What are the components of war?
By: Sara P. Chavarria and Sally Rusk

Time: 3 lesson periods
Prep Time: Prepare Overheads 1 and 2.
Have blank sheets for each student to make their drawings.
Materials: Overhead 1- War definitions and War Web
Overhead 2 – Example of Dialectical Note-taking sheet
8 _ x 11 in blank sheets for the war illustration (drawing) and for the mural contribution


The purpose of this lesson is to encourage students to understand war the many parts that make up war? Inherent in following this inquiry is for them to make an association to resources as one of the components of war. Also in this lesson, the student will better define war by identifying all of the parts that make it up. In this way they should be able to understand the reality of what war represents and make connections to the implications of war in their current lives.

Students will be able to:
1. Students will identify components of war and connect relationships by developing webs.
2. Students will illustrate their understanding of war in multimedia and produce a dialectical analysis of this illustration.

Standards (NCHS)
NCHS Era 9:
Standard 3: Major global trends since World War II.

NCHS Historical Thinking Skills 3-E, 3-F, 5-F

Teacher Background
The teacher must be familiar with three topic categories: Resource Use (addressed in the 1st quarter), what war is (Materials provided), and World Wars I and II (Use SOS Teacher Aide for additional information).



Anticipatory Statement: What is war, what does it involve, and how does it happen?

Day 1
a- Discussion of questionnaire answers
Have students share their answers etc ……………………

b-Intro. to war Overhead 1
Create a web of war and what it means. Begin with definitions:
1. Fighting with weapons between countries or parts of a country.
2. Any fight or struggle (the war against disease and poverty).

After the definitions write the following comment.
All wars involve fighting for control of land, resources, power, beliefs, etc.

Create web with students by writing the five categories as shown below.

Have students list below each categories examples of what this means.
TEACHER NOTE: Click here to review categories to aide teacher in leading ideas. Click here to see an example of what was done in one class.

c- Illustration of war
Have students draw images of war on a blank 8 _ x 11 sheet. (By having them draw an image of war they need to be creative about how to express their idea of what war looks like. This way they can visualize their conceptions of war, which can be very ephemeral.)

After drawing their images they are to write word descriptors that describe their image. (By writing word descriptors the students assign an action or feeling to what they drew, making an ephemeral idea more concrete. They now have vocabulary to talk about war as they see it.

This can be finished as Homework and either collected and posted or left in notes. Type of grading is up to the teacher. An actual grade can be given or participation points given.

Day 2
d-Lecture on the role of resources in warfare occurrences

Pose Ponder Question: What is the connection between resources and war?

Answer: The quest for control and the unfortunate destruction of the very object sought!

Lecture notes for Teacher to use in relaying these ideas. Remind students of what resources are and how they are found on land. How do wars, which are fought to gain land and its ‘fruits’, accomplish a negative effect of destroying and depleting multiple resources? Note the amount of destruction that occurs during wars.

Resource Destruction:

  • Land for agriculture
  • Land for livestock
  • Livestock through starvation
  • Sources of natural foods like forests, lakes, and jungles where animals live.
  • Water for drinking due to poisons from blood, chemicals, bombs, etc.
  • Buildings that supply living space.
  • Buildings that provide medical aide.
  • Technology that helps to make living environments more livable – ex: coal, electricity, or gas factories that provide heat.

Introduce reflection activity to emphasize this point.

e-Reflection Activity: Annotated Mural

ANNOTATED MURAL: Using 8 _ x 11 in sheets of paper, have students locate images of resources being destroyed during war that they put on the sheet. Each student must provide text describing their image. As students finish, they put their paper on a designated wall in the room in order to create a quilt-like mural. Each period keeps adding their images throughout the day until mural is finished.

Next day, students are asked to analyze the mural and identify themes.

Day 3
f- Dialectical Note-taking of mural
Have students create a double column dialectical analysis of the finished mural. This is accomplished through teacher-directed discussion in which students are asked to locate the dominant destruction themes in the mural.

The title for the notes will be: Mural Notes and Observations.
On the left side of the analysis sheet, students write down the concise theme or subject observed. On the right side of the sheet, students write down their comments expressing what the subject means to them and the class.

Start the discussion by posing the question: What resources are destroyed in war?

Overhead 2: Example of what sheet should look like.

Mural Notes and Observations: What resources are destroyed in war?
Comments (Opinion, inference)
Subject -Theme (Observations)


Embedded Assessment

PULSE is a project of the Community Outreach and Education Program of the Southwest Environmental Health Sciences Center and is funded by:

NIH/NCRR award #16260-01A1
The Community Outreach and Education Program is part of the Southwest Environmental Health Sciences Center: an NIEHS Award


Supported by NIEHS grant # ES06694

1996-2007, The University of Arizona
Last update: November 10, 2009
  Page Content: Rachel Hughes
Web Master: Travis Biazo