Lesson Rating 
Two Fifty Minute Class Periods

The learners will:

  • discover the reasons why an international organization was needed as an outcome of WWII.
  • identify the philanthropic activities of the United Nations.
  • identify and explain NGO’s and their role in world affairs.
  • demonstrate ability to research, organize and present findings through inquiry and discovery.
  • Appropriate social studies and/or geography text
  • Attachment One: United Nations Overview
  • Computer access for learning about NGOs
  • Attachment Two: United Nations Information Worksheet
  • Attachment Three: NGOs

  • www.un.org/cyberschoolbus

  • http://www.un.org/

  • http://www.unesco.org/

  • United Nations Environment Programme - UNEP -http://www.unep.org/

  • UNDP - United Nations Development Programme UNDP http://www.undp.org/
    UNICEF – The United Nations Children’s Fund works for children’s rights, their survival, development and protection, guided by the Convention on the Rights ...

  • The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights - ... (OHCHR) protects and promotes human rights for all. United Nations...


  1. Anticipatory Set:
    Write these facts about WW II on the board, have the students read them and respond to the following question.

    1. Sixty million people died in World War II.
    2. One out of ten Soviet citizens died. (7. 5 Million overall in the Soviet Union).
    3. 2,500 U.S. citizens were killed at Pearl Harbor, and 3.5 Million over all.
    4. 250,000 people were killed by the Atomic bomb in Hiroshima.

    With all this suffering, the people of the world wanted to avoid another conflict. What do you think would be the best way to help the nations of the world keep the peace?

    Write at least four of the student responses on the board and have the class evaluate each. Lead the students into a discussion of the mission of the United Nations.

    Note: If this is an American or World History class, review about the League of Nations and its successes and failures. Introduce the United Nations as the organization formed at the close of World War II to improve the condition of developing countries and to maintain world peace. The United Nations acts as an international philanthropist as the Marshall Plan was a U.S. government philanthropy program.

  2. Show an image of the United Nations logo and discuss the symbolism of its color and components.

  3. Give each student a copy of Attachment One: United Nations Overview. Have the students read the information as well as textbook sections or Internet articles appropriate to the content covered.

  4. Pass out the attached question sheet so that students can go through the site and/or the printed material and complete before the next class session.

    Day Two
    Anticipatory Set:

    Write the following definitions on the board and have students copy them.

    1. Common Good – Citizens should work together for the good of all. The government should make laws that are good for everyone
    2. Philanthropy – Active effort to promote human welfare.
    3. Non-governmental organization (NGO)—term used by Non American countries to define the nonprofit sector.
    4. Nonprofit sector – any not for profit or tax exempt organizations collectively that are specifically not associated with any government agency or commercial enterprise.
  5. Discuss with students why philanthropy helps the common good and howcommissions and agencies of the United Nations act as international philanthropists (UNICEF, Human Rights Commission).

  6. Tell the students that today they will explore some examples of international philanthropy foundations that help people of the world because of the UN work. The students work in groups to write a summary of one agency's work to address a UN treaty issue. Each group of students picks one of the twenty-five treaties that the UN is currently endorsing. Attachment Three gives suggestions for NGOs to research.

  7. Others to explore include Melinda and Bill Gates Foundation, giving millions of dollars to make certain the world’s children are vaccinated, the International Red Cross, the Crescent Red Cross, Grantmakers Without Borders, and the European Foundation Center.

  8. End the class with each group reading their summary. The group summary should be two minutes in length and include:

    • a definition of philanthropy activities undertaken by the NGO.
    • a clear statement of the issue.
    • a clear statement of the UN position and activities.

Oral or written responses to Attachment Two: United Nations Information Worksheet
Assess written summaries
Assess oral presentations
Instructor-constructed test on content

Cross Curriculum 

Students may participate in a service project to inform others about an international children’s health, nutrition, educational program or child labor issue.

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.I Definitions of Philanthropy
    1. Standard DP 01. Define Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark HS.1 Define philanthropy to include giving and sharing; volunteering; and private individual action intended for the common good. Explain how a volunteer individual/group can act for the common good.
      2. Benchmark HS.2 Identify and discuss examples of philanthropy and charity in modern culture.
  2. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 01. Self, citizenship, and society
      1. Benchmark HS.1 Define the phrase <i>community/social capital</i> and discuss how it relates to all communities and the problem of factions.
      2. Benchmark HS.2 Discuss and give examples of why some humans will sacrifice for the benefit of unknown others.
      3. Benchmark HS.6 Describe nonprofit advocacy organizations and their relationship to first amendment rights.
    2. Standard PCS 02. Diverse Cultures
      1. Benchmark HS.3 Identify constitutional principles that protect minorities in a republic. Relate these principles to the role of civil society organizations.
    3. Standard PCS 05. Philanthropy and Government
      1. Benchmark HS.7 Examine the role of a country as a member of various international communities.
  3. Strand PHIL.III Philanthropy and the Individual
    1. Standard PI 01. Reasons for Individual Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark HS.4 Cite historical examples of citizen actions that affected the common good.
  4. Strand PHIL.IV Volunteering and Service
    1. Standard VS 02. Service and Learning
      1. Benchmark HS.1 Select a service project based on interests, abilities, and research.
    2. Standard VS 05. Integrating the Service Experience into Learning
      1. Benchmark HS.3 Identify outcomes from the service.

Academic Standards

Select categories to search for standards.

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