D-Day Lesson Plan

Instructor: Sharon Linde

Sharon has a Masters of Science in Mathematics

Use this lesson plan to increase student understanding of D-Day. Students will watch a video lesson that provides an overview of events, discuss and interact with content, and apply to an activity.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • describe the sequence of events up to and following the Normandy invasion during World War II
  • discuss and explain causes and effects of events in late World War II

Length

1 hour for the lesson, plus time for the extension activity

Key Terms

  • D-Day
  • Dwight Eisenhower
  • Battle of the Bulge
  • VE Day

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.9-10.3

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

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.9-10.4

Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary describing political, social, or economic aspects of history/social science.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.9-10.1

Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources, attending to such features as the date and origin of the information.

Materials

Warm-Up and Connection

  • Prepare students for this lesson by dividing them into small groups and having them discuss:
    • What started World War II?
    • How were things going for the French and British before 1942?
    • What caused the United States to enter the war? What about the Soviet Union?
  • After each question, discuss student answers as a whole group to ensure understanding. Review information as needed.
  • Now ask students to share their prior knowledge of D-Day with their group and discuss briefly as a whole class.
  • Distribute paper copies of the lesson The D-Day Invasion: The Beginning of the End of Nazi Germany and start the lesson, instructing students to follow along as the lesson plays and take notes/highlight as necessary.
  • Pause the lesson at 1:46 and review the battles discussed in this section and the results of each. Ask:
    • Why did the allied leaders decide it was time to retake Europe? What events led to this decision?

Instructions

  • Resume the lesson, pause again at 5:28 and ask students to discuss in their small groups:
    • What was the plan for Operation Overlord? What actually happened? Why?
    • What does the phrase 'largest amphibious invasion on record' mean?
    • What helped Operation Overlord to be successful? Why was Hitler not prepared?
  • Resume the lesson and pause again at 8:56.
  • Assign groups one of the following events: Operation Overlord, D-Day, the liberation of France, the Battle of the Bulge, or VE Day.
  • Distribute chart paper and instruct the students to make a two-column chart titled 'Cause' and 'Effect.' Using the lesson for guidance, have them map out the events for their topic in a way that describes the causes and effects that led to the allied victory. Do a few together to get students started, if necessary.
  • Have groups share their work with the class, then play the remainder of the lesson and allow students to ask any remaining questions.

Activity

  • Students will now write an imaginary first-person account of D-Day. Ask students to choose a role, such as a paratrooper or soldier who landed on Omaha Beach, and research the event.
  • When ready, students should write an imaginary account as if they survived the event. Allow them to use (but not copy) real accounts from surviving soldiers.
  • As students work, walk around to scaffold and support. Guide students when necessary.
  • When finished, break students into small groups and allow them to share their stories, then give them the quiz as an exit slip.

Extensions

  • Invite veterans to speak to your students about their experiences in combat. Write thank-you notes to veterans for their service.
  • Have students pick a big number from the war, whether it is the number of casualties at D-Day or the total number of Allied troops to come ashore. Then, use paperclips, small candies, or other small items to conceptualize it.

Related Lessons

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Support