Lesson formatted from National Geographic
In this lesson, students will learn about six different international organizations and how they help define US foreign policy. They will also research opposing viewpoints concerning these organizations and consider reasons why some people want to reform or disband these organizations.
Social Studies Standard III.5.2 (HS) Evaluate foreign policy positions in light of national interests and American values.
Learning Resources and Materials
24 computers with Internet access, Inspiration software
Development of Lesson
The instructor will introduce the topic by asking students to list the reasons why they think countries would be interested in forming alliances with each other.
Then the instrouctor will ask students if they are familiar with any of the following international organizations:
Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)
European Union (EU)
North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)
Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)
United Nations (UN)
World Trade Organization (WTO)
After being placed in 4 groups of 6 students, using Inspiration software that is already on the school computers, students will create a diagram based on their own research and class notes regarding specific international organizations that affect the United States and their foreign policy. Each student in a group will research one organization. Students will need to know the names of six organizations, where and when it was formed, what area of the world the organization covers, and the goals of the organization and what they do.
When each student in their group of six has finished researching their own organization, they will share their online diagram with each other. Less Internet savvy students will be able to get help from other, more advanced students.
Ask each group to choose one of the organizations on their list (or assign organizations so that they will all be represented in the class). Have groups research the viewpoints of people and groups who have concerns with this organization or who are completely opposed to it, and ask them to discuss their findings within their group. The students should be able to answer the following questions:
What are this organization's officially stated missions, goals, and function?
What groups are calling for reform of this organization, and why?
What groups, if any, would like to see this organization completely disbanded, and why do they feel this way?
What groups are working to keep this organization the way it is or to reform it only minimally, and why are they taking this position?
As a class or in small groups, have students use what they have learned to discuss some of the reasons why people might have reservations about their country's decision to join a union of nations or why people might not be happy with the status of their country's current membership.