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Before the event
- Choose a date and time to hold your Model UN and decide how long it will last (a day, a lesson, half a day, etc.).
- Make sure that you will have a room available where you can hold the event. The best rooms have tables that can be rearranged into a horseshoe shape to face a top table where the Chair will sit. Each delegation will need a placard that displays their country’s name in large letters. Adding the country’s flag can be a nice touch and nametags are essential for identifying representatives when they are not seated.
- Choose the committee(s) that you will be simulating and a topic to discuss, which may be chosen for its relevance to the curriculum or students’ interests.
- Make sure that a computer will be available for research.
- Delegates should be divided into three-person teams and assigned a country to represent. Consider carefully the countries that you would like to be represented at the Model UN.
- It is a good idea to ask a local VIP to open the event. They could be somebody connected with the school or group organising the Model UN. Other options include the local MP, a local councillor or a person who is involved (or has been involved) with the UN or with foreign affairs in general.
The more preparation time that you allow for your Model UN, the better it will be.
A Model UN can provide a term’s work for Citizenship where it is taught as a discrete timetabled subject. A small-scale event can be done with one class, with ten or so countries represented. For details of how Model UN fits into the Citizenship curriculum, click here.
Alternatively, the requirements could be met within the overall timetable – many departments could contribute to the pupils’ preparation for their Model UN.
Subject teachers could suggest which topics the event should address based on their syllabuses. These teachers could help pupils obtain information on the topics, and could suggest ways of dealing with the issue which pupils can incorporate into their draft resolution.
The emphasis should be on delegates researching their countries and issues themselves. They should learn how to be efficient and to detect bias in information.
Delegates should practise their public speaking skills – in particular, the need to speak slowly and to project their voices when speaking in a large room. Presenting general information about their countries can be a great way for students to practise. You should assign a maximum length for this speech and enforce the limits. Students should practise answering questions from their peers, as well.