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WWII: An Overview in Moving PicturesWWII: An Overview in Moving PicturesMany Voices, Many StoriesMany Voices, Many StoriesThe Home FrontThe Home FrontCritical PerspectivesCritical PerspectivesSee Everything, Hear EverythingSee Everything, Hear Everything
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Lesson plan related to the theme
Propaganda: The Battle for Hearts and Minds

Overall Objective
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.
Grade Level
Advanced 9–12 and beyond. This unit can be adapted to younger grades and different courses of study in various Canadian provinces and territories.

Content Areas
Language Arts
Media Studies
Social Studies

Materials Required
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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Site section related to this lesson plan
Propaganda: The Battle for Hearts and Minds
Excerpt or film related to this lesson plan
Keep Your Mouth Shut



Internet connection

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  • Low speed: recommended if your Internet connection uses a dial-up modem (56 kbps or slower). Low-speed viewing results in lower quality image and sound.
  • High speed: recommended if you have high-speed Internet (DSL, cable modem) or are connected to an institutional network. Viewing in high-speed mode may cause occasional jerky images and sound interruptions if the speed of your connection is not fast enough.

If you're not sure which speed to use for viewing the films, try high speed first. If the results are not satisfactory, switch to low speed.



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Closed captions (CC)

Translation of the audio portion of a film into subtitles, for example, dialogue, narration, sound effects, etc. These captions let hearing-impaired viewers read what they cannot hear. Closed captions are available for a few films. To access them, you must select QuickTime (under Format) and With closed captions (under Accessibility).


Described video (DV)

A narrated description of a film's key visual elements to enable the vision-impaired to form a mental picture of what is happening on screen. Described video is available for a few films. To access them, you must select QuickTime (under Format) and With described video (under Accessibility).

Film  (2:20)
Excerpt related to this lesson plan
Wings on Her Shoulder
Excerpt  (2:12)
Food: Secret of the Peace
Excerpt  (2:16)
Train Busters
Excerpt  (5:32)
Tomorrow's World
Excerpt  (3:20)
Keep Your Mouth Shut
Film  (2:20)
To the Ladies
Excerpt  (0:47)
Labour Front
Excerpt  (3:18)
Churchill's Island
Excerpt  (4:28)
Corvette Port Arthur
Excerpt  (6:36)
Warclouds in the Pacific
Excerpt  (3:20)
Warclouds in the Pacific
Excerpt  (3:20)