About This Chapter
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.
|Day||Topics||Key Terms and Concepts Covered|
|Monday||World War II begins||Germany invades Poland, Japan invades China, Japan attacks Pearl Harbor, formal declarations of war|
|Tuesday||European and Pacific Theaters and the American home front||Europe's Eastern Front and Western Front, the Holocaust, fighting in North Africa, American island-hopping in the Pacific Theater, the efforts of the American government and civilians to support the war effort|
|Wednesday||World War II ends||D-Day, Hiroshima, Nagasaki|
|Thursday||International relations||World War II alliances, Italy's expansion into Ethiopia under Mussolini, the Yalta Conference, the Potsdam Conference|
|Friday||Post-World War II||American foreign policy, how war influenced American art, culture, and society, American counter-culture|
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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. The United States During WWII: The Home Front
When the United States entered World War II in December 1941, life changed almost overnight for those on the battle front and on the home front. Learn about the war's dramatic and lasting effects on American government, economy and society.
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.
8. 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.
9. 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.
10. Post-War American Politics: Foreign & Domestic Policy
In this lesson, we will learn about American politics in the post-war era. We will highlight the broad contours of foreign and domestic policies, and learn how Americans planned to deal with the challenges of an increasingly complex world.
11. Post-War American Life: Culture of the late 1940s & 1950s
In this lesson, we will explore American postwar culture. We will learn what life was like throughout the late 1940s and the 1950s by highlighting important cultural trends.
12. The Counter-Culture of Post-War America
In this lesson we will explore the counter-culture of the postwar era. We will examine the groups and individuals who defied the conventions of mainstream society.
13. Alliances and Expansions During World War II
In this lesson, we will examine the various alliances and territorial expansions surrounding the Second World War. We will see how these led to the outbreak of war and place them in historical context.
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