Objective: Students will learn about the Nobel Peace prize and learn the story of one of its recipients, Mother Teresa
Ask students to raise a hand if they have heard of Mother Teresa. Ask someone who has raised their hand what they know about her. Talk about what the students know about her life and the work she did towards helping the poor in India and eventually around the world. Now ask students if they know the name of the annual award some people get for their work. They should come up with the answer “the Nobel Peace Prize”. Mother Teresa received the award in 1979.
Explain to the students that the Nobel prizes are a series of prizes given out as Alfred Nobel, their founder, specified in his will. The Peace Prize category goes to “the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses” as stated by Alfred Nobel.
Share the following facts with the students either by writing them on the board or by printing out fact sheets for the students.
Nobel Peace Prize:
-Started in 1901
-Given to 91 recipients since 1901 (some years two people shared the prize, and twice the prize was split between three people).
-Unlike other Nobel Prizes, the Nobel Peace Prize is awarded in Oslo, Norway.
-A Norwegian committee determines the recipient of the prize each year.
-The oldest recipient (as of 2014) was Joseph Rotblat, who was 81 years at the time of receiving the award.
-The youngest recipient (as of 2014) was Malala Yusufzai, who was 17 at the time of receiving the award.
-Well-known recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize: Martin Luther King Jr., Jane Addams, Theodore Roosevelt, Barack Obama, and the organization UNICEF.
Now read the story of Mother Teresa to your students. Afterwards, discuss as a class the things Mother Teresa did to earn the Nobel Peace Prize. Discuss what it takes to receive such a prestigious award. Then play this three minute excerpt of Mother Teresa’s acceptance speech for the students to listen to.
Have students research one of the recent Nobel Peace Prize winners and write a report on their life and why they earned the prize. Alternatively, you can choose to assign each student a Nobel Peace Prize winner to research and write about.