POV has featured a number of films that are ideal for introducing students to Veteran history and celebrating the contributions of Veterans. This collection offers educators a range of our most popular accompanying content, from web features to discussion guides, lesson plans and reading lists. Note: Lesson plans are accompanied by streaming video clips.
Discussion Guide: As an outreach tool, Armadillo provokes viewers to consider serious questions about the conflict in Afghanistan and war in general. How do you protect civilians when opponents don’t wear uniforms and you can’t distinguish allies from enemies? When is the presence of foreign troops more likely to exacerbate the conflict than keep the peace?
Lesson Plan: Reporting on War: In this lesson, students will compare and contrast two news stories about an incident in which an improvised explosive device (IED) killed Danish soldiers in Afghanistan. They will then use a video clip from a documentary as an information source for writing news stories about a similar event. Finally, students will describe the impact that reports from different news sources can have on how events in Afghanistan are reported in the media.
Timeline: Controversies in the War in Afghanistan: Learn more about the controversies relating to the war in Afghanistan, including the incident documented in Armadillo, the release of classified war reports by WikiLeaks and fraud surrounding President Hamid Karzai’s re-election.
Discussion Guide: As an outreach tool, Soldiers of Conscience helps audiences explore the tension between duty and conscience, responsibility to God and service to country, and civilian and military ethics. It reminds viewers that whatever soldiers do — the good and the regrettable — they are doing it in our name.
Lesson Plan: Perspectives on the Morality of Killing in Wartime: Classrooms can use this lesson to help students consider opposing arguments on this issue and then develop and defend their own positions. NOTE: This film addresses sensitive issues and contains graphic scenes of violence from the war in Iraq. Please preview before showing the entire film in a classroom setting.
Backgrounder: Soldiers at War: Learn more about the history of conscientious objection in the U.S. armed forces and the impact of war on soldiers.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: Dr. Shira Maguen, a staff psychologist at the San Francisco Veteran Affairs (VA) Medical Center, answers some of our questions about post-traumatic stress disorder and the psychological impact of killing in war on service members.
Discussion Guide: As an outreach tool, The Way We Get By transcends partisan political debates while raising important public policy issues related to health care, war and veterans affairs. Ultimately, it reminds viewers of the tremendous power of simple acts of human kindness.
Lesson Plan: Historical Perspectives: Coming Home from War: Classrooms can use these resources to conduct an investigation that compares and contrasts the homecoming experiences of soldiers who served in World War II and the wars in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan.
Interactive Map: Volunteer and Support the Troops: Inspired by Bill, Jerry and Joan in The Way We Get By, we encourage you to show your support for the troops by volunteering in a variety of ways around the country. There is something for everyone, whether you have five minutes or five days. Enter your zip code in the box and click “See Results” to be taken to the Create the Good website to view volunteering opportunities in your area.
Regarding War: Share Your Stories: On the Regarding War blog, soldiers, veterans, and journalists will share their stories from Afghanistan, Iraq and other war zones. It will feature personal stories and opinions from those who have first-hand knowledge of past and current conflicts. Those at home directly affected by a family member serving in the military will also contribute. The blog is meant to be a place where ideas are exchanged and experiences are related in an effort to gain a better understanding of the realities and effects of war. Share your thoughts, raise a question, and join the conversation by leaving comments on the posts.
Discussion Guide: As an outreach tool, Where Soldiers Come From looks beyond guns and policy to examine the effect of an ongoing war on soldiers, parents, loved ones and a whole community when young people go off to fight. This film provides one of the first and only available snapshots of the effects of combat from mobilization to deployment to return and reintegration.
Lesson Plan: The Impact of Traumatic Brain Injury on Veterans and Their Families: In this lesson, students will investigate traumatic brain injury (TBI), which has become the signature injury of military service in Iraq and Afghanistan. Students will watch video clips that illustrate issues related to TBI, research additional information and create fact sheets to educate soldiers and their families about TBI and direct them to organizations that can provide support.
Interview: The Combat Paper Project: Drew Cameron founded the Combat Paper Project as a way to help veterans share their experiences of war and contribute to their reintegration and recovery. The project guides vets in making art from a novel source: old military uniforms. POV caught up with Cameron and Malachi Muncy, a National Guardsman who served in Iraq and has participated in the workshops, to talk about art as an emotional outlet.
Veterans in the United States: As depicted in the documentary Where Soldiers Come From, reintegration after deployment affects not only soldiers, but the families and communities they come from as well. View maps of veteran populations and post-9/11 veteran unemployment rates.
Discussion Guide: This guide is designed to help you use Soldados: Chicanos in Viet Nam as the centerpiece of a community event. It contains suggestions for organizing an event as well as ideas for how to help participants think more deeply about the issues in the film. The discussion questions are designed for a very wide range of audiences. Rather than attempt to address them all, choose one or two that best meet the needs and interests of your group.
Lesson Plan: Soldiers’ Stories: As a 26-minute long film, Soldados: Chicanos in Viet Nam is a perfect classroom tool to engage students in an examination of the Vietnam War. It raises a wide variety of issues, including the long-term impact of being a soldier, the difference in experiences for soldiers of color and white soldiers, how a country justifies going to war, and how Vietnam veterans were treated when they returned from combat.
Historical Comparison: Then and Now: Before you could “Be All That You Can Be” in the “Army of One,” the U.S. military was looking for a “few good men.” Find out more about what’s changed over the past 40 years.