Lesson plan for the film
The Pacifist Who Went to War
This film examines the tensions that divided Mennonite communities during World War II as many church members chose conscientious objection while others broke with their pacifist traditions to enlist in the military. Through a variety of activities that explore and challenge the issues in the film, students will develop a better understanding of pacifism in Canada.
Advanced 9–12 and beyond. This unit can be adapted to younger grades and different courses of study in various Canadian provinces and territories.
Whiteboard, whiteboard marker, computer lab, Internet connection, data projector.
As the war in Iraq and Canadian involvement in Afghanistan continue to dominate media coverage, we learn little about peace initiatives across our country. Canada, in fact, has a long history of pacifism with roots in religious and secular traditions. Pacifist stances have not been consistently popular, especially during “the Good War,” when only a minority of Canadians chose not to support the military effort overseas. Using conscientious objection during World War II as a springboard, the following lesson plan focuses on the evolution of the peace movement in Canada and invites students to rethink what it means to be a pacifist.
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