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The purpose of this unit is to expose students to the concept of genocide by examining two examples: the Holocaust and the genocide in Darfur. Over the course of this unit, students will explore the stages of the Holocaust, and will investigate how the United States responded to this atrocity. Students will also study the present-day genocide occurring in Darfur, and will compare and contrast this atrocity with the Holocaust. These topics will help students to gain an understanding of genocide through the exploration of specific examples from the past and present. A variety of learning experiences are used in this unit. The main learning experiences that students will be engaged in include the following: reading of secondary informational texts, note taking, discussions, responses to writing prompts, written reflections, primary source analysis, gallery walks, videos, and comparisons. Students All activities build on each other. Students engage in activities that build on the information presented in the readings, and then on student writing prompts, reflections, and discussions. These activities help students to better understand the content. In addition, the learning experiences in this unit serve to scaffold the final summative assessment by breaking the content into smaller, more comprehensible bits. In addition, primary sources are used to help humanize the content and make it more meaningful (and thus more understandable) to students. Students are hooked into the content through a series of quickwrites that ask students to detail their experiences with hurt and assisting others. These questions get students to begin to get interested in the content by connecting it with their own experiences. Once again, the primary sources keep students hooked into the content by giving it a more personal touch. Students will be exposed to the goals of the unit through clear guidelines and explanations for each day and each learning experience. In addition, students are exposed to the unit’s essential questions when the related content is introduced. Students have the opportunity to consider the essential questions throughout the unit, and respond to the essential questions through a series of reflections. Each essential question is introduced at the beginning of the series of lessons that address it, and it is addressed through a reflection at the end of the series. Students will be exposed to the content through multiple methods to make sure that they successfully grasping the information (specific learning experiences are discussed below). This content is made clear to students so that they have the understandings required to be successful on the final evaluation. In order to ensure that the unit is comprehensible to students, a large number of formative assessments are used that will allow the instructor to monitor student understanding (discussed above and below). Each day of the unit ahs a clear focus that is made clear to students at the beginning of the day. Lastly, students are given many opportunities to reflect on the content through quickwrites, reflection papers, and discussions, allowing the teacher to monitor student thinking and feelings. Lastly, class work time is provided for all student projects (including the summative assessment) so that the instructor can monitor student progress. All learning experiences are discussed in-depth below.
This resource was reviewed using the Curriki Review rubric and received an overall Curriki Review System rating of 3, as of 2010-11-26.
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