Examining War through a Child's Perspective

byIsabel G. Carter

In the past few decades civilian casualties in wars have increased. Half of those casualties are children. It is important for high school students to understand that over 2 million kids have died from wars; that over 8,000 of them are killed by landmines each year; that those who aren't killed, but are directly affected, are either severely wounded, recruited as child soldiers, raped, and/or orphaned (UNICEF). Rather than wait for my students to learn half-truths about the damage war can do to civilians, in particular children, I want to expose them to this topic by way of children's literature.

By exposing my students to these experiences via children's fiction and nonfiction literature, I hope that they will achieve a broader view of the world. I expect that my students will develop sympathy for the plight of others as they learn about the horrors some children face. Along the way, I intend to teach my students to develop a critical eye for texts; improving their ability to make decisions about the validity and purpose of literature.

(Developed for Language Arts, grade 9; recommended for Language Arts, grade 9)

Comments (2)

    Brandon Barr (Mark Twain Elementary, Chicago, IL)
    Subject taught: ELA, Grade: 06
    The Breadwinner
    Thank you for sharing some ideas for how students could respond to The Breadwinner. I plan on teaching the novel at the start of the school year, so this unit was helpful. Thanks!
    Deborah Galea (Church schools Malta, Swatar, BK)
    Subject taught: All subject
    Very very informative and interesting
    Hi,I ve just come across this very interesting work and will be adopting some of your ideas as our students are younger. I have tried to find the illustartions on slate.com which you refer to in the art therapy section but failed to do so. Could you kindly help me out in this please. Thanks and regards, Deborah

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