The Reality of War
By: Sara P. Chavarria

Time: 1 lesson period
Prep Time: Have Overheads 1 and 2 ready.
If choose to do so, make sufficient copies of Overhead 2 for students.
Materials: Overhead 1 – Ponder questions from the start of the lesson
Overhead 2 or Handout 1 – Questions for students to answer


The purpose of this lesson is to use their notes to address what the possible answers to the student evaluation questions could be. This is an activity meant to tie everything together so that the class can transition into the next lesson.

Students will use research materials developed earlier, students will synthesize data to formulate an argument for or against war.

Standards (NCHS)
NCHS Era 8: A Half-century of crisis and achievement, 1900- 1945.
Standard 2: The causes and global consequences of World War I.
Standard 4: The causes and global consequences of World War II.

NCHS Era 9: The 20th century since 1945: Promises and Paradoxes.
Standard 1: How post-World War II reconstruction occurred, new international power relations took shape, and colonial empires broke up.
Standard 2: The search for community, stability, and peace in an interdependent world.

NCHS Historical Thinking Skills 3-E, 3-F, 4-D, 5-F,



Anticipatory Statement: Are wars acceptable solutions to situations?

a- Essay questions
Revisit Ponder Questions introduced in the Vote with your Feet activity and introduce the following questions for students to answer.

Overhead 1 - Ponder Questions teacher can use.

  • War is necessary.
  • Men and women should have equal rights.
  • Women should be in combat just like men.
  • World peace is achievable.
  • It is okay to use chemical or biological weapons during war.
  • Having nuclear weapons helps to maintain the peace (deters aggression).
  • War is so destructive we should avoid it at all costs.


Overhead 2 or Handout 1: Class assignment:
Have students analyze what they learned.

A. Using your comparison matrix answer the following questions.
1. What were the three most common reasons/gains for war to take place?
2. Compare the two wars. Make a list of any similarities shared. Make a separate list of differences between the two. Discuss Reasons, Results, People, and Technology.

B. The following questions should be answered using complete sentences. Each answer should consist of at least 4-5 sentences. They will be due the next day. Evaluation should be based on how clearly students defend and explain their views on war using the following evaluation rubric. (link)
3. What is war?
4. What does war accomplish? Is it necessary?
5. Aftermath of war: Often, economic stress due to food shortages, high death numbers, and land devastation occurs during and after wars. With wars resulting in so much loss is it reasonable to see wars as acceptable solutions to situations? Explain, concentrating on the long and short-term effects on human health.

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

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Last update: November 10, 2009
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