Lesson Plan: Globalization - Twentieth Century International Organizations

President Woodrow Wilson and the League of Nations

Woodrow Wilson was America's 28th president, serving for two terms. Wilson is perhaps best known for his post-WWI peace plan, called "Wilson's 14 Points," which included open treaties, freedom of the seas, and free international trading. The plan also included the formation of a body which later became known as the League of Nations.


The twentieth century witnessed a great deal of warfare as well as the collapse of the global economy in the 1930s. In response to these challenges, new institutions of global governance emerged and continued to develop throughout the century. These institutions of global governance both shaped and adapted to changing social conditions. This lesson is designed to introduce students to these new international organizations, to illustrate their strengths and weaknesses, and also to give students a chance to create a multimedia presentation that incorporates C-SPAN video clips.


  • Materials:

  • Supplemental readings:

  • STEP 1.

    Assign background reading from your textbook, or another appropriate source, for the previous night’s homework.

  • STEP 2.

    To begin class, lead students in a lecture/discussion on globalization and the creation of new international organizations.

  • STEP 3.

    Show the provided C-SPAN video clips below on the League of Nations, the United Nations and the International Criminal Court.

  • STEP 4.

    Divide the class into groups of 4 or 5 students each, and assign an international organization to each group.

  • STEP 5.

    Distribute copies of the supplemental readings to each of the groups.

  • STEP 6.

    Inform the groups that they will be writing a one page paper which addresses the following points:

    a. An explanation of international law.

    b. The purpose of the organization and an assessment of its effectiveness.

    c. A review of the supplemental reading and video clips.

  • STEP 7.

    Have groups select a team leader to share their findings with the class.

  • STEP 8.

    Students should complete their graphic organizer handout as each of the presentations progress.

  • Extension:

    This lesson plan model can be modified or duplicated to include the new economic institutions (the IMF, World Bank and/or the WTO), humanitarian institutions (UNICEF, the Red Cross, Amnesty International, Doctors Without Borders and/or the WHO, regional trade agreements (the European Union, NAFTA, ASEAN and/or Mercosur), multinational corporations (Royal Dutch Shell, Coca-Cola and /or Sony) and/or protest movements (Greenpeace, Green Belt in Kenya and/or Earth Day).

Additional Resource


  • Consensus
  • Economic Sanctions
  • Ethnic Cleansing
  • Geneva Convention
  • International Criminal Court
  • International Law
  • League Of Nations
  • United Nations


Foreign PolicyWorld History


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