homeprevious reportswatch onlineusteacher centernewsletteremail FRONTLINEFRONTLINE (home)
the torture question


Discussion Questions
  • Student Handout: Excerpt from the Geneva Conventions
  • Student Handout: What is Torture?

  • Featured Lesson Plan
  • Getting Away with Torture?
  • Student Handout: The Facts and Issues of the Abu Ghraib Prison Scandal
  • Student Handout: Tracing the History of Interrogation Policy

  • Additional Lesson Ideas
  • What Would You Do?
  • Unlawful Combatants or Prisoners of War?
  • Responding to World Opinion

  • Additional Resources

    Printable .pdf of Entire Guide
    (Adobe Acrobat required)

    » Discussion Activity/Questions


    1. Explain to students that the Geneva Conventions established guidelines about treatment of prisoners of war and what constitutes torture. Distribute the handout "Excerpts from the Geneva Conventions" for students to review.

    2. Draw a Likert scale across the board or overhead that looks like this:
      Strongly Agree Agree Neither Agree or Disagree Disagree Strongly Disagree

    3. Distribute the handout "What is Torture?" to all students and have them review the interrogation techniques.

    4. Number off students into small groups and have them discuss their views of each technique and where they personally would position themselves on the scale. Students do not have to reach a consensus within their group on where they would position themselves.

    5. Ask the student groups to state their position and reasoning for each of the techniques and write their number on the scale. If some group members are not in complete agreement, have them explain the reasons behind their different views.

    6. Ask students about why it is difficult to define torture. Have students name two uncertainties they had in trying to determine their position and two thoughts they took away from participating in this activity.

    home » previous reports » watch online » about us » teacher center » newsletter » email FRONTLINE
    privacy policy » wgbh » pbsi

    new content copyright ©1996-2005 pbs online and wgbh/frontline