A standards-oriented and thorough WW2 lesson pack. Filled with primary documents, visuals, and political cartoons. Funny memes too to help keep students engaged. If you buy this, make sure you read this to help you find the documentaries that certain topics are paired with.
I will go through and describe this in detail so you know what you're buying.
I used this for 2 weeks.
The first slides of the PowerPoint has some interesting colorized pictures to intrigue students. The first lesson covers one of the long-term causes of WW2: The rise of Fascism.
This section covers the rise of Hitler in depth. There is a great pair of videos: one from Ted-ed and the other is a speech that Hitler gave to the youth. Have students compare his comments at the speech to what they already knew about Hitler as a T-Chart.
The next part covers the failure of the League of Nations, and there is a political cartoon that we used from my WW1 lesson that is also in here to reinforce the failure of the U.S. to join the League.
This part also discusses how Hitler began to expand Nazi Germany, and how the people of the various regions welcomed him. The photographs from the time will surprise students.
The next cause that is covered is the failure of appeasement, where I use a couple Dr. Seuss political cartoons, and some custom cartoons to drive home what appeasement is and why it fails. The PowerPoint then introduces the examples of those failures, the land taken by Germany (Maps, pictures), as well as the historic failure of Chamberlain and his ironic statement about the piece of paper creating “peace in our time”. Gets a chuckle every time. Nice meme to go along with it.
Kristalnacht is covered, with chilling pictures to accompany it. Have the students analyze the images.
Brief slide on the taking over of Czechoslovakia, and for the spark of the war I use a video on Vimeo from the British Documentary called “WW2 in Colour”. It is the blitzkrieg episode. If you cannot find it, message me. It uses actual footage from the war, and they colorize it. It’s incredibly done.
Next, the Battle of Britain is covered and radar’s invention and use is covered. There’s a funny picture of what the British used before radar.
The next lesson grouping covers America’s slow move toward involvement in the war. Neutrality acts are covered in detail, and there is a refresher on isolationism again. More political cartoons to analyze.
The Spanish Civil War and Guernica is covered briefly in context with our selling of arms to Franco’s government (Because it was a civil war and not an inter-state war).
More neutrality acts, Cash and Carry, Lend-lease act. I made a meme to go along with this section that summarizes the theme. The kids nailed these standards (and I don’t like to toot my own horn) but I think it had to do with the humor involved in this section.
The next lesson is on Mobilization, and how America prepared for the war itself. Four Freedom’s speech from FDR is covered and so is the Atlantic Charter.
Next, I cover the spark of our involvement in the war: Pearl Harbor: The Japanese reasoning behind their strategy, what happened, and why we lucked out in spite of the infamy. Maps and pictures here too, of course.
The next part is a slide I use as background for a reading and writing assignment on American Experiences on the Home Front. I will tweak and upload the assignment. It is tied with the textbooks we use so for you guys it will probably become a research sort of project with computers or cell phones.
Next lesson is on the course of WW2.
First topic covered (With notes, maps, graphics, pictures): Initial Allied Strategy (Focus on Europe).
Next is a think pair share section on the Holocaust. Surprisingly I always learn new things from students. Followed by some of the core vocab (anti-Semitism, Final Solution, Ghettos).
Next is Operation Barbarossa. Maps, pictures, etc. Also, there’s a funny parody on YouTube that has Tom and Jerry act out this dynamic.
German Strategy to hinder the Allies gets covered, and so do convoys.
Then the next lesson is the North Africa Campaign and the Italian Campaign.
Then we cover the Battle of Stalingrad as a turning point in the war. I have a reading in my store that I use with the slide with all of the pictures and cartoons about Stalingrad. The reading was highly engaging for my classes.
Then there is a slide on D-Day, I use this for Bellwork (What do you know about D-Day?) and then we watch the episode of WW2 in Colour on it (Operation Overlord). Also for free on Vimeo.
Battle of the Bulge gets covered the next day, and a brief overview of the war in Europe’s conclusion (V-E Day. There are plenty of good readings available for free online to use. I put a general overview up, talk about it, then have them read and answer questions about it.
Day after that the Bellwork is a “go up to the board and vote” on “Should we have dropped the atomic bombs on Japan”. Starts a serious discussion and debate in most classes. We discuss Island Hopping, and after that start the WW2 in Color episode called “Victory in the Pacific” about closing the circle around Japan and the atomic bombs.
Finally, we conclude by discussing post-war items. Nuremburg Trials and their importance, German occupation territory division (Foreshadowing the Cold War), the occupation of Japan (Foreshadowing future U.S. involvement in the region), the U.N., and the role of Mary McLeod Bethune in the formation of the charter.
I hope this helps, these worked very well for me and my students and I hope they work for yours!
Please let me know if you have comments or concerns! Review!