Teaching world conflicts

 Competence aims:
  • Analyze a regional or international conflict in which at least one English-speaking country is involved
  • Elaborate on and discuss questions related to social and economic conditions in some English-speaking countries


  1. To learn about international conflicts involving the USA

Pre-movie activities:

  1. Alternative 1. Watch the documentary “Why we fight”.  Before watching the documentary download the guide and skim through the material. See teaser of documentary here, and download this guide
  2. Write a summary of the most interesting points on your blog.
  3. Alternative 2. Watch the movie,  Lions for Lambs, see the teaser here first.  Lions for Lambs.
  4. Watch this talk Robert Redford’s character has with his student Todd. An interesting monologue about the choices we have. “The decisions you make now, can’t be changed, it will take years and years of hard work to redo it. No lifeguard is watching you anymore, you are on your own. The decisions you make are yours alone, from here an til the end.  Discuss the role students can play in shaping their own future. How does this relate to your own choices? Write a paragraph on your blog after you discuss this with your partner.
  5. America needs to do more.  The students in this movie try to get others involved. Discuss how this clip is important to the movie. Do you agree with these students’ choices?

Lesson plan:

Discuss these issues on your blog:

  1. Lions for Lambs is a 2007 American drama film about the connection between a platoon of United States soldiers in Afghanistan, a U.S. senator, a reporter, and a California college professor. Explain how they are connected and what the soldiers are doing in Afghanistan? Read this article; Newsweek. Read chapter 5 and 6 in the study guide.
  2. The professor asks Todd to get involved.  What can he do?
  3. Is there a connection between social conditions, the welfare state and the USA’s involvement in wars?
  4. What do you think is the current opinion of the American people regarding US engagement in wars? List your sources.
  5. Write a post on your blog where you answer all these questions and discuss the US involvement in Afghanistan.


  1. Hi Ann!

    I’m one of the students who has tried these teaching methods, and I must say that I found them instructive, informative and fun!

    With all due respect, I’m pretty sure the movie’s name is “Lions for lambs” and not “Lambs for lions” as you wrote in your blog…:P

    It doesn’t matter, I just wanted you to know…

    Please visit my blog – which is about English Social Studies – http://englishsocialstudies.blogspot.com

  2. Hi Ann.

    I’m a student at Minden High School in Minden, LA.
    We were required to comment on a teacher’s page for my class. So I picked your blog. I found both of the movies very interesting. Keep up the good work!

    – Blake

  3. Hey! I am a student at Minden High in La. We are required to post a comment on a teachers blog. I
    really enjoyed your blog and the two movies!


  4. hey!

    I am from Minden High, too. I am pretty interested in the topics you’ve posted on this page.

    Hope, to read more soon. I will come back 🙂

  5. Hi Ann.

    I am a student at Minden High School, too, and I looked into your blog and I thought it was pretty nice. I’m doing this for a project like my other classmates have already named.

    Thank you.

  6. Fun for me with visitors from Minden highschool. If you are interested in getting to know students from Norway you might want to look at their blogs too. You will find them on the top right side!

I would love to hear from you