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Hot Zones: Investigation


Working in a small group of two or three students, create a 15-20 minute PowerPoint or Preszi that will help others to learn and understand a particular conflict around the world.  If you really want to do the project on your own, you could talk to me about this possibility.  Your challenge is to explain the conflict in a way that is understandable and at the same time puts a human face on the tragedy of the conflict. 


Each presentation will need to include the following:

An Introduction and Overview:

The intro should be your own work and should be based on research from a variety of sources. The intro may be spread out over several slides. The overview should include key points, facts, dates and lesser-known facts that may not be known by most people.

An Understanding of the Problem:

The following questions/topics should be covered in your PowerPoint:

  • What is the history and nature of the conflict? How long has the conflict been going on for?
  • Who are the main combatants and what are their motivations?
  • How has the conflict impacted civilian life?
  • Have any other countries been affected by the conflict or chosen to get involved in the conflict?
  • Is the U.S. (or has the U.S. been) involved in the conflict at all?
  • What if any solutions have been proposed to resolve the conflict?
  • Do you personally believe this conflict warrants U.S. intervention? Explain why or why not. If so, what type of intervention would you support (military, humanitarian, political pressure, economic pressure such as boycotts, U.S. involvement through the U.N., other suggestions?)

People: The Hot Zones you will look at are ultimately about human beings--those who perpetrate acts of violence and those who are victims. Your presentation should include at least one story that helps us to put a human face on this unfolding tragedy. Try to look on Social Media for information.

VisualsVisuals should help to tell the story. They may be original drawings, photos, charts, maps etc. Your PowerPoint must include a variety of visuals throughout the presentation.

Primary Sources (4): Primary sources are objects, pictures, or words that bring us closer to the subject being studied. Examples of primary sources include inventions, uniforms, photographs, film, video, weapons, fine art, diaries, journal entries, interviews, letters, music, maps, etc. Include a brief description of your primary sources and explain why you included each source.) Please label each primary source (Primary Source #1, Primary Source #2, etc.)

5 Questions: Please provide five questions that you believe are important about your topic for the class to answer. What do you want everyone who sees your Power Point to walk away knowing or remembering? The answers to these questions should be included in the presentation. Questions must be emailed to Mr. Wallace at

Bibliography: Please include an annotated bibliography page at the end of your Power Point with a list of all the resources used by group members. I would also like a hard copy of your annotated bibliography.


The project will be worth 100 K&S points (75 points will be an overall group grade and 25 points will be an individual grade.)  Grading will be based on:

  • Completion of all requirements above
  • Depth of research
  • Care and quality of work; overall appearance
  • Ability to work together as a group
  • Your own individual presentation skills (Good habits of speech, eye contact, confidence, etc.)


There is a great line in the film, Welcome to Sarajevo, set during the 1992 Bosnian conflict, in which a United Nations official proclaims Sarajevo as only the “14th most dangerous place on earth.”  The official is responding to a perplexed journalist who cannot understand why the world is not doing more to stop the brutality that is occurring all around him.  It is a poignant reminder that at any given moment in time there are literally dozens of violent conflicts that are occurring all over the world.  Some of the conflicts are internal, some involve neighboring countries, but all are violent and deadly.  These conflicts not only impact the citizens of the affected countries, but, as we have witnessed in places like Somalia, Bosnia, Afghanistan, and Iraq, they often impact the United States as well.

Suggested Hot Zones

North Korea
Sudan/South Sudan


Considering a different hot zone? Check out Wikipedia's
list of on-going armed conflicts in the world. Discuss your options with your teacher.

Suggested Resources


All Africa (click “regions/countries” or “topics/conflicts”)

BBC News (click on “search” “country profiles” or “in depth”)

CNN News (use CNN search engine)

The Carter Center Interactive Map
Founded by Former President Jimmy Carter, the center "seeks to prevent and resolve conflicts, enhance freedom and democracy, and improve health."  Their interactive map offers access to resources related to areas in the world where war is the result of human rights violations.

Center for Civilians in Conflict
Information provided by the center focuses on protecting civilians caught on the battlefield. Check out both the news (front page) and the resources section.

The Conflict Resolution Information Source
This is a community edited source, utilizing the skills of peace scholars and workers to develop a database of information related to ongoing conflict in the world.

This site, used by the U.S. State department, offers a free version that includes country reviews with basic data and background information.

Global Conflict Tracker
Interactive map identifies and focuses in on resources related to current areas of global conflict and crisis. Provides background information, breaking news, and primary sources for investigation.
This website focuses on social, political, and environmental issues that lead to hot zones in the world.  

Human Rights Watch
(check “info by country”)

Portals to the World (Library of Congress)

SIRS Researcher (MGHS subscription)
This unique database provide you access to viewpoint, as well as a full range of informational articles.  Statistical, timeline and global impact tools within the Pro-Con modules are very helpful.

United Nations
The UN offers a number of resources related to global conflict, including sections on Peace and Security and other Global Issues, and a valuable News Center.

U.S. State Department
The U.S. State Department publishes several useful resources, including Travel Alerts

Wikipedia is the largest encyclopedia of information ever published. Because it's open edited, be sure you check out our guide: What about Wikipedia? for tips on using this source effectively.

World Factbook (CIA)
Background information provided on nation states throughout the world. 


AP Images (MGHS subscription)
The Associated Press is a repository of images submitted by professional journalists for use by newspapers and and new media worldwide.  Our subscription provides you with access to these images (and some information graphics).  Need home access.  Ask in the library for access to the locked passwords guide.

Bibliographic Tools


Presentation Tools

Google Slides (sign into Google)
Powerpoint (available on library laptops)


Library Information and Media Center - Monona Grove High School - Monona, Wisconsin

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