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Genocide Learning Centers  

Last Updated: Oct 26, 2016 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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Learning Centers Passport

Genocide: defined and explained


Use the attached Genocide Learning Centers Passport to complete each of the learning center activities.


South African Apartheid

United Nations:  South African Apartheid Timeline  describes key events in South African history.


  • Read about on key event
  • Underline statements that describe discrimination or resistance to it.
  • Write “discrimination” or “resistance” next to the statements.
  • Draw a picture that shows an example of discrimination, protest or resistance.

Australia - Cultural Genocide

Between 1910 and the late 1970s about 100,000 Aboriginal children were abducted from their families. The government believed that Aboriginals had no future as a people and advised that their children should be fully integrated into white society and brought up according to white rules, customs and traditions. The general aim was to assimilate or breed out the aboriginal race. Many children were forced to grow up in orphanages or foster families, or were raised by white missionaries. Children were physically and sexually abused in addition to being used as unpaid labour.

Only as late as 2008 did the Australian government, led by PM Rudd, officially apologise, and the apology was not made for the genocide but rather for the collateral damage inflicted. To date, no compensation or repatriation moves have been made to help the stolen generations.


  • Watch "Rabbit Proof Fence - Stolen Generation"
  • Take Cornell Notes

Picture Books

Cover Art
Encounter - Jane Yolen; David Shannon (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780152013899
Publication Date: 1996-09-20
When Christopher Columbus landed on the island of San Salvador in 1492, what he discovered were the Taino Indians. Told from a young Taino boy’s point of view, this is a story of how the boy tried to warn his people against welcoming the strangers, who seemed more interested in golden ornaments than friendship. Years later the boy, now an old man, looks back at the destruction of his people and their culture by the colonizers.

Cover Art
A Place Where Sunflowers Grow - Amy Lee-Tai; Felicia Hoshino (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780892392742
Publication Date: 2015-01-15
Mari wonders if anything can bloom at Topaz, where her family is interned along with thousands of other Japanese Americans during World War II. The summer sun is blazingly hot, and Mari's art class has begun. But it's hard to think of anything to draw in a place where nothing beautiful grows. Somehow, glimmers of hope begin to surface under the harsh sun--in the eyes of a kindly art teacher, in the tender words of Mari's parents, and in the smile of a new friend.

Cover Art
My Freedom Trip - Frances Park; Ginger Park; Debra Reid Jenkins (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781590788264
Publication Date: 2010-08-01
This deeply moving story of a child's escape in the dark of night from North Korea to South Korea is based on memories of the author's mother. Just prior to the outbreak of the Korean War, young Soo secretly crosses the 38th parallel, hoping to join her father on the other side. Because it is dangerous for more than one person to cross at a time, her mother waits behind. At every step there seems to be enemy soldiers, but the child remembers her mother's words--"Be brave, Soo!"--which continues to sustain her even years later. In spare and elegant prose, the authors tell a story of a young girl's faith and courage. Lustrous oil paintings capture precious moments when the family is together as well as the frightening danger of the journey in this NCSS/CBC Notable Social Studies Trade Book.

Cover Art
The Roses in My Carpets - Rukhsana Khan; Ronald Himler (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780823413997
Publication Date: 1998-09-01
For a young refugee living with loss and terror-filled memories, time is measured by the next bucket of water, the next portion of bread, and the next call to prayer. Here, where everything - walls, floor, courtyard - is mud, a boy_s heart can still long for freedom, independence, and safety. And here, where life is terribly fragile, the strength to endure grows out of need. But the strength to dreams comes from within.

Cover Art
Always Remember Me - Marisabina Russo (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780689869204
Publication Date: 2005-04-01
Rachel's Oma (her grandmother) has two picture albums. In one the photographs show only happy times -- from after World War II, when she and her daughters had come to America. But the other album includes much sadder times from before -- when their life in Germany was destroyed by the Nazis' rise to power. For as long as Rachel can remember, Oma has closed the other album when she's gotten to the sad part. But today Oma will share it all. Today Rachel will hear about what her grandmother, her mother, and her aunts endured. And she'll see how the power of this Jewish family's love for one another gave them the strength to survive. Marisabina Russo illuminates a difficult subject for young readers with great sensitivity. Based on the author's own family history, Always Remember Me is a heartbreaking -- and inspiring -- book sure to touch anyone who reads it.

Cover Art
The Yellow Star - Carmen Agra Deedy; Henri Sorensen (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781561452088
Publication Date: 2000-05-01
Without the yellow star to point them out, the Jews looked like any other Danes. For centuries, the Star of David was a symbol of Jewish pride. But during World War II, Nazis used the star to segregate and terrorize the Jewish people. Except in Denmark. When Nazi soldiers occupied his country, King Christian X of Denmark committed himself to keeping all Danes safe from harm. The bravery of the Danes and their king during that dangerous time has inspired many legends. The most enduring is the legend of the yellow star, which symbolizes the loyalty and fearless spirit of the king and his people. Award-winning author and storyteller Carmen Deedy has poignantly recreated this legend, which is accompanied by Danish illustrator Henri Sørensen's arresting full-color portraits. The result is a powerful and dignified story of heroic justice, a story for all people and all times.

Cover Art
Half Spoon of Rice - Icy Smith; Sopaul Nhem (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780982167588
Publication Date: 2009-07-01
Nine-year-old Nat and his family are forced from their home on April 17, 1975, marched for many days, separated from each other, and forced to work in the rice fields, where Nat concentrates on survival. Includes historical notes and photographs documenting the Cambodian holocaust.

Cover Art
So Far from the Sea - Eve Bunting; Chris K. Soentpiet (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780547237527
Publication Date: 2009-06-29
Laura Iwasaki and her family are paying what may be their last visit to Laura's grandfather's grave. The grave is at Manzanar, where thousands of Americans of Japanese heritage were interned during World War II. Among those rounded up and taken to the internment camp were Laura's father, then a small boy, and his parents. Now Laura says goodbye to Grandfather in her own special way, with a gesture that crosses generational lines and bears witness to the patriotism that survived a shameful episode in America's history.

Cover Art
Baseball Saved Us - Ken Mochizuki; Dom Lee (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781880000199
Publication Date: 1995-03-01
Illustrated by Dom Lee A Japanese-American boy discovers hope and self-respect while playing baseball at an internment camp during World War II.

Cover Art
Passage to Freedom - Ken Mochizuki; Dom Lee
ISBN: 9781584301578
Publication Date: 2002-05-01
Afterword by Hiroki Sugihara. This beautifully illustrated book tells the story of Chiune Sugihara, the Japanese Schindler', who, with his family's encouragement, saved the lives of thousands of Polish Jews in World War II.

Cover Art
The Cats in Krasinski Square - Karen Hesse; Wendy Watson (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780439435406
Publication Date: 2004-09-01
Newbery medalist Karen Hesse tells a harrowing, true story about life in the Warsaw Ghetto during WWII. When Karen Hesse came upon a short article about cats out-foxing the Gestapo at the train station in Warsaw during WWII, she couldn't get the story out of her mind. The result is this stirring account of a Jewish girl's involvement in the Resistance. At once terrifying and soulful, this fictional account, borne of meticulous research, is a testament to history and to our passionate will to survive, as only Newbery Medalist Karen Hesse can write it.


Recent Genocide Cases


  • Read about two recent cases.
  • Take Cornell notes.

American Indian Teens

Task: Choose one story. Read about the issue and the American Indian teen it affects

Cover Art
Looks Like Daylight - Deborah Ellis; Loriene Roy (Foreword by)
ISBN: 9781554981205
Publication Date: 2013-10-01
After her critically acclaimed books of interviews with Afghan, Iraqi, Israeli and Palestinian children, Deborah Ellis turns her attention closer to home. For two years she traveled across the United States and Canada interviewing Native children. The result is a compelling collection of interviews with children aged nine to eighteen. They come from all over the continent, from Iqaluit to Texas, Haida Gwaai to North Carolina, and their stories run the gamut -- some heartbreaking; many others full of pride and hope. Deborah briefly introduces each child and then steps back, letting the kids speak directly to the reader, talking about their daily lives, about the things that interest them, and about how being Native has affected who they are and how they see the world. As one reviewer has pointed out, Deborah Ellis gives children a voice that they may not otherwise have the opportunity to express so readily in the mainstream media. The voices in this book are as frank and varied as the children themselves.


Japanese Internment


  • Look at the images in “Children of the Relocation Camps” and “So Far From the Sea”
  • Watch the first 3:15 minutes of “Japanese Internment during WWII”

Think about this:  1942 was only 62 years ago.
Japanese internment occurred in the United States.
Imagine if you are forced out of your home today.

  • Describe how you would feel and what you would take with you

Jewish Holocaust Survivors

Task:  Watch a video interview with a Holocaust survivor.

What did you learn?

Describe how you felt about their story.

What connections can you make to their story?

-- to yourself  _____________________________________________

-- to our world / community  _________________________________

-- to media (TV, books, web, music) 


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