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ghosts of rwanda

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Pre-Viewing Lesson Plan
  • Learning about Rwanda
  • Student Worksheet #1
  • Student Worksheet #2
  • Lesson Extension: Genocide in World War II and its Aftermath
  • Student Worksheet #3

  • Viewing Lesson Plan
  • Student Viewing Guide
  • Student Worksheet #4

  • Post-Viewing Lesson Plan
  • The Big Picture
  • Lesson Extension: The Aftermath of Genocide
  • Lesson Extension: Reconciliation and Reparations in Rwanda

  • Further Resources

    Printable .pdf of Entire Guide
    (Adobe Acrobat required)

    » Post-Viewing Lesson Plan:

    The Big Picture

    » Lesson Objectives:

    After students have had the opportunity to discuss what happened during the film, they should be given the opportunity to step back from what they have seen to reflect on the larger issues raised by "Ghosts of Rwanda."

    » Materials Needed:

    • Student Worksheets Numbers 1-4 as resources
    • Discussion questions below

    » Time Needed:

    45-60 minutes

    » Procedure:

    Part I:
    Choose among the questions below for the one(s) that best suit your students OR give the students the questions the night before and ask them to think about which ones they want to address.

    Then, encouraging students to refer to the notes they have already taken, engage students in discussion.

    Possible Questions:
    1) Using the students' notes and oral presentations as the basis for discussion, start by asking students to discuss:

    • One incident in which they believe the participants acted correctly
    • One incident in which they might have done something different than the participants
    • Which forces constrained some people from doing what they believed was right
    • Which forces allowed some participants to do what they believed was right

    2) Discuss the following quotation: "If you don't at least speak out clearly, you are participating in the genocide. ... If you just shut up when you see what you see -- morally and ethically you can't shut up. It's a responsibility to talk." - Philippe Gaillard, director of the Red Cross in Rwanda during the genocide.

    • Why did so few people, in and out of Rwanda, speak out?
    • What happened when people did speak out?

    3) Take any one of the following three statements, and be prepared to present an argument agreeing or disagreeing with it:

    • An African human rights worker during the genocide who noted: "Human rights is a joke."
    • President Clinton, who in an address to the Naval Academy in 1994 (while the genocide was still in progress), declared that unless "the cumulative weight of the American interests [was] at stake," the U.S. would step aside from conflicts in other countries.
    • An American diplomat, who, commenting on the inadequacy of the U.S. response to the genocide, described it as "like trying to win a sprint with one leg."

    Part II:
    Students should choose ONE of the questions below and write a two- to three-page essay.

    1) Judging from what you have seen, read, and heard, could genocide occur again, in Rwanda or other parts of the world?

    2) What is the nature and limit of personal responsibility in the 21st century? Support your personal view with evidence from the film and/or from your own knowledge of current events.

    3) "The events of Sept. 11, 2001 changed how America views its responsibilities in the world." Agree or disagree, supporting your view with evidence from the film and/or from your own knowledge of current events.

    » Assessment:

    Participation in classroom discussion
    Student essays

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