Classroom Presentations

Contact to request a FREE classroom presentation

Presentation Topics  |   About Our Speakers

BC ALPHA is now offering FREE classroom presentations on topics related to the Asia-Pacific War (1931-1945), or what is commonly referred to as World War II in Asia. The topics center around crimes against humanity committed during the war by the Imperial Japanese Army, crimes that have amounted to what many refer to as the Asian Holocaust. Studying these atrocities gives students an opportunity to deepen their understanding of human rights and the causes and consequences of violations of such rights. But the presentations give equal attention as well to the inspiring international redress movements that have emerged in the aftermath of the war, movements that continue the struggle for justice still today in the face of Japanese denials of its wartime past. Direct connections are also made between this wartime past and global contemporary social and political issues.

To support teachers of Social Justice 11, History 12, Social Justice 12, Law 12, and other related classes in the teaching of this part of history, we have designed classroom presentations in line with the TC2 approach to critical thinking and the Historical Thinking Project's six historical thinking concepts. Structured more as interactive workshops than one-dimensional lectures, our presentations utilize Prezi presentation technology and small-group activities to create an impressionable and meaningful learning experience for students. View samples of our Prezis by clicking on the images below:

But the presentation itself is just one part of a larger package we offer educators. We provide preparation materials, educator resources and suggested follow-up activities, and we work closely with each teacher to integrate these presentations into their existing curriculums. What's more, teachers and students provide feedback that directly impacts further development of the classroom presentation packages, promoting a collaborative process between BC educators and our organisation. And in the end, all of the materials we develop are available for teachers to use in presenting these topics on their own once they feel comfortable with the subject matter. Here is an overview of the process involved with in-class presentations:


Presentation Topics

"Comfort Women": Japanese Military Sexual Slavery during the Asia-Pacific War

This presentation focuses on the system of military sexual slavery developed and implemented by the Imperial Japanese Army that enslaved between 200,000 and 400,000 women and girls from across the Asia-Pacific between the years of 1932 and 1945. Students analyze primary sources such as testimonies and official government documents to gain an in-depth understanding of Japanese military sexual slavery system during WWII and of the survivor-led international social justice and redress movement that continues to this day. We also look at how the international "Comfort Women" movement intersects with global efforts to combat sex trafficking and other forms of violence against women in our world today.

Prezi Presentation (complete animated slides)
Prezi Presentation Script (PDF, suggested key points for each frame in the presentation)
Prezi Presentation – Abridged Version for one block (complete animated slides)
Prezi Presentation Script – Abridged Version for one block (PDF, suggested key points for each frame in the presentation)


Survivor Paintings:

Biochemical Warfare and Human Experimentation

In this presentation, we look at the biochemical warfare research and development spearheaded by Japanese lieutenant general ISHII Shiro in Mainland China between 1932 and 1945. Students explore the use of human subjects as experiments and the use of biological and chemical weapons during the war in relationship to international laws and standards of the time. Students also engage in questions about the ethics of human medical research, the responsibility for redress and reconciliation in the post-conflict period, and the role of grassroots social justice movements in shaping our understanding of universal human rights.

Rescuers and Global Citizenship in the Nanking Massacre

On December 13, 1937, Imperial Japanese forces entered Nanking and what ensued in the following weeks was an orgy of violence and brutality that resulted in the massacre of hundreds of thousands of Chinese civilians. Now known as the Nanking Massacre, or the Rape of Nanking, this atrocity was unique not only in the intensity and scope of the brutalities, but in the incredible courage and altruism demonstrated by a group of international citizens who risked their lives to save about as many Chinese refugees as were killed during the massacre.

Canadian Hong Kong Veterans and Allied POWs: Wounds and Closure

A total of 1,975 Canadian soldiers were sent to defend the British Colony of Hong Kong in 1941. Out of that group, approximately 550 of them never returned home. In this workshop, students will make explicit connections between the Asia-Pacific War and Canada as they investigate the crimes against humanity committed by the Imperial Japanese Army against these Canadian prisoners of war and other Allied POWs. Students will also critically examine the treatment of the POWs in the context of international laws and standards of that time. Finally, students will consider ways to bring proper closure to the Canadian Hong Kong veterans and their families.

Prezi Presentation (complete animated slides)
Prezi Presentation Script (PDF, suggested key points for each frame in the presentation)



About Our Speakers

Heather Evans

Researcher & Peace Activist

Heather Evans - Education Director of BC ALPHA
Heather Evans with Korean survivor of Japanese military sexual slavery Park Ok-Seon

"Having the opportunity to know some of the survivors so intimately has been the greatest honour of my life. Witnessing their courage and resiliency...but most importantly their's beyond inspiring. You can't help but want to share their stories with others and to stand with them in their fight for justice."

Heather Evans has more than 13 years of experience developing educational materials in South Korea and North America. She also has more than a decade of experience in advocacy and support for survivors of Japanese military sexual slavery and for victims of human trafficking in South and Southeast Asia.

read more

Pat Parungao

Retired teacher of Gladstone Secondary School

Pat Parungao at the Forgotten Holocaust Workshop
Pat Parungao at the Forgotten Holocaust Workshop

Ms. Parungao worked as Head of Vancouver School Board’s Resource Services till 2007, then as Teacher Librarian of Gladstone Secondary School until her retirement in 2015. She was a participant of the 2006 Peace & Reconciliation Study Tour for Canadian Educators during which she personally met survivors of the Asian Holocaust including those of Nanking Massacre, Military Sexual slavery System, Biological Warfare and Slaved Labour. As a teacher librarian, she prepared a comprehensive bibliography related to the Asian Holocaust history for educators’ use.

Ms. Parungao has been a presenter of the Workshop on Forgotten Holocaust – Atrocious Human Rights Violation and its Impact on Victims Now and Then at the annual International Human Rights Day Student Symposium – Human Rights in the Asia-Pacific War since 2010.

read more

Thekla Lit

Founder & President of BC ALPHA

Thekla Lit - Founder & President of BC ALPHA
Thekla Lit with Geng Zhun, survivor of forced labour abducted to Hanaoka Japan

Thekla Lit is Co-founder and Co-chair of the Canada Association for Learning & Preserving the History of WW II in Asia (ALPHA) and has been the President of its B.C. Chapter since 1997. She is a member of the writing team of the teacher's guide, "Human Rights in the Asia-Pacific 1931-1945: Social Responsibility & Global Citizenship" developed by the BC Ministry of Education for various Social Studies subjects.

She is also the founder and organizer of the Peace & Reconciliation Student Tour for Educators and the steering head of the annual International Human Rights Day Student Symposium.

read more

Lee Naylor

Education Chair of Hong Kong Veterans' Commemorative Association, BC Region

Lee Naylor - Education Chair of Hong Kong Veterans' Commemorative Association, BC Region
Lee Naylor with student

Mr. Lee Naylor is a retired 2nd Lieutenant. He is the eldest son of Staff Sergeant Howard E. Naylor CD, who was a member of the Royal Canadian Corps of Signals for twenty-five years. Staff Sergeant Naylor was a member of "C" Force which was the Canadian military contingent involved in the Battle of Hong Kong in December 1941 when he was captured by the Japanese Imperial Army and spent three years and nine months in POW camps in Hong Kong and Niigata Japan.

As the Hong Kong Veterans Commemorative Association Education Chair for the BC Region, Mr Lee Naylor has reached out to hundreds of students, teachers and adults at various venues in the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island. He is also a recipient of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal for his contribution in the education of the Canadian Hong Kong Veterans stories.

read more

To request a FREE classroom presentation or
to learn more about our programs, contact:

Sponsor By

ALPHA Education