Why study war?
By: Sara P. Chavarria and Sally Rusk

Time: 1 lesson period
Prep Time: Photocopy a class set of Handout 1.
Materials: Handout 1: Cause of War (Typology)


The purpose of this lesson is to challenge study to continue making connections in order to understand the reality of what war represents and why it is necessary to study it.

Students will connect causes of war to the components they have already identified on their web.

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

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

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?

a- Connections – War web and mural
Option 1:
Handout 1: “Causes of War (Typology)”
Discuss causes of war… What about exotic resources? Why, if not needed for survival, are they causes of war? (Think about diamonds in Sierra Leone, opium in Afghanistan, cocaine in Colombia… Why???)—great discussion!


Option 2:
Revisit the war web created earlier and the new student observations from the mural. Is there anything new to add?

Add new information to war web.a- Discussion of questionnaire answers

End with:
We now understand elements of war. Transition into the case studies of WWI and WWII by introducing the following ponder question. Have students do a quick-write opinion in their journal or as ‘exit ticket’ activity.

Q. Often, economic stress due to food shortage, 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?

TEACHER NOTE: This question will be revisited in a new revised version in the Evaluation portion (2.5) of this lesson.


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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