Ch 21: World War II: AP European History Lesson Plans

About This Chapter

The World War II chapter of this course is designed to help you plan and teach about the causes, battles and aftermath of the Second World War in your classroom. The video lessons, quizzes and transcripts can easily be adapted to provide your lesson plans with engaging and dynamic educational content. Make planning your course easier by using our syllabus as a guide.

Weekly Syllabus

Below is a sample breakdown of the World War II chapter into a 5-day school week. Based on the pace of your course, you may need to adapt the lesson plan to fit your needs.

DayTopicsKey Terms and Concepts Covered
MondayBattles and invasionsThe Battle of Britain and attempts to appease Hitler, German invasions of France and Poland and Japanese invasion of China
TuesdayAdolph Hitler: The Holocaust and military goalsAnti-Semitism in Germany and the Final Solution, German military strategies and overview of Hitler's fascist government
WednesdayThe European and Pacific TheatersThe Eastern and Western fronts, attack on Pearl Harbor and island hopping as a military strategy
ThursdayThe end of World War IILanding of the Allied forces in France and use of the first atomic bomb in Japan
FridayWartime conferences and diplomacy The Potsdam and Yalta conferences, secret diplomatic efforts and state of the world after the war

12 Lessons in Chapter 21: World War II: AP European History Lesson Plans
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
World War II: The Start of the Second World War

1. World War II: The Start of the Second World War

Learn all about the start of World War II and why the League of Nations could not stop aggression by Italy, Germany and Japan in the 1930s, which led to the outbreak of this second global conflict.

The Fall of France during WWII: Strategies & Defeat

2. The Fall of France during WWII: Strategies & Defeat

In this lesson, we explore the French defenses, the subsequent German invasion, and the disastrous consequences for France during WWII and its four-year occupation by Germany.

Germany vs Great Britain: Appeasement & the Battle Over Britain

3. Germany vs Great Britain: Appeasement & the Battle Over Britain

In this lesson, we examine Neville Chamberlain's policy of appeasement in regards to Hitler's Germany prior to World War II and the ensuing Battle of Britain in 1940.

Hitler's Military Strategy & Goals in World War II

4. Hitler's Military Strategy & Goals in World War II

In this lesson, we explore the motives of Adolph Hitler, Germany's fascist dictator of the 1930s, and the military strategies he employed that led to early victories but culminated in total defeat.

The Holocaust: Anti-Semitism and Genocide in Nazi Germany

5. The Holocaust: Anti-Semitism and Genocide in Nazi Germany

The Holocaust was the persecution and mass murder of as many as 11 million people by Adolf Hitler and the Nazis between 1933 and 1945. Learn about the people they targeted, the progression of events leading up to the Final Solution and the end of the genocide in this lesson.

The Attack on Pearl Harbor: The Beginning of American Involvement in World War II

6. The Attack on Pearl Harbor: The Beginning of American Involvement in World War II

On December 7, 1941, the Empire of Japan launched a surprise attack against Allied possessions in the Pacific, including the American military base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. After decades of conflict between the two nations, the U.S. declared war.

The D-Day Invasion: The Beginning of the End of Nazi Germany

7. The D-Day Invasion: The Beginning of the End of Nazi Germany

Operation Overlord, the invasion of Nazi-occupied Western Europe, began with the D-Day landings on the beaches of Normandy on June 6, 1944, with Hitler's last stand taking place at the Battle of the Bulge. Learn about these and other events that contributed to the end of Nazi Germany.

The Pacific Ocean Theater of WWII: Japan vs. The Allies

8. The Pacific Ocean Theater of WWII: Japan vs. The Allies

After the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, the United States entered WWII. Watch this video to learn about some of the key battles, as well as the general nature, of the Pacific theater of the war.

Hiroshima and Nagasaki: How the Atomic Bomb Changed Warfare During WWII

9. Hiroshima and Nagasaki: How the Atomic Bomb Changed Warfare During WWII

As America and its WWII allies considered invading Japan, the Manhattan Project successfully developed an atomic weapon. Its use on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, precipitated VJ Day, the end of the Pacific war, on August 14, 1945.

The European Theater in WWII: The Eastern Front, Western Front & Fight for North Africa

10. The European Theater in WWII: The Eastern Front, Western Front & Fight for North Africa

Hitler and Nazi Germany dominated the European fields of battle early in WWII. This lesson is an overview of key military operations between 1939 and 1943 in Europe on both the Eastern and Western fronts.

The Yalta Conference and The Potsdam Conference: US Diplomacy & International Politics During World War II

11. The Yalta Conference and The Potsdam Conference: US Diplomacy & International Politics During World War II

Throughout the course of WWII, leaders of many Allied nations met many times to discuss strategy. Then, near the end of the war, two historic conferences shaped the post-war world.

The Aftermath of WWII

12. The Aftermath of WWII

In this lesson, we explore the economic and political realities which emerged in Europe immediately after the end of World War II and the steps countries took to confront them.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
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Other Chapters

Other chapters within the AP European History Syllabus Resource & Lesson Plans course

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