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Model UN asks students to take on the official perspective of a country and debate an issue of global importance. It is an extracurricular activity done by young people all over the world and is extremely popular and competitive at the university level. More recently, Model UN has become common at the middle and high school level as both an academic club, as an elective, and as part of a social studies course.

Why use Model UN as in-school curriculum?
Principals, classroom teachers, and school advisors tell us that they choose Model UN because no other academic experience creates the conditions that encourage participants to develop so many essential skills and the students love it!

What skills do students develop through a Model UN unit?
Students will be able to…
  • Recall and synthesize information learned from video, lecture, and text about a topic of global importance
  • Research their country and their country’s official position on a particular topic
  • Write a 4-5 paragraph paper stating their country’s position as well as a 1 page speech convincing other students to agree with their country’s position
  • Listen to other students in order to build on their points
  • Speak extemporaneously about topics that have been studied
  • Collaborate with classmates to write a proposed solution (resolution)
  • Interrogate proposed solutions with specific questions
  • Evaluate solutions based on efficacy and alignment with their country’s position

Are UNAGB resources boxed-curriculum? A textbook? In-class field trip?
We hope that UNAGB resources take the best of each of these models in order to support a deep learning experience for all students.
  • Like a textbook - our lessons have rigorous and accurate information (topic guides)
  • Like a boxed curriculum - our lessons are easy to follow
  • Like a field trip - our lessons culminate in a non-traditional extended learning experience that students will remember for the rest of their lives
However, not one of these terms quite captures what we do....

Instead, we often talk about providing a platform for '80% Curriculum.' This means that the resources and materials that we share with partnering teachers help them with the first 80% of curriculum planning. Then these exceptional teachers take the curriculum all the way to 'student-ready' by designing the worksheets and rituals that work best for their classroom. That's why we make every effort to use easy-to-manipulate Word Docs instead of PDFs. And we are always a phone call or email away to talk through ideas about how to do this. Our one request is that teachers share back with us their best innovations so that we can share them with other teachers!

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