War & Peace
NFB films encompass a wide variety of war topics studied in both elementary and high schools. War is an important theme in Canadian and World Studies, Science, English Language Arts, History, Geography, Citizenship and the Arts. The films on this playlist make up only a fragment of the NFB’s remarkable collection of films on war and history. Educators are also encouraged to view other NFB titles apart from the films seen here should they wish to pursue a specialist path.
Modern curriculum methods encourage students to act more as detectives than as passive recipients of knowledge. The subject of war can provide a means of teaching through the HW5 method (How, Who, What, Why, Where, When) in provincial curriculums across Canada. Critical thinking, placing events in time, cause and effect, vocabulary, debating, calculating, drawing, understanding different viewpoints, cooperative learning and many other skills can be developed using these film excerpts; they also serve as a springboard for integrating Reflective Questions and Issues.
As much as possible, this playlist encourages students to construct as well as reflect on the big questions involving war. The issues covered by these clips are, in fact, endless, and involve questions that will elicit conflicting opinions. Usually, there is no one correct answer. A nuanced weighing of the situation is required. Frequently, students are faced with moral dilemmas requiring further thought, discussion and research. Formal class debates are an excellent way of exploring the issues presented here.
These film clips are introductions to events, themes, issues, periods of time and other subjects determined by the teacher. Consequently, although these are excellent vehicles to spark student interest, it is important that teachers place these excerpts in their historical context and remind students that the people depicted in these films did not know how and when the war was going to end.
Reflective Questions and Issues