Global Voices Information Sheet

The Millennium Development Goals

Courtesy of the United Nations

What are the MDGs? In 2000, world leaders came together at the United Nations and adopted the United Nations Millennium Declaration. • This consisted of a set of eight goals aimed at reducing extreme poverty through a series of time-bound targets. • The deadline for meeting these targets was set at 2015. • On Sept. 20-22, world leaders will meet again to talk about the advancements that have been made in the last 10 years and the progress that needs to be made in the next five. The Goals Goal One: Eradicate Extreme Poverty and Hunger by halving the number of people living on less than $1 per day, halving the number of people suffering from hunger and achieving full and productive employment. • Goal Two: Achieve Universal Primary Education by ensuring that all boys and girls everywhere complete a full course of primary schooling. • Goal Three: Promote Gender Equality by eliminating inequality in both the primary and secondary education system. • Goal Four: Reduce Child Mortality by cutting by two-thirds the under-five mortality rate. • Goal Five: Improve Maternal Health by cutting by three-quarters the maternal mortality ratio and achieving universal access to reproductive health care. • Goal Six: Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases by halting their spread and achieving universal access to treatment. • Goal Seven: Ensure environmental sustainability by reducing biodiversity loss, creating access to clean water and sanitation and improving quality of life in slums. • Goal Eight: Develop a global partnership for development. Key Terms • education – the act of teaching and learning • eradicate – to erase or get rid of • indicator – a pointing or directing device • legacy – something passed down from the past • poverty – having little or no money, possessions or means of support • universal – affecting or concerning all Learn more about the Millennium Development Goals: See how countries are doing with the MDG Monitor: • •

Global Voices Secondary Educator Resources
Note to Educators:
The following activities are designed to stimulate a current events discussion. Generative in nature, these questions can be a launching point for additional assignments or research projects. Teachers are encouraged to adapt these activities to meet the contextual needs of their classroom. In some cases, reading the article with students may be appropriate, coupled with reviewing the information sheet to further explore the concepts and contexts being discussed. From here, teachers can select from the questions provided below. Activities are structured to introduce students to the issues, then allow them to explore and apply their learnings. Extension and conclusion activities are included to challenge students and finally, encourage them to reflect on the issues at hand.

General Expectations:

Since these activities are designed as discussions rather than formal lessons, assessment strategies are not included.

Themes and Course Connections:
• • Themes: human rights, development, goals, Millennium Development Goals, poverty, education, hunger, gender equality, child mortality, maternal health, HIV/AIDS, malaria, disease, environmental sustainability, global partnership. Course Connections: Canadian and World Studies, English.

• • • Chart paper and markers Black board and chalk Internet, newspapers, books etc

Specific Expectations and Learning Goals:
Students will: • Explore the difference between goals and wishes. • Learn how to set a goal and follow through and achieve it. • Participate in class brainstorms around development and development needs. • Discuss poverty, education, health and sustainable development. • Learn about the Millennium Development Goals. • Develop their reading comprehension skills. • Reflect on how the Millennium Development Goals can improve quality of life around the world.


Knowledge and Understanding:
1. Goals versus Wishes (estimated time:5minutes) a. Divide the blackboard into two sections. Title the first section “Wish” and the second section “Goal”. b. Ask students to come to the front of the room and write one personal goal and wish under the appropriate columns on the blackboard. c. After each student has had a chance to record their answers on the board, have a class discussion on the differences and similarities of a goal and wish. d. Draw students attention to the lists, ask: i. How many wishes on the board can become goals? ii. How many goals are actual wishes? iii. If you fail to reach a goal do you consider this to be a failure? Why or why not? iv. Do you believe that it’s better to set lower goals than to risk failure by setting higher ones? v. Is it a good idea to set goals? Why, what do goals do for you? 2. Imagine: Introducing the Millennium Development Goals (estimated time: 5 minutes) a. Ask students to close their eyes and visualize the following: i. Imagine what life is like for a child born in the poorest parts of the world. Hunger. Disease. No chance to go to school. Today, hundreds of millions of children live in conditions considered inhumane by most of us. Now, imagine it was in your power to change the lives of these children – to provide nourishment, health care, education and hope for a better tomorrow. A brighter future isn’t just a dream it’s a reality. b. Write the title “Millennium Development Goals” on the board. c. Before going into detail, ask the students to brainstorm what they think these goals might be. Write answers on the board. (Teacher Note: you may have to provide the class with some hints, such as the definitions of the millennium and development) d. Leave the list on the board for later discussions.

1. Read Global Voices Column independently. (estimated time: 15 minutes) a. Reflection: i. Ask students to record point form notes in response to the article. ii. Ask students to record 5 questions that they are unsure of from their initial reading of the article. iii. Make sure that students do to not record a plot summary; instead, ask that they address new things that they learned and questions that they have. 2. Revisiting the Millennium Development Goals (estimated time: 15 minutes) a. Explain to students that on the eve of the new millennium, world leaders came together to establish development targets to help lift hundreds of millions of people out of poverty. They focused on eight specific goals and four important themes – poverty, education, health and sustainable development. The Millennium Development Goals are targets that countries in the United Nations have promised to achieve by 2015.


b. Ask students to share what they currently know about the Millennium Development Goals. Have they heard about them in the news? In a class? c. Ask the students to use the resources found around the classroom and they knowledge they gained from reading the Global Voices column to define the following terms: i. Poverty ii. Education iii. Health iv. Sustainable development d. Once this task is complete, work together as a class to define these terms. At this time clarify any misconceptions. e. After class definitions have been created for each term, ask the students to explain why the United Nations targeted these areas? What role do these areas play in our world and how can they contribute to making the world a better place? 3. Critical Thinking (estimated time: 10 minutes) a. As students to reflect on the opinions represented in the Global Voices column. b. Whose opinion is being represented in this column? Whose opinion is missing? Have students brainstorm other possible sources that would have important perspectives to share on the issue presented in the column.

1. Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) (estimated time: 30 minutes) a. Divide students into eight groups and assign each group one of the following Millennium Development Goals. Goal 1: Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger (cut poverty and hunger in half) Goal 2: Achieve universal primary education (send each and every child to primary school) Goal 3: Promote gender equality and empower women (make sure girls and boys are treated equally and have the same opportunities) Goal 4: Reduce child mortality (make sure fewer children die because of poverty) Goal 5: Improve maternal health (improve the health of each woman who is about to have a baby) Goal 6: Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases (stop the spread of HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases) Goal 7: Ensure environmental sustainability (meet people’s basic needs while protecting our environment) Goal 8: Develop a global partnership for development (make sure right and poor countries work together to support development) b. Using resources found around the classroom and the knowledge gained from the Global Voices column and class discussions, ask students to go through the same process as they did during the “steps to writing a goal activity”: i. Write the goal: ask students to record their Millennium Development Goal along with definitions of the terms in their goal. In addition, have students write what the goal looks like when it is finished. ii. Outline the specific steps to achieve the goal: each step needs to be broken down into small manageable tasks that the student is able to accomplish.


iii. Chart the obstacles for achieving the goal: students must record the different challenges that stand in the way of their goal as well as how they will deal with each issue. iv. Time frame: ask students to write an approximate deadline for achieving the goal. c. Once the groups have completed their steps ask each group to stand in front of the class and present their findings. d. Encourage a class discussion around the MDGs

1. Research Project (estimated time: continuous project) a. There were 192 countries that signed and agreed to the Millennium Development Goals on the eve of the new millennium. Ask the students to select one of these countries and research the progress that this country has made to date in achieving the MGDs. b. Students findings can be compiled into a research paper, PowerPoint presentation, or newspaper article.

Additional Resources:
• • • • United Nations Millennium Development Goals Wikipedia United Nations Development Program World Health Organization


Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful