Vanishing Point curriculum resources on Rwanda
There are currently twenty-two lessons covering
global education, History, Psychology, English,
Legal studies, social/values education,
Geography and social sustainability.
All lessons come with a detailed lesson plan and most include beautifully formatted sets of presentation slides and handout sheets ready for printing or photocopying.

They're available as individual downloads or grouped in themed lesson packs. The full set of lessons plus all the films (in 1280x720 HD) is also available on USB.
Entirely focused on being useful for a busy teacher who wants to challenge students but has no time to develop lessons like this.
David Whitcombe, Emanuel School, NSW.
The lessons...
  • THE ORIGINS OF CONFLICT (9 lessons)
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    What factors have the most impact in constructing hatred in people's minds and therefore in a society?

    This lesson begins with two short films and then asks students to discuss a range of quotes about the events and situations which contributed to the hatred which helped fuel the Rwandan genocide. View the first page »

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    How can ideas be dangerous? What ideas were present in Rwanda before the genocide?

    The intention behind this whole curriculum is for students to understand that ideas are significant social drivers. The aim of this lesson is to identify ideas within a society that pose a threat to its peace. View the first page »

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    What can dangerous situations lead to? Faced with the same, what would we do?

    Often we view the people involved in extreme situations as somehow essentially different to ourselves, yet the evidence tells a different story: these are ordinary people caught up in extraordinary circumstances . View the first page »

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    Who is ‘us’ and who is ‘them’? What do we get out of hating a common enemy?

    The underpinning theory of this lesson is that human beings often gain a sense of belonging and, at times, purpose in hating a common enemy. The aim is to understand how this process undermines our reason. View the first page »

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    What are the assumptions behind the phrase 'go back where you came from'?

    Wherever discrimination occurs, the behaviour and attitudes are usually similar. This kind of reflection can help students become more aware of the actions they choose to participate in and the values they choose to tolerate. View the first page »

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    What are the things which influence human beings to act in a way that is considered ‘moral’?

    The aim here is to identify the conditions and beliefs which underpin relatively peaceful societies, and to understand that violence or peacefulness are conditional rather than racial attributes.
    View the first page »

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    How does the law help maintain a stable society? What effect does corruption have on a society?

    The aim is to identify the connection between a lack of law and order and an unstable society in which genocide could become possible. Also, to discuss the importance of the rule of law in preventing violence and extremism in any society.
    View the first page »

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    What are the effects of war on a society? How does war make it easier for genocide to happen?

    This activity and discussion can bring students to a more complex understanding of the daily realities of war and how these unhinge both collective social norms and individual values and behaviour. View the first page »

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    How do the ideas behind these obscure-sounding words affect the daily lives of ordinary people?

    The aim is to understand the meaning of key words in order to understand the material, and to be able to relate the ideas behind these words to real-world situations. View the first page »

  • GENOCIDE (5 lessons)
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    What was the genocide like for one Rwandan, Alisa? Is there a way to make sense of difficult stories like this?

    The two films watched during this lesson are confronting. They mirror the genocide stories of tens of thousands of Rwandans and are a grim but important starting point for understanding Rwanda's ambitious efforts at rebuilding. View the first page »

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    How could people do these things? Why is the ability to ask questions important? How do they help protect our society?

    Our hope is that students begin to understand how people can be manipulated by leaders, and realise the value of questioning and personal responsibility for all societies. View the first page »

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    What were the perpetrators like, as ordinary human beings? What do they think now about their part in the genocide?

    This lesson is intended as a close-up look at the state of mind of the perpetrators of the genocide, or in fact any person who lives a double life involving extreme violence. View the first page »

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    From the viewpoint of ordinary Rwandans, what was the Rwandan genocide? What actually happened?

    This lesson has some challenging texts from the RwandanStories website. They show the range of influences which led to genocide. Students will engage with an accessible but in-depth selection of material in a short time. View the first page »

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    What do these words mean?

    The aim is for students to understand the meanings of key words in order to understand the material and explore the ideas.
    View the first page »

  • THE AFTERMATH OF GENOCIDE (3 lessons)
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    What was Rwanda like, straight after the genocide? What would YOU try to fix first?

    The aim is to inform students about the practical difficulties created by widespread violence in a society and to have students struggle with the decision-making involved in choosing a way forward.
    View the first page »

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    What was it like to be living in Rwanda straight after the genocide?

    The conditions in Rwanda in the immediate aftermath of the genocide give insights into the realities for survivors, aid workers and returning refugees. The first hand accounts in the short films are, at times, graphic. View the first page »

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    What do these words mean?

    The aim is for students to understand the meanings of key words in order to understand the material and explore the ideas..
    View the first page »

  • JUSTICE AND RECOVERY (3 lessons)
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    How can someone compensate for their crime? What are the elements of genuinely useful justice?

    The relationship between compensation and reconciliation is central in providing a workable system of restorative justice. It’s not straightforward, in Rwanda or anywhere else... View the first page »

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    What is gacaca? How does is work compared to conventional justice processes?

    Rwanda is the only country in the world which has chosen to deal with mass crimes against humanity through restorative justice processes. The system of gacaca has played a huge role in post-genocide Rwanda. View the first page »

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    What is just and fair? Is justice the only thing worth focusing on, after a crime has been committed?

    Justice can be difficult to define. This lesson introduces students to the challenges of at least trying to bring justice to a post-conflict situation. View the first page »

  • INTRODUCTION AND REVIEW (2 lessons)
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    Where is Rwanda? What is it like? How does its history fit in with things that I know?

    This lesson places Rwanda geographically and historically. The aim is for students to connect with what was happening in their own lives during the period of Rwanda’s history we are looking at.
    View the first page »

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    Has learning about Rwanda been worthwhile? Has it made you think differently in any way?

    The aim of this review lesson is to re-connect students with the variety of learning experiences they’ve had, and for students to think about the things which have been most worthwhile.
    View the first page »

What do I get?
For each lesson you get clear, easy-to-use lesson plans, slides, handouts and access to high-impact short films. These resources are everything you need for great lessons.
To see exaclty what you get, take a closer look inside the lessons.
Vanishing Point curriculum resources on Rwanda
Download or USB?
As well as the individual downloads on this page, the curriculum is also available in a range of lesson packs.
And if you'd rather not rely on your classroom internet connection to access the films from the RwandanStories website, you can get the complete set of short films plus all the lessons, on USB.
Any questions?
You might find the answer in our FAQs. If not, please email us with your questions or comments.
HEADER QUOTE: "You will never see..." is taken from A Time for Machetes. The killers speak. by Jean Hatzfeld.
The full quote is "“You will never see the source of a genocide,” he [Joseph-Desire] says. “It is buried too deep in grudges, under an accumulation of misunderstandings that we were the last to inherit. We came of age at the worst moment in Rwanda’s history: we were taught to obey absolutely, raised in hatred, stuffed with slogans. We are an unfortunate generation.”

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