Stages of Genocide Social Studies Lesson Plans Now Available
The Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission (THGC) is assisting Texas secondary school educators in teaching students about the Holocaust and genocide through a creative series of posters designed to engage students in greater dialogue about these events. The project provides Texas teachers with tools to both meet the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) mandate, and encourage students to be role models in their day-to-day lives.
The THGC procured special permission to use a model approved by the U.S. State Department for the project that outlines the eight stages of genocide, and preventive measures to stop it.
In 1996, Dr. Gregory Stanton, founder of Genocide Watch and former President of the International Association of Genocide Scholars, briefed the U.S. State Department, presenting the framework for the 8 Stages of Genocide model. Following the path that perpetrators take, from uncomfortable but seemingly innocuous steps to violent and atrocious acts, the stages present a way to study genocide. More importantly, as stated on Dr. Stanton’s Genocide Watch website, “At each stage, preventive measures can stop it.”
Revisions to the TEKS referencing these events have left a notable gap between what students must learn and what resources are available. THGC volunteers have reviewed Texas social studies textbooks and found that that genocide and Holocaust are often underemphasized or not addressed at all. This project will provide Texas schoolteachers with tools to both meet the TEKS mandate and to encourage students to look for opportunities to be a role model for others.
Working with Art in History, a Georgia-based organization that develops cross-curricular educational materials, the THGC created a series of ten posters based on the genocide model, one for each stage, along with introductory and concluding posters. Each one engages students with significant questions that draw a connection between genocide and another current topic with relevance to students––bullying. Among the questions posed are the following:
- How do I stand up for diversity and differences?
- How do you discern between right and wrong?
- Is cruelty to another human being ever justified?
- What are you going to do to stop it?
Lesson plans for World Geography, World History, and U.S. History Since 1877 accompany the posters. The free lesson plans encourage students to make decisions about personal responsibility, while also addressing the new TEKS requirements. The posters, lesson plans, and other supplementary material are available for download.