Below are suggested classroom activities to support students' exploration of the films and the documents. These Lesson Ideas are specifically tailored to be used with Film Module 3: International Law.
- “How does the ICC work?” flow chart: By showing ICC lawyers collecting evidence and building a case, this module helps demystify the workings of the ICC. To help students visualize the many steps involved in getting a case heard by the ICC, you could have students, possibly working in small groups, create a flow chart where they map out this process. Some steps that should be represented on these charts include the following: case gets referred to the court, prosecutor accepts case, prosecutorial team gathers evidence, etc. After students have completed their flow charts, they can discuss the challenges the ICC faces at various points.For example, in the case of Darfur, ICC investigators were not allowed into the country to gather evidence.
- Reading documents: We have selected two documents to supplement the information in this module: When Would Be a Better Time to Arrest Harun? includes ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo’s speech before the United Nations Security Council in 2005, and To Arrest or Not to Arrest presents three different responses to the ICC’s arrest warrant for Sudanese President al Bashir. Reading these documents provides students with different perspectives and facts than those included in the module. One way to help students identify important and interesting information in these documents is to use a strategy called 3-2-1. 3-2-1 responses can be used to guide small or large group discussions.
- Discussing dilemmas: The establishment of the ICC has introduced many dilemmas—between two or more equally valued options—for the international community. After watching this module, you can ask students to identify a dilemma raised in the film. (Note: Before asking this question, you might want to spend some time having students construct a working definition for “dilemma”.) One significant dilemma raised in this module pits immunity for perpetrators of crimes against humanity against the humanitarian needs of the victims of these abuses. The document To Arrest or Not to Arrest addresses the different sides of this dilemma through three separate readings: a citizen-activist blog entry, a journal entry from a human rights lawyer working in Darfur, and a statement by African leaders. One way to familiarize the class with all three perspectives is to use the jigsaw teaching strategy. After meeting in “expert” groups, students can answer the questions, What are the responses to the ICC’s arrest warrant for President Bashir? What are the risks or costs of Moreno-Ocampo’s decision to pursue the arrest of President Bashir? What are the potential benefits of this decision? After students in mixed groups share key ideas from their reading, students can synthesize the information they have learned to answer the question, Weighing these risks and potential benefits, what do you think about the ICC’s role in Darfur? They can also discuss what else they would want to know, what perspectives they have not heard, and where they might find this information. This process can help students recognize the importance of gathering information from multiple sources when forming opinions.
- Journal writing: Facing History teachers have found that writing is an effective way to help students reflect on what they are learning. Any of the Viewing Guide Questions can be used as prompts for a journal writing activity. You might allow students to respond to the question that most interests them.
- Big paper: Building a silent conversation: One way to structure a conversation about the ideas in this module is to select questions from the Viewing Guide or ffrom the Connections questions found at the bottom of the Readings: Luis Moreno-Ocampo Statement and To Arrest of Not to Arrest: African Civil Leaders and use these questions as the focus of a big paper activity.
Continue to the Related Links for this module.
For more lesson ideas and activities, continue to the Post-Viewing Extensions and Assessments.