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The FARC: A Road to Rebellion

Lesson Plan Author(s): 
Trevor Barhorst & Jeff Tiedeken
How do political choices lead to conflict?
Teaching Area: 
Standard 8.22 & Literacy 6-8.2
Grade Level: 
Teaching Level: 
Middle Childhood
Origins Item(s): 

This lesson plan serves to help students understand the formation of the FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-People’s Army) in Colombia. The Origins article that inspired this lesson plan discusses how this guerrilla group spawned from a nation suffering from long-term political violence and failed peace treaties.

Given the history of FARC, students will be asked to create a timeline listing all the important events discussed in the article. This timeline will be used as a talking piece to discuss why conflicts arose in Colombia, how the government handled those conflicts, and the results of those actions. This will lead into a broader discussion on how various countries have resolved their own internal conflicts, whether it be through a government action, an uprising, war, popular vote, protest, etc.

From this discussion, students will be tasked with the challenge of devising an intervention the Colombian government could have taken in the 1960’s just after the establishment of FARC. Students will support their intervention plan using evidence from the Origins article or from the previous discussions. Students will propose their intervention plans to the class and those plans will be defended/modified based on their peers’ critiques.

Lastly, students are given an Exit Ticket which gives students a chance to individually reflect on the various intervention plans and select one plan the Colombian government should have taken in the 1960’s. Students will support their selection using information from the Origins article and the previous discussions.

Instructional Strategies:
This lesson plan takes advantage of these Instructional Strategies described by
1. Academic vocabulary and language -1 
2. Cooperative Learning-7
3. Cues, questions, activating prior knowledge-8
4. Document Based Questions-13
5. Formative Assessment-17
6. Graphic Organizers -19
7. Additionally, student will be doing a Think, Pair, Share described here.
Lesson Materials:
Key Words: 
Columbia, FARC, Peace