The goal of this grade 7 humanities unit is for students to learn about, spread awareness of, and suggest solutions to world conflicts. The 7th graders get to choose one of three current conflicts to study in depth: the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar, the conflict in Sudan, and the Syrian conflict. They particularly focus on the various causes for the conflict, looking for patterns between that conflict and other conflicts around the world and learning about which human rights have been violated as a result of the conflict.

After organizing their research, the students write essays and prepare displays. They then work on presentations that include specific features, such as a timeline of the conflict’s significant events, detailed maps, important facts, and images. They also have to come up with and explain their own proposed solution to the human rights problems that have been violated. 

The culmination of their work is to present their findings to other students, teachers, and RIS community members during a science-fair style Peace Conference. The students explain their poster boards and answer questions about the conflict they studied and present their ideas for possible solutions to the human rights violations. 

This year, the Humanitarian Aid organization Amnesty International also had a booth at the Peace Conference and representatives interacted with students. They brought a refugee with them who has created a social enterprise called CHAMALiiN, which benefits refugee women. We invite you to check out the organizations’ website: www.chamaliin.com.

The humanities teachers feel that the students learn a lot about human rights issues that people around the world endure every day. They also note how the students rise to the challenge of creating unique solutions to major global issues and that throughout the learning process, the students become more aware of the impact that they can have, personally, on these situations.