Unit: Sudan/South Sudan Lens: Conflict Rationale

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Unit: Sudan/South Sudan Lens: Conflict

Rationale: The situation involving Sudan/South Sudan presents an outstanding opportunity to examine how history, geography, economics, and culture merge not only to create tensions and strife that too much of the world continues to experience but also produce inspirational stories that can serve as models for a more hopeful future.

At the end of this unit (at a minimum) students will KNOW:

  1. Basic facts about Geography

  • Location on African Continent

  • Neighboring countries

  • Major cities

  • Major landforms and bodies of water

  • Major natural resources

  1. Basic facts about History

  • ~1450 – Independence with a focus on European contact/impact

  • 1820 – Modern Egyptian connection

  • 1899-1955 – British control (Egypt/British Condominium)

  • 1955 – Independence and first Civil War

  • 1983-2005 – Second Civil War

  • 2003-2010 - Darfur Conflict

  • 2011 – Creation of South Sudan

  1. Basic facts about Culture

  • Ethnic groups

  • Religion

4) Current situation

  • Creation of South Sudan - 2011

  • Conflict between Sudan and South Sudan


During the course of this unit, students will come to UNDERSTAND:

  1. The on-going religious conflict in Sudan

  2. Impact of British presence on subsequent events

  3. Connection between resources and conflict

  4. How conflict impacts people

  5. The challenge of creating stable governments


During this unit, students will DO the following (among other things):

  1. Label a political map of Sudan and Southern Sudan, showing major cities, and neighboring countries

  2. Label a physical map of Sudan showing major landforms and bodies of water

  3. Read information on the history of Sudan and create a time-line that shows 20 key events – spanning from around 1450 to the present.

  4. Read a novel that portrays events important to Sudan – complete one “book report” option (http://teachnet.com/lessonplans/language-arts/more-ideas-than-ever-book-reports/

  5. Create a work of art that illustrates some aspect of conflict in Sudan (e.g. painting/drawing, collage, mobile, picture book).

  6. Watch – the “Lost Boys of Sudan” – complete response questions and writing assignment.

  7. Read an article related to current issues in Sudan/South Sudan – complete GIST activity/present article summary to class.

  8. Research Darfur – compare to other examples of genocide (Rwanda, the Holocaust, present-day Syria, etc.), create a time-line, read personal accounts, etc.

  9. Read, deconstruct, and analyze excerpts from primary documents

  10. Emphasize essential vocabulary with daily/weekly activities

Suggested Activities

1) The following websites have great lesson plans and specific lesson ideas related to Sudan (Google for others):








www.unrefugees.org (USA for UNHCR, The UN Refugee Agency – go to “For Teachers” – videos, posters, lesson plans, etc.

www.nationalgeographic.com/ (at homepage click on “Education,” then type “Sudan” in search box)

  1. Sudan offers a great platform for studying “human rights” – use the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights as an introduction – the AmnestyUSA site above has a variety of related lesson ideas

  1. Use the documentary “Lost Boys of Sudan” as the focus of your unit—incorporate a guest speaker, writing assignments, art assignments, presentations, etc.

  1. Current event articles in newspapers and magazines – use Literacy TA strategies, article review/analysis strategies, “Newspapers in Education” strategies (www.newsobserver.om/nie/), etc.

Starter” Activities (designed to stimulate written responses and discussion)

  1. Maps

  2. Use “children’s drawings” as an introduction





  • "If civilization is to survive, we must cultivate the science of human relationships - the ability of all peoples, of all kinds, to live together, in the same world at peace." Franklin D. Roosevelt

  • Peace can only last where human rights are respected, where the people are fed, and where individuals and nations are free. Dalai Lama

  1. Anticipation Guide (there is one on Darfur in the “Facing Sudan” lesson plan booklet – website above)

  2. Excerpts from articles, novels, children’s books, primary sources, videos, etc. – reading response, quick writes, conversation starters, think/pair/share, “draw what you hear,” etc.

  • www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-19147741 -- video about Lopez Lomong, a “Lost Boy” who ran the 5,000 meter for the U.S. in the 2012 Olympics (also numerous articles and a book – Google)

Key Vocabulary

  1. See “key terms” list at www.enoughproject.org/conflict_areas/darfur_southern_sudan/key-terms

  2. Comprehensive “Social Studies” glossary



“Lost Boys of Sudan,” PBS documentary

Lost Boy, Lost Girl, Escaping Civil War in Sudan by John Bul Dau and Martha Arual Akech

A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park

God Grew Tired Of Us: A Memoir by John Bul Dau and Michael Sweeney (also a documentary)
Children’s books:

Brothers in Hope: The Story of the Lost Boys of Sudan (Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Books) by Mary Williams

Alfredito Flies Home (Groundwood Books) by Jorge Argueta

Children of War: Voices of Iraqi Refugees by Deborah Ellis

The Color of Home (Phyllis Fogelman Books) by Mary Hoffman
Resources for increasing teacher knowledge




www.wagingpeace.info – this site has a section on Sudan; a sub-section with primary documents


www.unrefugees.org (go to “For Teachers” then “Additional Resources)


www.readingquest.org/strat/ - great site for reading strategies—explanations and printables
Social Studies Essential Standards

7.H.2.1 Analyze the effects of social, economic, military, and political conflict among nations, regions, and groups (e.g. war, genocide, imperialism, and colonization).

7.H.2.2 Evaluate the effectiveness of cooperative efforts and consensus building among nations, regions, and groups.

7.G.1.1 Explain how environmental conditions and human response to those conditions influence modern societies and regions (e.g. natural barriers, scarcity of resources and factors that influence settlement).

7.E.1.1 Explain how competition for resources affects the economic relationship among nations (e.g. colonialism, imperialism, globalization, and interdependence).

7.C & G.1.4 Compare the sources of power and governmental authority in various societies (e.g. monarchs, dictators, elected officials, anti-governmental groups and religious, political factions).

7.C.1.1 Explain how culture unites and divides modern societies and regions

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