Militarism and pacifism

Subject: Social studies
Summary: Students use images and posters to understand the concepts of militarism and pacifism. Students also use images and biographies of people to understand certain conflicts of today’s world.
Activity length: Duration is approximately 45 minutes.
  • Students will know the main characteristics of the concepts of militarism and pacifism. Students will formulate opinions on current conflicts.
  • Students use images as means to express certain issues and opinions. Students develop critical thinking and logical analysis based on that.

Teacher prepares a presentation with pictures (see additional notes).

Teacher prepares a list of statements concerning war and peace in today’s world.


Part 1: Students are divided into four group and are shown the presentation. Students’ task is to invent a name for each period’s poster. Teacher gives the students a few minutes to think. After that all groups are told to present the names of the posters and their justifications.

Part 2: First two groups are to search posters and iconic images of wars and conflicts of the world today. At the same time the students are to analyze how war is depicted in these images.

Other two groups receive texts with excerpts from biographies of well-known individuals who participated in active conflicts. They analyze how these biographies depict war.

Part 3: All groups present their findings. Other groups can ask questions and the teacher moderates the discussion following the presentations.


Teacher holds a vote, which group got the best name for posters. Best picks get a positive grade.

Additional notes:

presentation slides