Helping Countries in Turmoil (6-8)
  1. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 04. Philanthropy and Geography
      1. Benchmark E.4 Describe the idea of an emerging democracy.
    2. Standard PCS 07. Skills of Civic Engagement
      1. Benchmark E.2 Discuss an issue affecting the common good in the classroom or school and demonstrate respect and courtesy for differing opinions.

The purpose of this lesson is to have students recognize the idea of an emerging democracy, analyze the struggles of the people, and decide on a way to help the people.

PrintThree to Four Forty-Five Minute Class Periods

The learner will:

  • research an emerging democracy.
  • identify the struggles of the people in the emerging democracy.
  • choose a nonprofit charity that is involved in helping the people of the emerging democracy.
  • create an advertisement.
  • Media or publications of current events that focus on struggling emerging democracies.
  • Outline map of the world for each student
  • Why Some Countries Struggle (Attachment One)
  • Plan of Action Advertisement (see Attachment Two)
  • Poster board, markers, and colored paper to make advertisements
  • Collection boxes for canned goods, blankets, etc., or envelopes to collect money

Freedom House Freedom House amplifies the voices of those fighting for freedom in repressive societies.

Indiana University. "Emerging Democracies"

National Democratic Institute

  1. Anticipatory Set: Ask students to name any countries that are considered to be "struggling democracies."

  2. Have students form small groups. Write the following questions on an overhead projector or board:

    • What would you do if you had no shelter?
    • How would you get food?
    • What would you do if you needed medical care?
    • How would you keep the peace? Then ask each group of students to think of what America must have been like before it became a democratic country. Direct student discussion to the struggles people would have with the posted questions. Discuss students' ideas. (Teacher note: Please see if students need a better understanding of democracy or any associated vocabulary.)
  3. Look at a map of the world. Locate countries that are struggling to become democracies. See for additional resources. Give students a blank map of the world and label and color countries that are emerging democracies.

  4. As a class, decide on an emerging democracy for further research. Have students work in small groups to research the nation selected and complete Why Some Countries Struggle (see Attachment One). As a class, discuss the information students located.

  5. After information is gathered about the country, choose an organization that is involved in helping that country, for example UNICEF 1-800-FOR-KIDS or United Nations' World Food Program. The charity will give information on how to help by donating money or supplies. Point out that nonprofit organizations help people all around the world, not just people in the community. Let students decide how they wish to help.

  6. Once students have agreed on how to help, let students create an advertisement to collect donations or other resources. Distribute Plan of Action Advertisement (see Attachment Two).


Students will be assessed on the advertisement that is created. They will receive a point for including each of the following: Name of the emerging democracy or country Location of the country Information about how the country is struggling and why it is important to help Name of the charity Information about how other students can help