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Explore history.

The World War II unit.

For the United States, World War II was had a tremendous impact. The Treaty of Versailles for World War I set everything in motion leading to the next world war.

Through this unit, you will come to understand how the world was changing and how this affected the United States and led to the U.S. involvement in World War II. Research your topics through media and print to discover the facts about World War II.

Each activity will help you to understand an important concept about the unit. Research resources are provided for many of the activities. Use these to help you save time.

Each activity will be graded separately. All directions must be followed, use complete sentences and paragraphs, and include many details for the WWII era (1941-1945).

World War II: Unit Overview

These are the required elements to this unit.

SS5H6 The student will explain the reasons for America’s involvement in World War II.
SS5H6.a Describe Germany’s aggression in Europe and Japan’s aggression in Asia.
SS5H6.b Describe major events in the war in both Europe and the Pacific; include Pearl Harbor, Iwo Jima, D-Day, VE and VJ Days, and the Holocaust.
SS5H6.c Discuss President Truman’s decision to drop the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
SS5H6.d Identify Roosevelt, Stalin, Churchill, Hirohito, Truman, Mussolini, and Hitler.
SS5H6.e Describe the effects of rationing and the changing role of women and African-Americans; include “Rosie the Riveter” and the Tuskegee Airmen.
SS5H6.f Explain the U.S. role in the formation of the United Nations.

Mini-lessons will be covered in class each day by Mr. Brazile.You need to know the answers to these questions.

1. What was the reason for the United States' involvement in World War II?
2. How did Germany's aggression in Europe and Japan's aggression in Asia affect the world?
3. How did the major events in the war affect the United States and the course of World War II?
4. What roles did Roosevelt, Stalin, Churchill, Hirohito, Truman, Mussolini, and Hitler play in World War II?
5. How did rationing and the changing role of women and African-Americans shape the United States during the World War II era?
6. What was the U.S. role in the formation of the United Nations?
7. What factors went into President Truman's decision to use atomic bombs?

Directions: Please read all of these thoroughly, understanding that as we progress through the year, expectations change.

  • Students are expected to follow mini-lesson discussions each day.
  • Students will use research tools (internet, textbook, encyclopedias, books, etc.) to research and discern information for projects.
  • Notes will be taken, along with citations of reference materials (Title/web URL, author).
  • Projects will include detailed information pertaining to the World War II era.
  • All projects will be double-checked prior to turning in for grade.
  • Students can work projects in any order (suggested order is to follow the chronological order of the era).
  • Students should remember that if they want to complete a project based on a book, they should start the book early.

Use these resources to discover information for your unit.

Brittanica Database
EduCrate Videos
Unit Checklist
WWII Videos at History.com
Other WWII Resources:

Current (sort of) Event Connection


Inside WWII Interactive: http://www.history.com/topics/hirohito/interactives/inside-wwii-interactive


WWII Experience: http://www.history.com/topics/hirohito/interactives/wwii-experience


Adolf Hitler

Biography (Biography.com): http://www.biography.com/people/adolf-hitler-9340144


Benito Mussolini

Biography (Biography.com): http://www.biography.com/people/benito-mussolini-9419443


Emperor Hirohito

Biography (BBC): http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/historic_figures/hirohito_emperor.shtml

Biography (PBS): http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/macarthur/peopleevents/pandeAMEX97.html

Biography (History.com): http://www.history.com/topics/hirohito/videos#emperor-hirohito

Biography (Biography.com): http://www.biography.com/people/hirohito-37173


Franklin D. Roosevelt

FDR: A Voice of Hope (History.com): http://www.history.com/topics/world-war-ii/videos#fdr-a-voice-of-hope


Harry Truman

Biography (Biography.com): http://www.biography.com/people/harry-s-truman-9511121


Josef Stalin

Biography (Biography.com): http://www.biography.com/people/joseph-stalin-9491723


Winston Churchill

Biography (Biography.com): http://www.biography.com/people/winston-churchill-9248164


Attack on Pearl Harbor

Pearl Harbor (History.com): http://www.history.com/topics/hirohito/videos#attack-pearl-harbor

Firsthand account (History.com): http://www.history.com/topics/hirohito/videos#glenn-lane-recalls-pearl-harbor

Attack on Pearl Harbor (History.com): http://www.history.com/topics/hirohito/videos#japanese-attack-pearl-harbor


D-Day

D-Day Invasion (History.com): http://www.history.com/topics/world-war-ii/videos#dday-invasion

D-Day Invasion of Normandy (History.com): http://www.history.com/topics/world-war-ii/videos#d-day-invasion-of-normandy

D-Day Deception (History.com): http://www.history.com/topics/world-war-ii/videos#d-day-deception


Battle of Iwo Jima

History.com: http://www.history.com/topics/hirohito/videos#battle-iwo-jima


Japanes in Internment Camps

History.com: http://www.history.com/topics/hirohito/videos#japanese-internment-in-america


Bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

History.com: http://www.history.com/topics/hirohito/videos#bombing-of-hiroshima-and-nagasaki

Firsthand account of dropping the bombs (History.com): http://www.history.com/topics/world-war-ii/speeches#paul-tibbets-on-dropping-the-atomic-bomb

Firsthand account of surviving the bombing (History.com): http://www.history.com/topics/world-war-ii/speeches#firsthand-account-of-hiroshima-bombing


New Technologies of WWII

Big Design http://bigdesignevents.com/2011/09/innovations-from-world-war-ii/

The WWII Unit: Activities
Type a report (12 point font, Times New Roman, double-spaced, front side only), including a paragraph for each of the following people:
  • Winston Churchill
  • Emperor Hirohito
  • Adolf Hitler
  • Benito Mussolni
  • Franklin Delano Roosevelt
  • Rosie the Riveter
  • Josef Stalin (there are various spellings of his first name)
  • Harry Truman
Your report will include an introductory paragraph, 8 supporting paragraphs about the people, and a conclusion paragraph.
Complete a well-written paragraph (12 point font, Times New Roman, double-spaced, front side only if typed) about the importance of the Tuskegee Airmen.
Type a report (12 point font, Times New Roman, double-spaced, front side only) with one paragraph for each of the following topics:
  • The Holocaust and concentration camps
  • Japanese internment camps
Type a report (12 point font, Times New Roman, double-spaced, front side only) with one paragraph for each of the following topics:
  • Wartime rationing
  • The draft of soldiers for WWII
  • New technologies of WWII
Pretend you are the people listed below. Write a first-person account of your involvement or experience with World War II for each of the following.
  • A Jewish child in Europe during World War II.
  • A Tuskegee Airman.
  • A survivor of the Nagasaki bombing.
Create a thorough visual presentation (include at least 12 well-written, complete sentence descriptions, at least 6 pictures for each topic) about each of the following:
  • Axis invasion throughout Europe and Asia.
  • Ally leaders' response to the Axis threat.
Create a thorough visual presentation (include at least 12 well-written, complete sentence descriptions, at least 6 pictures for each topic) about each of the following:
  • Bombing of Pearl Harbor
  • Battle of Midway
  • Battle of Iwo Jima
  • D-Day
  • V-J Day
  • Holocaust
  • Bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
  • V-E Day
Create a thorough visual presentation (include at least 12 well-written, complete sentence descriptions, at least 6 pictures for each topic) describing:
  • The contribution of women to the war effort.
  • The contribution of African-Americans to the war effort.

Design a game board by yourself or with a partner using the computer for students to play that includes events and/or people of World War II.​ Type up the complete instructions and objectives of the game.
Design a flow chart that shows the causes and effects of events leading to World War II.
Make a chart using the computer explaining the following terms:
  1. Isolationism
  2. Dictator
  3. Island hopping
  4. Discrimination
  5. Enlist (in terms of military)
  6. Draft (in terms of military)
  7. Internment Camp
  8. Concentration Camp
  9. Holocaust
  10. Axis Powers
  11. Allied Powers
  12. Propaganda
  13. Rationing
  14. "Iron Curtain"
  15. NATO
  16. Cold War

Write a song about World War II, or any World War II battle (must contain information pertaining to your subject).
Make a collection of at least 5 World War II era songs by recording. Provide aa song title list. Must include artist name and year published.

Create a political cartoon based on events from World War II era. This is not just a cartoon. Must be a political cartoon.
Make a timeline depicting the following battles and events from World War II:
  • Germany invasion of Poland
  • Attack at Pearl Harbor
  • Battle of Midway
  • Battle at Iwo Jima
  • D-Day
  • Holocaust
  • V-E Day
  • Bombing of Nagasaki
  • V-J day
Make a map showing at least 5 significant battles. Include a write-up of who was involved, who won, the number of casualties, and the general movement of troops.
Make an original poster to advertise each of the following topics:
  • War Bonds
  • Enlisting in the armed forces in World War II

Take a field trip to a World War II exhibit or memorial. Develop a digital presentation (with facts and pictures) to share your experience with the class.
Make a digital presentation (with pictures and facts) on each of the following topics:
  • Racism during World War II era
  • Concentration camps during World War II
  • Rationing during World War II era
  • Propaganda used during World War II
  • Internment camps during World War II
  • The draft during World War II era
Make a detailed diorama (a model) of a World War II battlefield. Must include detailed description in complete sentences (name of battle, location, results, countries involved, and leaders).
Write a play depicting any one event in World War II or leading up to it. Include the script, the setting, the problem, and the result.

Record a video debate with another student as if you are an Axis leader debating with an Allied leader over why you feel your country’s expansion is the right thing (use facts to back up your stance). Submit the recording, along with the written script.
Produce a play (record or animate) that would show President Harry Truman and his reaction to deciding to drop the atomic bomb (use facts about the event in your play).

Create a persuasive essay (typed in 12-point New Times Roman font, double-spaced, front side only) about one side of the debate over whether to drop the atomic bomb to end World War II. Must include introduction and conclusion, with at least 3 supporting paragraphs.
Pretend you are living during the time of World War II. Write ten (10) well-written diary entries telling of your experiences and feelings.
Read one of the following books about World War II era and type in 12-point font, a book review of the story:
  • The Causes of the Cold War by Stewart Ross
  • Behind the Bedroom Wall by Laura E. Williams
  • True Stories of D-Day by Henry Brook
  • The Battle for Iwo Jima by Tom McGowen
  • Heroes of the Holocaust by Allan Zullo
  • A Boy No More by Harry Mazer
  • A Boy at War by Harry Mazer
  • Flags of Our Fathers: Heroes of Iwo Jima (adapted for young people) by James Bradley
  • My Name is America :The Journal of Ben Uchida by Barry Denenberg
Write a fictional story (at least 2 pages, typed 12-point New Times Roman font, double-spaced, front side only) based on World War II.


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