Author:   Bonnie Christensen       Punahou High School, Honolulu, Hawai’i


Essential/Central Question:  Should the Uighurs be defined as “terrorists” not “freedom fighters?”

Lesson Summary:  Students will gain a deeper understanding of a specific ethnic group in China known as the Uighurs in order to learn more about the complexities of China and the difficulties of creating one nation out of so many different ethnicities. The Uighurs are a ethnic minority in China whose goals are similar to other groups around the world seeking to gain greater freedoms or even independence from governments they consider as repressive and/or unresponsive to their needs.  Through an analysis of the issues confronting the Uighurs, students will be able to better understand the problems of some ethnic minorities in China and the goals of other groups in different parts of the world such as the Kurds in Turkey and the French Canadians.  Students will analyze the concept of “nation” and “state sovereignty” by dealing with the question of “self-determination” using the specific example of the Uighurs.

Grade Levels and Courses:

  • Modern World History – 9-10th grade
  • U.S. History – 11th grade
  • Government and Economics – 12th grade
  • Asian Studies
  • International Relations
  • Human Geography

Duration:  1-3 days (includes debate preparation homework, class preparation time, and one 55 minute class debate period).

Updated:    January 22, 2016



Lesson Plan: Are Uighurs Terrorists or Freedom Fighters

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