Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum

United Nations Mini-Unit

Project Based Learning
Using Primary Sources
Technology Integration
Missouri "Show Me" Standards based

Teacher: Mrs. Amanda L. Laws, 6-8 Grade Foreign Language & Culture

School: Moreland Ridge Middle School

Grade Focus: Missle School, Particularly 7th Grade Language For Everyone

Time Frame: 6 Class Periods of 45 minutes each

"Show Me" Standards Covered:


Goal One-1: Students will demonstrate the ability to develop questions and ideas to initiate and refine research.

Goal One-2: Students will demonstrate the ability to conduct research and to answer questions and evaluate information and ideas.

Goal One-4: Students will demonstrate the ability to use technological tools and other resources to locate, select, and organize information.

Goal Two-1: Students will demonstrate the ability to plan and make written, oral and visual presentations for a variety of purposes and audiences.

Goal Two-3: Students will demonstrate the ability to exchange information, questions and ideas while recognizing the perspective of others.

Goal Three-4: Students will demonstrate the ability to reason inductively from a set of specific facts and deductively from a set of premises.


SS2: Students will acquire a solid foundation, which includes knowledge of continuity and change in the history of Missouri, the United States, and the world.

SS3: Students will acquire a solid foundation, which includes knowledge of principles and processes of governing systems.

SS6: Students will acquire a solid foundation, which includes knowledge of relationships of individual and groups to institutions and cultural traditions.

SS7: Students will acquire a solid foundation, which includes knowledge of the use of tools of social science inquiry (documents).

Unit Introduction:


Students will prepare and design "World Peace Flags" that depict their understanding of United Nations goals and procedures.

By researching primary, secondary and internet resources.
Through class discussions of the pros and cons of the United Nations (focusing on their own "views of peace")
By theoretically placing themselves in a country without peace (Sarajevo) and experiencing a culturally diverse world.

Preparation for the Learning Experience:

Teacher Collaboration and planning. (We have 2 Foreign Language teachers and frequently team teach)
Visit the UN Internet site (www.un.org) nd prepare a work page that guides students towards pertinent information.
Prepare Class discussion work page.
Obtain poem "A Day In Sarajevo" by Edima Suleymanovich
Sign up for class usage of library computer lab

Scope of Student Work:

This unit will include a variety of lessons, experiences, and endeavors that include:

Investigation and research of primary sources (poem)
Student decision making and problem solving ("YOUR vies on PEACE" work page/discussion)
Student choices and learner engagement (UN Pros/Cons Debate and "YOUR views on PEACE" discussion)
Communication and Collaboration (UN Pros/Cons Debate & "YOUR views on PEACE" discussion)
Real world connections (poem)

For all listed discussions, use the completed worksheet as a discussion starter and guide.

Mention that "arguing" is not always bad, as two diverse sets of belief are being discussed. Remind the students to always listen to the other side of the discussion even though they may not agree with the other side's points.

Resources and Technology Used:

The United Nations 50th Anniversary Book, by Barbara Brenner

Assignment and Reflection:

The 7th Grad Language For Everyone course is not numerically graded, but rather is graded with either an S (satisfactory) or U (unsatisfactory)
Each completed task ("YOUR vies on PEACE" worksheet etc.) is given a visa stamp that is placed on a student created "passport" that is used to keep track of progress in the class.
When work is graded (internet worksheet) one must recieve at least a 75% in order to receive a visa stamp.
Most work is given a "completeness" grade for effort and participation rather than a numerical grade.
Students assess their own work when they debate their individual "Views on Peace" and objectively respond to the ideas of their classmates.
Students are allowed to miss one visa stamp and still recieve an S in the course.
Scoring "checklist" for "Peace Flag" Design and Description.