The website warandchildren.com provides access to a number of lesson plans and unit plans for educators to use on the topic of how war and conflict affect children and youth. The lessons and units also allow students and educators to further explore the issue of what makes young people want to go to war, and what can young people do to promote peace.
The lesson and unit plans on the website look at youth and conflict in both a historical and contemporary context. Visuals and first person accounts are just some of the varied resources used to deliver the curricular content presented. There are a number of suggested activities that go along with each unit for educators to consider.
Most activities include clear statements of lesson goals, and steps to follow for each lesson. In addition, there are links to videos and many black line masters are offered in PDF format for downloading. While a number of these worksheets may not be compatible with many contemporary education practices, they do provide some prompts that educators can use in adapting these lessons to their particular needs.
It is important to note that the website and unit plans are supported and created by two organizations; Children/Youth as PeaceBuilders (CAP) and PeaceQuest. Both organizations take the perspective of promoting global peace, especially among our youth. Consequently, these organizations promote perspectives around war and conflict that may counter some people’s commonly held views of Canada’s history.
Regardless, the focus of this web resource is to provide first person perspectives from youth involved in conflict, mainly from World War I to the present day. Some of the visuals can be disturbing and some caution may be warranted. It is a strong aggregation of youth voices and firsthand accounts of youth serving in conflicts. This resource is worth considering if you are an educator working in Canadian and World Studies, Social Sciences and Humanities, English, and other social science-related courses.