Lesson plans for ages 12-14 in History: The Rwandan Crisis 1994

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Cramped, crowded conditions in refugee camps in eastern Zaire led to the rapid spread of cholera, causing the death of more than 50,000 within a few weeks.   © UNHCR/H.J.Davies

LESSON 3: The 'G' word

Preparation

Advanced reading by the teacher of the resource "Genocide" from Jill Rutter, Refugees: We Left Because We Had To (London, Refugee Council, 1996), pp. 75-77. Also see "Rwanda and the Great Lakes Region", UNHCR, The State of the World's Refugees 2000: Fifty Years of Humanitarian Action (Oxford, OUP, 2000), p. 47-52 [PDF, 1.5Mb], and "The Rwandan genocide and its aftermath", UNHCR, The State of the World's Refugees 2000: Fifty Years of Humanitarian Action (Oxford, OUP, 2000), p. 245-273 [PDF, 1.4Mb].

The following discussion questions could be produced as an overhead transparency, with each question revealed in sequence. Procedure In this lesson, the class discussion is structured by the following questions and statements which are based on the resource reading:

  • What is genocide?
  • Three groups are involved in genocide. Who could they be?
  • In the Rwandan genocide, who were the perpetrators? Who were the victims? Who were the bystanders?
  • "Genocide does not happen suddenly. There are many preconditions that must arise before a group of people become victims of genocide. These stages are...." Students copy down the seven stages.
  • How is it possible for a nation to descend into such a level of barbarity?
  • Who is responsible?