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The Human Face of War - Innocent Voices

Four day Unit plan entitled: The Human Face of War. This film captures a moment in the middle of the El Salvador civil war and students will confront the human side of war. Through this unit, students will analyze the human impact of war on families, communities, countries and evaluate the various human rights violations. In addition, students will analyze character choices and dilemmas while comparing them to their daily lives.
Essential Questions: Why were the two sides fighting? Was there a just cause? To what extent does war interfere with family life? Economic life? Political life? Friendship?

Established goals

  • Students will emerge with an understanding of the personal impact of war on families and children in particular
  • Students will see how even in the face of war, one can maintain their humanity and resist the changes around them
  • Students will understand how war impacts a society, region, country, family
  • Students will evaluate how individuals are always confronted with choices and how decisions are made through
  • Students will emerge with a knowledge of the civil war in Ecuador

Students will understand that:

  • America played a powerful role in Central America during the Cold War
  • Human rights abuses were perpetrated by both sides in the civil war
  • Child soldier issue is not over—child soldiers are employed in 40 countries around the world
  • Maintaining a sense of normalcy in wartime is difficult
  • Wars trigger massive migrations and impact home and receiving countries

Students will know:

  • How war impacts family, community, countries, and regions
  • How violence escalates on a personal and community level
  • Personal choices and demands under choice
  • Timeline and background of the war/ major players/ outcome
  • How to an extent their life mirrors Chava’s

Students will be able to:

  • Analyze the film as a piece of media with a bias
  • Conduct independent research 


Gale Carter, Beth Krasemann


Lesson Plans

Grade Levels