Students learn about the first three years of World War Two in this engaging lesson utilizing multiple learning styles. The lesson includes
- a 2 page clear summary reading on the first few years of WWII and various Axis gains
- a 1 page dramatic "blitzkrieg" primary source excerpt by Erwin Rommel on the piercing of the Maginot Line in France
- a 2 page worksheet with a vocabulary matching activity and multiple comprehension & analysis questions based on the two readings
- a documentary excerpt video link on the invasion of Poland and German blitzkrieg
- a "Diagramming Early WWII" map activity, with instructions based on the readings
This lesson offers prompts for great class discussions, with students debating morality of wartime alliances, hypothesizing rationales for various countries' actions, "fixing" the Allied Powers' early WWII mistakes, and predicting actions significant to the remainder of the war. Visual learners are aided by the engaging documentary excerpt and the map diagramming activity.
Material covered includes:
- Invasion of Poland and end of appeasement
- Blitzkrieg and "total war"
- Soviet/German Non-Aggression Pact
- German penetration of the Maginot Line and invasion of France
- Evacuation of Dunkirk
- Charles de Gaulle, ”Free France,” and Vichy France
- Erwin Rommel and North African campaign
- London Blitz
- Other Italian and German invasions/occupations/alliances from 1938-1941
A detailed three page teacher answer key is included.
You may be interested in the following related resources:
"Perspectives on a Dictator" Activity: Intro to WWIIRise of Hitler and Nazi GermanyCauses of WWII: The Road to WarPearl Harbor and the U.S. Entrance to WWII
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