on our watch

About the Film:

As the Darfur region in western Sudan continues to be the site of what seems to be a systematic attempt to destroy its people, FRONTLINE examines the morality of the world's response to the crisis. On Our Watch examines both what is happening in Darfur-many term the situation "genocide"-and the response of other nations, the United Nations, NGOs and individuals. By means of the voices of United Nations leaders, Sudanese leaders, United States leaders, and activists, FRONTLINE traces the background of the Darfur conflict and explores both remedies that have failed and those that still might work.

Watching the Film:

Teachers can either assign the film for viewing as homework or show the film in class. Suggested discussion questions are provided. The lessons and activities in this guide can be used in the classroom without having viewed the film.

A Note to Teachers:

This lesson guide is intended for classes in social studies, civics and government, language arts, current events, media studies and history; Grade Level 9th - 12th. Teachers can use the guide in its entirety or select portions to use. Teachers should feel free to adapt this guide to their specific needs.

Post-Viewing Activity and Discussion Questions:

After viewing On Our Watch, students will examine a range of viewer comments and share their own thoughts. Plus, a list of questions for students to discuss after viewing the film.

Featured Lesson Plan:

What Should the World Do In Darfur?

Lesson Objectives:

Students will:

Additional Lesson Ideas:

Darfur and Rwanda
Students will reflect on the parallels and differences between the situations in Rwanda and Darfur.

Talk to an Eyewitness to Genocide in Rwanda
Interact with Carl Wilkins, an eyewitness to the genocide in Rwanda. Carl has set up a blog to interact with teachers and students studying the Rwandan genocide.

Additional Resources:

An annotated list of relevant Web sites.

Purchasing the Film:

On Our Watch can be purchased from Shop PBS for Teachers: http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=2899756&ab=FRLWatchHP. Also, teachers and students can watch the program streamed in its entirety on FRONTLINE's Web site:http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/darfur/


This teacher's guide was developed by Simone Bloom Nathan of Media Education Consultants. It was written by Ellen Greenblatt of The Bay School, San Francisco. Advisers were Debra Plafker Gutt, Stuyvesant High School, New York and Greg Timmons, curriculum writer and educational consultant.