Comparing Evil: Qualifying Crimes Against Humanity

This assignment assesses students’ ability to listen to, analyze, and evaluate presentations, including the evidence required to adequately support educated opinions. Students will participate in three stages of an active discussion—evidence collection, the group discussion itself, and a written results analysis—where they will learn to support claims, develop appropriate reasoning, practice persuasive argumentation, and reflect on the outcomes as they consider the “worst” crimes against humanity. This assignment also incorporates an online component and considers the impact of format on communication.
Subjects: Social Studies
Prior Knowledge: Students should have some knowledge of what serves as evidence in an active discussion. Students must know that in a debatable issue, an argument is the position taken on an issue or the point-of-view that will be defended with good reasoning. Students should also know good argument practices dictate equal exploration of all sides of an issue to strengthen the original position and create evidential depth. It is important that students understand the basics of research and online navigation, including the language of online discussions, to get the most from this experience.
Key Concepts and Terms: Amnesty, Argument, Bias, Claim, Evidence, and Reasons, Counterclaim, Credibility, Defining a Problem, Discrimination and Persecution, Evaluation, Governmental Regulation, Hate Crimes, Individual Responsibility, Justice, Online Communication, Political Boundaries, Position Response, Resource, Validity and Reliability
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