1. Setting the Stage. Display Overhead 1 which reads:
In 1945 the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima and
spurred a new chapter in World Ethical politics. At the
end of this War, the world learned that the Nazi war
machine had taken Genocide to a whole new level. But
was Genocide something that had never happened before?
Could it happen again?
Offer students these Ponder questions: Why did the world
deem it necessary to create a United Nations that addressed
Human Rights? Would they do this if they thought genocide
could never happen again?
2. As Teacher writes answers on an overhead, ask students
to offer ideas they have of situations that might be
categorized as genocidal. (The list created should be
in their notes.) To help them, pose the question: What
could be some of the causes of genocide?
To help prompt students ask them: When people are killed
do the murderers steal from them? What do they steal?
(The same things can be applied to a much grander scale
in answer to causes of genocide!)
Control of land which grows food, has water, and other valued
Resources like technology, trade ports, buildings, etc.
A Power play between two groups that hate each other over beliefs (political
3. Provide students with the actual list of genocides (Handout 1) that have occurred
in the 20th century. Inform students that this is only a sampling of cases. Yes – there
4. Handout the article entitled “8 Stages of Genocide” and allow
time to read through it. *Note: Language may need to be simplified depending
upon grade level of students.
5. Put students in groups of four and assign each group a genocide Event to research.
6. Students will be provided with library time and one visit to the computer
room to research their topic and produce the following:
a. A one page summary of the selected genocide that includes a map showing the
location of the genocide Event (country or region in country), and that identifies
the murderers and their ‘reasons’ for genocide. They will also identify
the murdered group and address the question: Why were they targeted?
b. A display board that categorizes the history of their genocide Event using
the 8 stages of genocide (Handout 2) to help you break down this history.
c. A timeline that traces the history of the
country in which the genocide Event occurred in order to
answer the question: What led to genocide in this country?
d. A symbolic emblem/image to represent the genocide that
they have researched. This emblem/image can be placed on
a large classroom timeline or as part of a classroom wall
collage once all research projects have been completed.
7. Each group will have 5 minutes to present their findings
to the class. They must take notes in order to answer the
- What are some of the causes of genocide?
- Can genocide be prevented?
- What are similarities or differences noted from presentations?
- Is there anywhere in the world right now which could
potentially be ripe for genocide?
- What actions can be taken bv you or the government to
prevent genocide from occurring?
*Questions will be answered as a homework assignment or
the teacher may want to answer them in class.
8. At the end of the presentations, the class will create
a poster that lists why Genocide occurs and all students
are invited to sign the poster after a statement that BOLDLY
says: Never Again – Genocide must End!
Closure. End by now posing the question. How can children,
have no rights to vote in any country, ensure their access
to Equal Rights?
*Steps 1 & 2 were adapted from a lesson plan developed
by Michael H. Reggio entitled “Genocide, Torture, Human
Rights: Where Are We Headed?” This lesson can be viewed