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United Nations: A Jewish State
Submitted by William Ferry, Bridgewater-Raritan High School

LESSON SUMMARY: Through a role playing activity, students will analyze the nature of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict (Model United Nations).

TIME FRAME: 2 day lesson (1 period of research; 1 period for the role play)

SUGGESTED GRADE LEVEL: High School

NEW JERSEY CORE STANDARDS: 6.4, 6.5

OBJECTIVES: The students will be able to:

  1. Enhance research skills.
  2. Experience empathy for others.
  3. Understand the role of religion leading to conflict in the Middle East.
  4. Learn the art of compromise/negotiations.

RESOURCE MATERIALS:

  1. Art supplies.
  2. Research sources/information.

STRATEGIES/PROCEDURES:

  1. Students will need some background information on the format and development of the United Nations, in addition to a basic summary of parliamentary procedure (not included in the time frame).
  2. Teacher will assign each student one nation from the list of nations (member nations by 1947). Attempt to develop a well-rounded body of nations, with the Arab “bloc” in the minority. One “strong” student will, also, be assigned the role of Secretary General, Trygve Lie from Norway (or the teacher may take on this role). Sometimes it is more effective for the teacher to role-play the representative from an Arab nation in order to strengthen the “minority” position and give the activity some energy.
  3. Teacher will provide a short summary of the steps leading to the “current” situation (relations prior to Britain submitting the problem to the United Nations).
  4. Students will:
    1. develop a national flag
    2. research nation and stance
    3. create proposals (for the meeting)
    4. construct voting blocs
  5. Students will complete preparation for the activity as a homework assignment.
  6. Day two- meeting of the U.N. general assembly is called to order and the activity progresses until a “solution” is developed (2/3 majority vote of members present is required on important questions).
  7. Teacher will debrief the activity with the class.
    • realistic solution?
    • compromise?
    • future ramifications?
    • impact of voting blocs?
    • types of voting blocs?
    • strengths/weaknesses of U.N.?

EVALUATIONS:

  1. The teacher led debriefing of the class will serve as a method for evaluating the success of the activity.
  2. Students grade will be based on preparation and participation in the activity.


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