Exploring Issues & Writing Resolutions
By Sara P. Chavarria and Rachel Hughes
Editor: Stephanie Nardei, MLS

Time: 3 class periods
photocopying 1 sheet/student
Materials: Student display boards
Comparison matrix handout
Resolution sheet
Resolution editing form
4 different colored pens per group
dominant issue sheet


Having developed a display showing pertinent data about their country, students will share their information with their peers. Students will compare their country with colleagues as a preparation for developing a resolution that will be acceptable to others taking part in the forum. This is an opportunity to start the lobbying process integral to UN conferences.

Students will be able to:
1. Identify both the common and dissenting agricultural, population and economic issues between their country and others in the forum.
2. Write resolutions to present at the forum


Resource Websites
Researching countries: http://www.newtrier.k12.il.us/library/teacher_assignments/researching_countries.htm
CIA FactBook: https://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/index.html
Kids Page on Country Reporting: http://kids.bcls.lib.nj.us/factsheets/countries_states.shtml
How to research countries: http://www.oxford-knowledge.co.uk/information/training/online_tutorial/countries.htm
Researching Countries (MS Word): http://www.aisb.ro/library/data/john%20bishop/Researching%20CountriesResearch%20Guide.doc
Cerritos College: http://www.cerritos.edu/library/guides/research/Country_Research.html
Learning Enrichment Student Corner: http://www.learningenrichment.org/students.html



Day 1
1. Today students show off their country displays. To fully benefit from the museum walk students do a comparison task. Tell students the more informed they are about other countries and their agricultural, population and economic issues, the better their draft on a resolution that gains support from those countries, the ultimate goal in the forum project. Have students identify dominant issues of their display as a class and identify one overarching issue.

2. After setting up their country displays, one student, a curator, will stand at their display to answer questions, but the rule is they may not be asked or answer the question “What is your countries’ dominant issue?” About every 10 minutes have students rotate the curator role among the group allowing all to review the displays and individually fill out the dominant issue sheet.

3. Allow 5-8 minutes at class end for groups to reconvene to identify 4 countries, other than the U.S. or their own country, they think will be of particular interest to them. Tomorrow the group will divide these countries and each student will conduct a more in-depth comparison.

Day 2
4. To write a successful resolution, students must consider other countries issues and concerns. After the museum walk, their individual assessments of all countries in the forum document what their dominant concern may be. Tell students today’s goal is each of them gain more insight into a particular country and share with their group so they can begin to write powerful resolutions.

5. Give students a copy of the comparison matrix. Model the process by identifying 4 issues per category using the U.S. as a model. Encourage students to draw upon ideas they might have used during yesterday’s class and introduce some of the more formal language surrounding the issues. Students should include these terms in their group and individual analysis.

6. Each group works together to identify their country’s 4 issues per category and then individual students review one of the 4 countries chosen by the group yesterday. Individually, students compare the 3 countries on their comparison matrix and identify some possible areas of shared concern or areas of conflict.

7. Having individually identified their group’s main areas of concern, students reconvene to share their ideas about major issues. Ask them if they identified common themes within their group. The comparison matrix should provide the basis for forming four resolutions that students think will address the charge of the forum.

8. Remind students this group of countries is charged with developing recommendations for practices that can help feed the world’s population. They should consider agricultural practices including pesticides and genetically modified foods, as well as trade, history, alliances and environmental health etc. They are to develop 4 resolutions using the language they were introduced to previously.

9. Once the group has chosen the topics of 4 resolutions and discussed what they want to say, each group member writes up a resolution.

10. They group edit each other’s resolutions using the resolution editing form. This allows you not only to assess the student’s initial resolution writing, but also evaluate the group process and individual’s ability to edit.

11. Once they have group edited they should rewrite the 4 resolutions onto the resolution sheet.



If necessary

Embedded Assessment
This activity has opportunities for teachers and students to evaluate both social studies and language arts writing components. The dominant issue sheet and the comparison matrix give the teacher some idea of individual student’s grasp of identifying issues. The resolution is a writing component to be evaluated.

PULSE is a project of the Community Outreach and Education Program of the Southwest Environmental Health Sciences Center and is funded by:

NIH/NCRR award #16260-01A1
The Community Outreach and Education Program is part of the Southwest Environmental Health Sciences Center: an NIEHS Award


Supported by NIEHS grant # ES06694

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Last update: November 10, 2009
  Page Content: Rachel Hughes
Web Master: Travis Biazo