U.S. WWII Mobilization Lesson Plan

Instructor: Kerry Gray

Kerry has been a teacher and an administrator for more than twenty years. She has a Master of Education degree.

This lesson will help your students understand how the United States mobilized for World War II. Students will read a text lesson, participate in group activities, and prove their knowledge with a short quiz.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • describe how the United States prepared for war prior to Pearl Harbor
  • summarize the initiation of the draft during World War II
  • explain social adjustments to support the war effort


This lesson will take 45-90 minutes.

Curriculum Standards


Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of how key events or ideas develop over the course of the text.


Analyze in detail a series of events described in a text; determine whether earlier events caused later ones or simply preceded them.

Materials Needed

  • World War II recruitment and patriotism posters


  • arsenal
  • draft
  • munitions
  • ration
  • war bonds


Ask students to think of the ways that being at war affects a country. Write down their ideas.

Read the lesson U.S. Military Mobilization Efforts During WWII as a class. Pause after reading the 'An Entire World at War' section to discuss the things that the United States maintains at all times, so they are prepared in the event of a war.

Continue reading the 'Drafting Soldiers, Sailors, and Airmen' section of the lesson. Pause to have students do a 5-minute quick write that explains how the United States quickly gathered the manpower to engage in World War II. Divide students into small groups to share their work and discuss the advantages and challenges of instating a draft.

Have students stand for their position by moving to one part of the room if they think a draft should be used and another part of the room if they do not. Have students explain their thinking and give them an opportunity to change their decision after listening to students from the other side of the room.

Read the remainder of the lesson.

Show students some of the posters that were used to recruit soldiers and encourage women to work and contribute to the war effort. Place students in Socratic Circles to have formal discussions about how life changed in the United States as a result of the war.

Use the lesson's printable worksheet to check for understanding.

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