Close sites icon close
Search form

Search for the country site.

Country profile

Country website

Lesson plans for ages 12-14 in Civic Education: Refugee teenagers

Teaching and training materials

Lesson plans for ages 12-14 in Civic Education: Refugee teenagers

20 June 2007

Ishmael Beah, former child soldier.

LESSON 5: Military recruitment


Advanced reading by the teacher of the information sheet, Military recruitment [PDF].

Run off copies of the story of Moses' and Joshua's story [PDF].


In the genre of war, there have been hundreds of films ranging in subject matter, history and film quality from Alexander the Great with Richard Burton, through Casablanca with Humphrey Bogart, to Born on the Fourth of July with Tom Cruise and Saving Private Ryan with Tom Hanks. The students are asked to name some war movies which they have seen. What was the film about? Which war was depicted in the film? Who starred in the film? Is there an even sharing of main roles between male and female stars in the various films cited by the students? Why do the films revolve around male characters?

Having considered war via Hollywood, ask the students to name several wars throughout history that they can think of. Name the sides fighting in each war? Who actually did the fighting?

Hand out the copies of the story of Moses and Joshua*, who were two Liberian teenagers who were kidnapped by rebel soldiers and made to fight. Give the students class time to read the story.

Discussion questions:

  • How would the students feel if they found themselves in the predicament of either Moses or Joshua?
  • Is it wrong to force or subtly induce children to fight in wars?

Explain to the students that children's participation in war is illegal. It may help to read through and discuss Article 38 of The Convention on the Rights of the Child.

* The names Moses and Joshua have been substituted for the real names of the boys.