on our watch

Post-Viewing Activity

  1. After viewing the program students can track the community's reaction to On Our Watch.
  2. Instruct students to access "Join the Discussion" at www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/darfur/talk/ and review the comments that viewers submitted. Students should briefly respond to each of the following questions:

    • For viewers who offered positive feedback, what did they identify as strengths of this program?
    • For viewers who offered critical feedback, what did they identify as shortcomings of this program?
    • To what extent do you agree or disagree with viewers' feedback?

    Review student responses for content and evidence of engagement.

    Optional: Encourage students to submit to "Join the Discussion" themselves, and then evaluate student submissions for clarity and syntax

    Discussion Questions

    Note: Teachers might want to show students a map of Sudan available at www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/darfur/etc/map.html before beginning the discussion of the following questions:

    1. What allowed the leaders in the civil war between Northern and Southern Sudan to begin peace negotiations? How did the end of the civil war lead to the crisis in Darfur?
    2. What is the difference between the economic situation in Sudan's capital, Khartoum, and the rest of the country? How did this difference lead to the rebellion in Darfur?
    3. What does Janjaweed mean?

      • What is this group doing in Darfur (in western Sudan) and the neighboring nation of Chad?
      • How do they support themselves?
    4. How did then Secretary of State Colin Powell characterize the situation in Darfur? What do Sudanese diplomats in the United Nations say about what is happening in Darfur? Why do you think there are different viewpoints?
    5. What makes people like Eric Reeves, an American professor, Mukesh Kapila, the British doctor, and actress Mia Farrow devote so much of their lives to the situation in Darfur? How do you view their activism? Explain your response.
    6. Why is China playing such an important role in the Darfur situation? How would you characterize China's role?
    7. What role is the United States government playing in Darfur?
    8. What is the role of organizations like savedarfur.org in the Darfur crisis? Why do you think private organizations are addressing this situation?
    9. Do you consider what is happening in Darfur to be genocide? Why or why not? Does the label of genocide matter? Note: The United Nation defines genocide as: "genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:

      1. Killing members of the group;
      2. Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
      3. Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
      4. Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
      5. Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group. (Source: www.hrweb.org/legal/genocide.html)
    10. Why do you think it is taking so long for the world to take action in Darfur?