lesson plans offered here are designed to help you use the Ralph
Bunche: An American Odyssey video and this companion Web site
in secondary social studies, civics, and language arts classes.
Ralph Bunche: An American Odyssey can be purchased through
William Greaves Productions. For information about ordering the
video, click here.
The Making of a Leader
lesson, students will examine the factors that allowed Ralph Bunche,
growing up as an African American in the early twentieth century,
to overcome obstacles of economics and race, develop his ideas on
peace and justice and become a top scholar and world leader. Students
will demonstrate what they have learned through a variety of projects
ranging from poetry and writing to art, music, speaking, and technology.
Negotiating and Resolving Conflict
Students will work in small groups to participate in brainstorming
and fact-finding activities to introduce them to the concept of
negotiation and compromise. They will learn negotiation and problem-solving
strategies and techniques, practice using these skills to resolve
problems that relate to them directly and indirectly.
Debating the Issues
quotations from Bunche, information from the film, research and
group discussion, students will develop ideas about topics for discussion.
Students will then participate in a classroom debate/discussion
of the issues they have selected. As a closing activity, students
will write about any new conclusions they may have arrived at about
Bunche and the issues under discussion.
Human and Civil Rights
This lesson examines the concept of rights through discussion of
the relationship between rights and responsibilities, the evolving
definitions of rights, and the ways in which different societies
and leaders, including Bunche, believe human and civil rights violations
should be addressed.
Decolonization and Self-Determination
Students will learn about the history of European colonization and
Bunche's involvement in the decolonization movement of the mid-twentieth
century. The lesson will include researching a current United Nations
decolonization initiative and explaining what Bunche might have
recommended be done about the matter.
United Nations Activity
this activity, students will conduct a "model United Nations
General Assembly" session. The activity is designed to acquaint
students with issues in international relations and the structure,
aims and procedures used by the United Nations to resolve disputes
between nations. Students will learn about the early history of
the United Nations by examining the contributions made by Ralph
Bunche to the organization during the first 25 years of its existence.
Prososki (Lessons One, Two and Three) is an award-winning teacher
who instructed students in Communication Arts, Social Studies, and
Technology for 12 years. She was named Teacher of the Year by her
school district in 1995. She was also named Technology Teacher of
the Year for the state of Missouri in 1996. Prososki has been a
presenter at local, state, and national meetings in topics such
as teaming, interdisciplinary teaching, developing technology and
integrated lesson plans, meeting the needs of exceptional children,
and other related topics. Lisa is now enjoying a career as a full-time
mother and runs a consulting business from her home.
Hedberg (Lessons Four and Five) is a teacher and freelance curriculum
writer who has published lesson plans and student activities in
a variety of subjects. She received her Secondary Teaching Credential
in Social Studies from Loyola Marymount University and her Master
of Arts in Geography from UCLA. In addition to curriculum writing,
she has developed Web sites and assisted teachers in incorporating
the Internet and other technologies into their classrooms. In 1997,
she founded Curriculum Adventures, a curriculum development, publishing,
and consulting company. Publications include The Web-Savvy Student:
Activities to Make Students THINK About the Internet and Geography
Online: Internet Student Activities.
Michael Hutchison (Lesson 6) is a social studies teacher at
Lincoln High School in Vincennes, Indiana. A 22-year teaching veteran,
he has been recognized nationally for his use of classroom technology
and cable television in the classroom. In 1996 and 1997 he was named
national winner of Rifkin and Associates 21st Century Teacher competition,
and in 1998, he was a first place winner in the Compaq Teacher Lesson
Plan contest. In 1999, he was named "Teacher of the Year" (Central
US region) by Technology and Learning magazine. He also is a member
of the PBS TeacherSource Advisory Group.
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