Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum

Title: The United Nations

Grade Focus: Middle School Social Studies

Teacher: Kathleen Vest

Time Frame: Each activity on the list is designed to take one to two class periods.

Unit Introduction: The following activities are to give students a sense of the history of the United Nations while honing their geography skills.

Missouri State Standards:

Preparation: Set time for computer lab. Either bookmark these lessons on each computer or have an overhead available with the urls listed for students to type. Another possibility is to have student assistants find each site the day before and printing off required material for Activities #1 & #2.

Find and photocopy a world map.


Title: Meet the current Secretary General:


By visiting the United Nations web site and reading about the current Secretary General of the United Nations

Use a world map and follow these directions:


Title: Meet the former United Nations Secretaries General


By visiting the United Nations web site:

Answer the following questions:


First 51 countries to join the United Nations in October 24, 1945:


Working in a group of two or three:

Using the list of UN member countries at the United Nations web site

Determine which countries (find 51) were original members of the United Nations.

Using a world map, your group will locate and color each country. Choose an appropriate label for your map.


Title: Pick a country--any country!


Working in pairs and using the same web site as Activity #3:

Click on one country’s name listed in blue and view their home page.

Students: Make a list of the ten most interesting points you would want someone to know about that country to entice them to study more about it. Write these facts on a piece of paper. Do not use the name of the country in your facts.

Sign your names and turn in to teacher.

Teacher: When all students are finished collect these. Shuffle and hand out to the pairs so that no one has their own choice.

Students: Now each pair tries to find the country for which the facts or tidbits on their sheet would represent. The pair puts their guess at the bottom of the page and sign their names.