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If War Comes To You

In the Classroom

These classroom activities are designed to be used with If War Comes to You. We suggest completing the starter activity before learners participate in the experience. Mature content is covered in the experience and classroom activities, so please ensure it is appropriate for your learners before starting.

Starter activity

The experience includes three characters in a conflict situation: a civilian, a soldier and an aid worker. Each of these characters will make decisions and have different priorities.

Learners should put themselves in one of the character’s shoes to anticipate their actions during a conflict. You could return to these at the end of the lesson to see if perspectives have changed after the experience.

Success Criteria:

  • Choose one of the characters: a civilian, a soldier or an aid worker
  • Write at least 3 sentences on what you think your character would experience if war came to them

Example – Aid worker
If I was an aid worker and war came to me, I would be prepared to put myself at risk to help others. I would gather supplies that could help people who may be injured or have lost their homes during the conflict. I would be ready to help anyone who needs me.

Play the experience

Now it’s time to participate in the experience. This can either be done as a whole group or could be set as an individual task in lesson time or as a homework activity.

Activity 1: Decision tree

After learners have completed the experience and made their choices, they should complete the flow chart in this worksheet or draw their own.

Ask learners to highlight or select the option they chose and justify why. Under the other option, learners should write what they think would have happened if they had made this choice instead. 

Download the worksheet for this activity here.

Extension: Ask learners which specific rules of war they can identify and whether they had been followed, e.g. civilians were not targeted.

An image explaining the task of the decision tree worksheet.
An image of part of the decision tree worksheet showing each of the characters in the game.

Worksheet preview

A screenshot of part of the decision tree worksheet showing a decision made within the game and boxes for learners to explain their choice.

Activity 2: The interview

In pairs, one learner should be an interviewee and the other an interviewer. Before role-playing the interview, each pair should prepare the following:

  • The interviewer should write 5 questions seeking to understand what the interviewee’s experience was and how they felt about it. At least one of these questions should look at a rule of war (use the Laws of War page to help).
  • The interviewee should write some notes to help them answer the questions, imagining a backstory for their character and how they may have felt during the experience. They should think about how the rules of war applied to them (use the Laws of War page to help).

Each pair should role-play the interview.

Following the role-play, ask each pair to consider the following questions:

  • Were the interview questions impartial or biased?
  • Would this be different when interviewing other characters?

Extension: Learners could explore various news outlets for news articles on conflict to investigate whether the stories are being shared in a factual and non-biased way. If not, why not? 

Plenary: Text message

To conclude the lesson, learners should return to the final page of the experience.

In a message from #limitstowar on Photogram, they will be asked to post a message telling us how to increase respect for the laws of war. Ask learners to think about the ways they can increase awareness and respect for the laws of war. 

Further learning

The British Red Cross has a range of further learning for primary and secondary students available on its website. Visit the British Red Cross teaching resources page to explore additional materials on International Humanitarian Law and other topics.

In particular, the Rules of War teaching resource can be used to introduce the topic to learners ahead of this experience or to further their learning.

 

 

Feedback

We are always looking for feedback to help us improve our teaching resources. Please complete this educator survey, whether you have already used the classroom activities or not. If you have any further feedback or questions, please send us an email at redcrosseducation@redcross.org.uk.

Please also encourage your learners to complete the evaluation survey within the experience.

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