Howard Frank

C and I 214 – lesson plan


The Decade of the 1990’s – The Rwandan Genocide in 1994

 Objectives- The objective of this unit is to allow the class to better understand the Rwandan Genocide of 1994, a piece of world history that is not covered too often. During the lesson the students will address -

A.               The animosities between the Hutu and Tutsi ethnic groups

B.               The political aspects leading up to the genocide

C.               The role of the United States and the United Nations in aiding the Rwandan conflict

Text Used - Omaar, Rakiya and Alex de Waal, “U.S. Complicity by Silence – Genocide in Rwanda.” The Covert Action Quarterly. Available by http://media

Lesson Overview - The lesson should take three days with an assessment procedure presented at the end of the third day.


DAY ONE – Pre-Reading Activities. Brainstorming and Vocabulary Analysis.

DAY TWO – During Reading Activities. The Click and Clunk Method.

DAY THREE – Post Reading Activities. The Wrap-Up Strategy.



DAY ONE – (50 minute class period) The Brainstorming and Vocabulary lesson. Within the lesson of the Rwandan Genocide, there are many words and political parties that need to be addressed that the students probably will not know.

Method – Write all of the vocabulary words that the teacher feels are instrumental in the understanding of this lesson on the front board in front of the class. Have this done before the students enter class, giving them time to reflect on the words before class starts.

Words to be put on the board concerning the lesson:

Genocide, Hutu, Tutsi, United Nations, Rwanda, colonialism, Hamitic Hypothesis, monarchy, ethnic groups, European imperialism, extremists, political parties, Juvenal Habyarimana, U.S. Ambassador Madeline Albright, Armored Personnel Carriers.

-          Have students take notes on each word as the teacher defines and explains them prior to the text being handed out.

Brainstorming – By using a series of questions, stimulate the students’ prior knowledge on the happenings in 1994.

A.               What do we know about Africa in general?

B.               What do we know about the Rwandan Genocide right now?

-          Try to tie in the vocabulary with what the students know already.

-          At the end of the class period, pass out the assigned text and designate the pages that are to be read. Pages 1-3,6-7.


DAY TWO – (50 minute class period) The Click and Clunk Method

Method – From the designated reading assignment of the day before, ask to students:

A.               Where there any parts that were hard to understand? These are the CLUNKS of the reading.

B.               The CLICKS are the parts that the students understand and are most comfortable with.

C.               Allow for the students to fix the CLUNKS by asking questions of the teacher about the presented material.

-          The second part of the CLICK and CLUNK strategy is the “Get the Gist” method.

A.               Who are the most important people, places, and things concerning the passage? EX: President Habyarimana of Rwanda, Madeline Albright, Belgian colonial imperialists.

B.               What are the most important ideas of the passage? EX: Hamitic Hypothesis, ethnicity, animosity between ethnic groups.

-          Ask the students these questions and write their answers on the board. Make sure that they are taking notes throughout the class period. Cover the entire passage with this method.


DAY THREE – (50 minute class period) The Wrap – Up Strategy.

-          In the first 10 to 15 minutes, review to the students what was covered on the previous day.

Method – The Wrap – Up Strategy. The key to using this strategy is class participation. The Wrap – Up should consist of a series of questions that will better enhance the knowledge of the students.

A.               What have we learned about the Rwandan Genocide in 1994?

B.               How were the Hutu and Tutsi ethnic groups the same? How were they different?

C.               What do you think caused the genocide to occur in 1994?

D.               What other solution to the problem of the Rwandan government could have been arrived at, as opposed to the genocide by the Hutu majority?

-          The Wrap – Up session should encourage questions that are of a higher level thinking than just questions with answers in the reading passage.

-          After the session is finished, introduce the assessment.

-          The assessment will be a 4 to 5 page paper on the Rwandan Genocide of 1994

-          Questions to be addressed in the paper will be:

A.               What role did European colonialism play in the animosities between the Hutu and Tutsi people?

B.               What were some of the most important political events leading up to the genocide in 1994?

C.               How do you feel about the actions of the United States and the United Nations in the halting of the genocide?

D.               Why should we study the Rwandan Genocide of 1994 in our history classes?


-          Give the students four days to complete the paper. For instance, if the lesson started on Monday and ran through Wednesday, allow Thursday, Friday, and the weekend for the paper to be completed. Instruct the students that no outside research is needed for the paper, just use the text that was handed out in class on the first day of the lesson.

-          Grading of the paper will consist of a Rubric:

A.               Is the paper 4 to 5 pages in length?

B.               Are all of the questions addressed? Is there an understanding of the material?

C.               How well are the students’ opinions stressed and supported?

D.               Grammar, Spelling, Punctuation.

- Grading scale will be determined in accordance with the scale of the high school’s standards.