Recognizing Genocide – A Study of the 8 Stages

Ronda Hassig
Harmony Middle School
Overland Park, Kansas

Grade Level
Middle School

Language Arts
Social Studies

Time Needed
3-4 class periods

These lessons are taught in conjunction with a Holocaust novel study. The first lesson should be before they begin reading the novel. The second lesson should be done after finishing the book. Of the two lessons the second is most important because it focuses on genocide – what it is and how you can recognize it. These lessons will work with any Holocaust novel study.

The unit asks students to analyze primary sources from 20th century genocides, familiarizes them with the Declaration of Human Rights and the Declaration of the Rights of the Child, and examines the 8 stages of genocide. The unit incorporates resources available for free loan from the MCHE Resource Center (link to ResourceCenter), online from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (link to, and other reliable sources related to genocides. The unit is available for loan from the MCHE Resource Center or can be downloaded through the links below.

Teacher Directions
Paster Niemoller’s “First they came…” quote
Dr. King’s “Our lives begin to end…” quote
Declaration of Human Rights
Declaration of the Rights of the Child
Stages of Genocide Worksheet
Stages of Genocide Powerpoint
8 Stages of Genocide by Gregory Stanton
Stages of Genocide Definition Activity
Source Process Grid
Genocide overviews- Darfur, Rwanda, Bosnia
Genocide overviews – Armenia, Rwanda, Bosnia, Cambodia
Student Pledges to Take Action

Armenia Packet
Press coverage
Statement from US Ambassador to Turkey
Photographs – Elder
Photographs – Wenger

Cambodia Packet
Cambodian Genocide Summary
Tuol Sleng Organizational Chart
Tuol Sleng Prisoner Photographs
Survivor Testimony – Mardi Seng
Survivor Testimony – Sophal Leng Stagg
Cambodian woman in traditional head scarf – 2nd photo on page

Rwanda Packet
Eyewitness testimony – Norah Bagarinka, General Romeo Dallaire, Mary “Fifi” Mukangoga, Damas Gisimba, Stephen Rapp, Clemanti Wamariya, and Carl Wilkens
Primary Source regarding President’s plane crash
Survivor testimonies
Woman’s identity card
Cemetery photograph
Refugee camp photograph

Bosnia Packet
Eyewitness Testimony – Christiane Amanpour, Eric Dachy, Ron Haviv, Natasa Kandic, Hasan Nuhanovic, and Dragan Obrenovic
Newspaper coverage – Denial

Darfur Packet
Eyewitness Testimony – Niemat Ahmadi, Alex de Waal, Omer Ismail, and Brian Steidle

Resources available for free loan in the MCHE Resource Center
Terrible Things by Eve Bunting
Echoes and Reflections Curriculum (Unit 10)
Defying Genocide: Choices that Saved Lives DVD

Pedagogical note from the Midwest Center for Holocaust Education: We encourage all educators to be familiar with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Guidelines for Teaching the Holocaust. When teaching this unit, please remember the guideline which tells us to avoid comparisons of suffering and pain. This includes both individuals and groups.

This teaching unit was designed by a member of the Isak Federman Holocaust Teaching Cadre.

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