our Troubled World

On any given day, somewhere in the world;

A child goes hungry.

A spouse is attacked or killed.

Innocent individuals are maimed or killed in vicious attacks.

Someone’s human rights are violated.

One of earth’s creatures succumbs to a polluted environment.

Over 500,000 African children will be orphaned by aids

And on any given day in our world;

An individual, group of individuals, an organization or entire countries make an effort to understand and work towards solutions to the problems facing us as global communities. 
Media and communications technologies have increased our awareness of the problems in our own communities and around the world.  This is your opportunity to learn more about Global issues and specifically, to explore an issue in greater depth.  Your assignment is to educate your classmates about a problem or organization which deals with a particular Global issue through an eCollage or a brief video.   As you explore the resources consider the impact of the issue (who, where, what, when), how future generations will deal with the problem and what evidence there is that the problem exists in your community.  Keep photos, images, important quotes or stats in a separate folder as you complete your research.


You will need a computer with access to the Internet for your research and a word processor to record your findings.   Look at the explain section to help you direct your research to the appropriate goals. 

Check out each of the following sites.  Can you find some additional sites that enhance your understanding of Global Issues?  When you have developed a general understanding of the types of issues that exist, focus on the sites of one or more organizations for your presentation/project.

An excellent overview:  Global Issues that affect everyone.

Human Rights

Amnesty  http://www.amnesty.org/

United Nations  http://www.un.org/

Health Issues

World Health Organization http://www.who.int/en/

Doctors Without Borders http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/


United Nations Aids http://www.unaids.org/


UNICEF – The Silent Shout http://www.unicef.org/silentshout/

ICBL  http://www.icbl.org/youth/hear/


Greenpeace http://www.greenpeace.org/homepage/

Rainforest Action http://www.ran.org/info_center/

National Wildlife Federation http://www.nwf.org/

Women and Children

Free the Children http://www.freethechildren.org/

Woman’s Alliance for Peace http://www.wapha.org/

Children’s Rights http://www.hrw.org/campaigns/crp/index.htm

Those unfamiliar with Digital Imaging and video productions should review the training videos from Nortel LearniT (www.NortelLearniT.org


Now that you have explored the resources provided and discovered a few of your own, you are ready to organize your information.  First try to summarize (1 page) in your own words:

What might a list of Global issues look like?  List 10 issues that you have discovered during your research.  Make a list of the sites you visited with information about those issues.

What evidence is there of the existence of these issues in your community?

Select one issue that you feel strongly about for your eCollage.

What is it?

Who is impacted?

How are they impacted?

Does it exit in your community and if so, what evidence is there of it.

What statistics are there to show that the problem exists?

What steps can be taken to reduce the impact of the problem?

What organizations are currently taking those steps?

You may now need to go back to your resources and collect more issue specific materials.  

Video option: If you have determined that the issue exists in your community, you will need to capture some video evidence and/or interview those impacted and/or head of organizations involved with bringing the issue to the public.


You will present your issue to the class through a brief description of your collage that clearly outlines the issue, describes briefly any organizations that might deal with it globally and locally and finally, outline the rationale behind your choices for the items in your collage. 

Begin by assembling and listing all of your clips of information.   Draw a rough plan for your eCollage indicating what piece of information will go where.  

Edit your images where you feel necessary using a drawing program or photo editing software.   You should review the section on “working with digital images” in the digital imaging videos found at www.NortelLearnit.org

Assemble your images either using appropriate software or print them out and glue them to a poster-sized piece of Bristol board.   Remember, you are trying to make a point and bring attention to your issue.  You will want to assemble your information to maximize emotional impact.   You can use a variety of fonts, photo rotations and placement, etc.

Present your introduction and eCollage to your class or small groups.

Video option:  Prepare a storyboard prior to gather video shots for your video.    Review the information videos that describe the steps to creating storyboards at www.NortelLearnit.org.  You may want to have your teacher make copies of the storyboard template.

Make arrangements with an organization to interview a spokes person for the group or organization that represents the issue you have chosen.  If you see evidence of the issue (i.e. pollution, poverty, etc) in your community you may be able to collect some clips.  Remember that if you video and/or interview someone you must have his or her permission in writing to show the video. 

Introduce your video and show it to the class or small groups.




Group evaluation: Rate the members of your group out of 10 for their performance on this task.    Devise a scale that reflects your assessment criteria for the class.

Self Evaluation: What did you learn? What can you do that you could not do before completing this assignment?


Consider a community or school information session, where Global issues are outlined and discussed.  Invite local political leaders to make presentations. 

You might want to volunteer with an organization that represents an issue that you have developed some interest and passion for. 

Organize a fundraiser to support individuals impacted by the issue you have discussed.   Perhaps your school will want to raise funds to support a local group or organization.

Required Attachments:



An Introduction to an International Treaty: The Convention on the Rights of the Child - Youth Report

This U.S. Fund for UNICEF Youth Report introduces high school students to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the most widely ratified piece of international human rights legislation in the world.

Open or Download This File:


UN Convention on Rights of the Child

Students conduct information circles to teach each other about the UN Convention on Rights of the Child. A group discussion follows about the implications of the Convention and students create a mind map of their learning.

Open or Download This File:


Lesson 111: International Treaties and Conventions


Conventions, or treaties, generally set forth international environmental regulations. These conventions and treaties often result from efforts by international organizations such as the United Nations (UN) or the World Bank. However, it is often difficult, if not impossible, to enforce these regulations because of the sovereign rights of countries. In addition rules and regulations set forth in such agreements may be no more than non-binding recommendations, and often countries are exempted from regulations due to economic or cultural reasons. Despite these shortcomings, the international community has achieved some success via its environmental agreements. These include an international convention that placed a moratorium on whaling (1986) and a treaty that banned the ocean dumping of wastes (1991).

The UN often facilitates international environmental efforts. In 1991, the UN enacted an Antarctica Treaty, which prohibits mining of the region, limits pollution of the environment and protects its animal species. The United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) is a branch of the UN that specifically deals with worldwide environmental problems. It has helped with several key efforts at global environmental regulations:

* The 1987 Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. As a result of this global agreement, industrialized countries have ceased or reduced the production and consumption of ozone-depleting substances such as chlorofluorocarbons.
* The Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade. This agreement enhances the world's technical knowledge and expertise on hazardous chemicals management.



* The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). This agreement protects over 30,000 of the world's endangered species.
* In 1995 UNEP and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) signed a partnership agreement to develop environmental guidelines for sports federations and countries bidding to host the Olympic games.
* The Rotterdam Convention (1998) addressed the growing trade in hazardous pesticides and chemicals. Importing countries must now give explicit informed consent before hazardous chemicals can cross their borders.
* The International Declaration on Cleaner Production (1998). The signatories commit their countries to implement cleaner industrial production and subsequent monitoring efforts.


In 1992, the UN member nations committed their resources to limiting greenhouse gas (e.g., carbon dioxide) emissions at or below 1990 levels, as put forth by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. Unfortunately, the agreement was non-binding and by the mid-1990's, it had had no effect on carbon emissions. The 1997 Kyoto Protocol was a binding resolution to reduce greenhouse gases. Although the United States initially supported the resolution, the Senate failed to ratify the treaty, and by 2001 the resolution was opposed by President Bush as threatening the United States economy.

Historical Role Play: Kyoto Protocol Committee

Lesson 66: Containment

Lesson 66, Containment, contains instruction on U.S.-Soviet Relations, Truman Doctrine and the Marshall Plan, Berlin Airlift, and NATO.


To begin the lesson, click here.

You will need Macromedia Flash Player to view this lesson.