America’s Path to WWII

Lesson Plan
 

Dresden during wwii

Dresden during World War II (photo: Abraham Pisarek - cc by-sa 3.0 de)


Concept / Topic To Teach:

How outside influences can force a country into action when it has no desire to do so. Also, can one country truly become isolated from the rest of the world?
 

Grade Level:

6 - 8
 

Standards Addressed:

Grade: 7
OH.1. - Interpret relationships between events shown on multiple-tier time lines.
1.A. - Interpret relationships between events shown on multipletier time lines.
OH.2. - Analyze examples of interactions between cultural groups and explain the factors that contribute to cooperation and conflict.
2.B. - Analyze examples of interactions between cultural groups and explain the factors that contribute to cooperation and conflict.
OH.7. - Grade Level Indicator: Communicating Information: Compare multiple viewpoints and frames of reference related to important events in world history.
7.2. - Grade Level Indicator: Communicating Information: Compare multiple viewpoints and frames of reference related to important events in world history.
 

Duration:

One week
 

General Goal(s):

To show how outside influences can influence the decision-making process of a country. Also, to show what led to the involvement of the United States in WWII.
 

Specific Objectives:

To learn what events led directly to the United States getting involved in WWII (i.e. Pearl Harbor, German subs bombing American ships, Germany, Japan, and Italy deciding to form Axis powers.)
 

Required Materials:


Primary Sources Used: 

newspapers of the time period
cartoons from the time period
 

Warm-up:

Start with dividing the class into groups, with four students per group, and have them represent individual countries. The groups will form alliance with other groups, one being Allied Powers and the other being Axis powers, and show how when countries join together for a common cause, the other countries must also join together to protect themselves.
 

Step-By-Step Procedures:

After completing the warm-up activity, watch the video on the factors that led to the involvement of the United States into WWII. Then role play the decisions that were involved in starting the war, and have students come up with alternate solutions within their groups to try and prevent the war. Also, groups will come up with concessions that they want from the other side in both pre-war and post-war conferences.
 

Homework and Practice:

Each group will find, on the Internet or in written form, 2 cartoons and 2 newspapers articles from that time period which will strengthen their position to fight and defend themselves.

 

Closure (Reteach):

Students from each group will select a leader to sit and discuss, with leaders from the other groups, ways to avoid a war, and, if not successful, how this war will play out. Also, once the war is over, how will the victors handle the defeated, what concessions will be made, and what will happen to those deemed most responsible for the war?
 
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