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ghosts of rwanda


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)

    » Pre-Viewing Lesson Plan

    Learning about Rwanda

    » Lesson Objectives:

    In this lesson, students will:

    • Learn about key events in the history of Rwanda
    • Encounter key terms in the film
    • Discuss the meaning of the term "genocide"
    • Learn about the basic principles behind the United Nations
    • Explore the importance of point of view in reporting history

    » Materials Needed:

    » Time Needed:

    Approximately 130 minutes (50-60 minutes to find information to complete Student Worksheet #1; 40-50 minutes to discuss Student Worksheet #1; 20-30 minutes to complete and discuss Student Worksheet #2)

    » Procedure:

    Part I:
    For this part of the lesson, students will:

    • Look at the map of Africa in 1945
    • Explore the chronology and history of Rwanda
    • Become familiar with key terms introduced in the documentary
    • Learn about the history and purpose of the United Nations and the International Declaration of Human Rights.

    1) Instruct all students to look at the map of Africa in 1945 so that they can both see where Rwanda is and how Africa was divided by European powers.

    2) Divide the class into groups of four.

    3) Assign each group of four students ONE of the three topics below to research and report on. Each group will complete ONE section of Student Worksheet #1 to present to the rest of the class. (Depending on the size of your class, you might have as many as three groups of four students working on each of the topics.)

    4) Students can use the following Web sites as references. However, they should not necessarily limit themselves to these.

    Group 1: History of Rwanda and Timeline
    Group 2: Key terms
    Group 3: History and Purpose of the United Nations
    • What is genocide? How does the United Nations deal with allegations of genocide?
      Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
      • See Articles 2 and 6

      Universal Declaration of Human Rights

    • What is the United Nations? What is the International Declaration of Human Rights?
      History of the U.N.

      Questions and Answers about the United Nations

      Universal Declaration of Human Rights
      • Everyone in the group should read the Preamble.
      • Thirty articles follow the Preamble. The group should divide up the Articles, with each member reading seven or eight articles, writing a statement summarizing what these seven or eight articles say.
      • Students will read their summaries to the rest of the group, and they should be prepared to share them with the whole class.
      What Does the United Nations Do for Human Rights and Justice?
      This is the part of the U.N. Web site that talks about U.N. actions on behalf of human rights. Students should be prepared to discuss the following question:
      • Based in the U.N.'s own Web site, what is your understanding about what actions the U.N. takes and has taken on behalf of human rights?

    Part II:
    Assign ALL students to complete Student Worksheet #2 with its media literacy/historical judgment exercise.

    All students should also examine the following question:
    How do we assess the validity of reports of historical events?

    » Method of Assessment:

    Monitoring students' work on Worksheets #1 and #2
    Participation in classroom discussion of Worksheets #1 and #2

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