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Monday Morning Ready03.23.2015
Jumpstart Your Week!

At a private working lunch, the five most powerful members of the United Nations Security Council discussed the next UN secretary-general. The selection process for UN chief has remained secretive and almost completely male. A European ambassador reminded colleagues of a January 1946 General Assembly resolution that states that a “man of eminence and high attainment” should hold the post. Perhaps, the ambassador suggested, they should add “or a woman.”... < read more >
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
Grade 3-4

Imagine that you had the opportunity to vote on the next UN secretary-general. What qualities would you look for? Why do you think those qualities would make a good leader?

Grade 5-6

Do you think it's wise to make gender the main criteria for selecting a leader? Why or why not? Whether they realize it or not, do you think that's what people have done in the past?

Grade 7-8

Why do you think the selection process for UN secretary-general has always been so secretive? What would you do to make this process more public and transparent?

Grade 9-10

In what ways, if any, do you think electing a female secretary-general would impact the goals and mission of the United Nations? Explain.

LESSON PLAN
Analyze Leadership Qualities

PROCESS:

  1. As a class, brainstorm a list of traits and characteristics that students think a leader should possess. Then create a list of local, national or international leaders.
  2. Examine the lists closely. Encourage students to identify traits many leaders share. Challenge them to identify combinations of traits that result in the most effective leaders.
  3. Instruct students to select one leader. As a class, in small groups or with a partner, have students conduct research to learn more about that person’s background.
  4. Instruct students to review they information they collected. Challenge them to list the top five reasons their candidate should be selected.
  5. Invite groups to present their candidates to the class.

ASSESSMENT:

After each presentation, encourage classmates to compare the candidate's qualifications to the list of traits and characteristics the class has identified. After all candidates have been introduced, poll the class to see which of leaders they would most like to have in charge. Challenge students to explain why this candidate rose above the others. 

CUSTOMIZE THE LESSON:

Grades 3-4:
Conduct this as a class activity. Focus students’ attention on qualities that make a good leader. Explore the possibility that different situations might require different traits in order for someone to be an effective leader.

Grades 5-6:
Have students complete the activity in small groups. Tell them to identify reasons and cite specific examples that illustrate why the person they selected is a good leader. Challenge them to incorporate that information into a speech promoting their person’s leadership abilities. 

Grades 7-8:
Have students complete the activity in pairs. Tell partners to identify reasons and cite specific examples that illustrate why the person they selected is a good leader. Challenge them to incorporate that information into a speech promoting their person’s leadership abilities.

Grades 9-10:
Have students complete the activity in pairs. Tell partners to identify reasons and cite specific examples that illustrate why the person they selected is a good leader. Challenge them to incorporate that information into a promotional campaign supporting that person for a “Leader of the Year” award. All campaigns must include a speech and two additional elements. Encourage students to be creative as they consider what those additional elements should be.

SMITHSONIAN RESOURCES
Women Were Key to WWII Code-Breaking at Bletchley Park
Smithsonian article about the women who worked at Bletchley Park during WWII, including those that worked as code-breakers.

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