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June 15th, 2008
Rwanda: A Nation Recovering and Rebuilding
Rwanda has a tragic history and continues to struggle to rebuild its economy to secure a prosperous future for its people. In this lesson students will learn about the history of Rwanda and the genocide that killed 800,000 men, women, and children. Students will also analyze information from various Internet resources, including Web-based video and audio resources. Finally, students will use Rwanda as a case study to explore the six primary economic functions of a market government. Students will develop an understanding of the steps Rwanda’s government is taking to secure a stronger economic future through increased educational opportunity, adapting to the changing role of women, and taking advantage of new possibilities for exporting products.

Grade Level: 9

Time Allotment: Two to Three 45-Minute Class Periods

Subject Matter: Economics, History, and English

Learning Objectives:

Students Will

Identify the six economic functions of government.

Organize examples of government actions and policies within various economic functions.

Understand the history of Rwanda.

Describe the genocide that took place in 1994.

Identify steps being taken to improve the economy of Rwanda including increasing education, investing in human capital, and diversifying resource base

Academic Standards:

National Council on Economic Education

  • Standard 3: Allocation of Goods and Services
    Different methods can be used to allocate goods and services. People acting individually or collectively through government, must choose which methods to use to allocate different kinds of goods and services.

    1. People in all economies must address three questions: What goods and services will be produced? How will these goods and services be produced? Who will consume them?
    2. National economies vary in the extent to which they rely on government directives (central planning) and signals from private markets (prices) to allocate scarce goods, services, and productive resources.
  • Standard 15: Growth
    Investment in factories, machinery, new technology, and in the health, education, and training of people can raise future standards of living.

    1. When workers learn and practice new skills they are improving their human capital.
    2. Workers can improve their productivity by improving their human capital.
    3. Workers can improve their productivity by using physical capital such as tools and machinery.
    4. Standards of living increase as the productivity of labor improves.
    5. Productivity is measured by dividing output (goods and services) by the number of inputs used to produce the output. A change in productivity is a change in output relative to input.
    6. Technological change is an advance in knowledge leading to new and improved goods and services and better ways of producing them.
    7. Increases in productivity result from advances in technology and other sources.

National Council of Teachers of English

    1. Students conduct research on issues and interests by generating ideas and questions, and by posing problems. They gather, evaluate, and synthesize data from a variety of sources (e.g., print and non-print texts, artifacts, people) to communicate their discoveries in ways that suit their purpose and audience.
    2. Students develop an understanding of and respect for diversity in language use, patterns, and dialects across cultures, ethnic groups, geographic regions, and social roles.

National Standards for History

  • Standard 2C
    The student understands how liberal democracy, market economies, and human rights movements have reshaped political and social life.

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