United States History

World War II Unit

Purpose: To understand the rise of totalitarian states and causes of World War II. To explore the US decision to enter the war and its role in fighting in Europe and the Pacific. To explore the political, economic, and social ramifications of World War II on the home front. To explore the aftermath of WWII including the holocaust, the creation of the United Nations and decision to drop the atomic bomb.

Goals: At the end of this unit students will be able to:

    1. identify short term and long term causes of the war.
    2. trace the role of the United States from its entry into the war after Pearl Harbor through the signing of the peace treaties.
    3. analyze life on the homefront focusing on the role of women and minorities including the internment of Japanese-Americans.
    4. describe the atrocities of the holocaust and evaluate if the United States did enough to prevent it.
    5. evaluate the decision to drop the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Skills: At the end of this unit students will be able to:

1. use the library to conduct research

2. use Microsoft Publisher to create WWII newspaper

3. write a bibliography

Assessment: Homework Assignments (20 points)

World War II Project (100 points)

Class Participation: including daily warm-ups, handouts, student response sheet,(40 points)

Unit test (100 points)


Due on Thursday March 6, 2003

Read Chapter 14 Section 1 Answer the Following: (5 points)

1) Explain how Fascist and Nazi aggression lead to war in Europe.

2) List reasons that made Japan eager to build an empire

3) Describe the American response to the war in Europe.

4) What happened at Pearl Harbor and what effect did it have on American foreign policy?

Due on Friday March 7, 2003

Read Chapter 15 Section 2 Answer the Following: (5 points)

1) Describe some features of American popular culture during WWII.

2) Explain how shortages and controls affected civilian life.

3) List some ways the government enlisted public support for the war.


Due on Tuesday March 18, 2003

Read Chapter 14 Section 3 Answer the Following: (5 points)

1) Summarize the Japanese advance in the Pacific in 1941 and 1942 and how then describe how Allied victories turned the tide of the war.

2) Describe the battles of Iwo Jima and Okinawa.

3) Describe the Manhattan project and its effect on the war.

4) Do you believe it was morally correct to drop the atomic bomb without warning? Why or Why not?

Due on Friday March 21, 2003

Read Chapter 14 Section 4 Answer the Following: (5 points)

1) Explain the persecution of Jews and the other minorities increased as a result of the Nazi Germany.

2) Describe how the Nazis carried out their plans for genocide.

3) In your opinion, did the United States do enough to help the victims of the Holocaust?

World War II Newspaper Project: You may work alone on this project or in pairs.

The purpose of the project is to allow you to explore in more depth an area of interest relating to World War II. You will create a 3-page typed newspaper exploring areas of interest dealing with World War II. Your newspaper must include the following:

1) A headline story dealing with World War II in Europe or the Pacific.

2) A story focusing on life on the Home front.

3) A story focusing on some social aspect of the time period.

4) An editorial section including some forum to discuss personal feelings on the war.

5) A clearly labeled Table of Contents listing all sections of your newspaper

6) Credits section / Bibliography - acknowledging your sources including all books, magazines, Internet Websites, encyclopedia, CD-ROM, etc.

Sample topics are listed on the next page. You may include pictures or drawings in your newspapers but they can not take the place of the required stories. Make sure the newspaper is in your own words and not copied directly from other sources without citing those sources. Plagiarism will equal an automatic F.

You will share your newspaper in class in small groups where you will briefly share the highlights of your newspaper. The articles in your newspaper do not have to have occurred on the same day but must have taken place between 1939-1945.

Story 1 Possible topics: Headline Stories in Europe or the Pacific (1939-1945)

D-Day Normandy invasion Battle of Midway

Battle of Iwo Jima Battle of the Bulge

Battle of Okinawa Battle of El-Alamein

Propaganda of World War II Battle of Stalingrad

Geography of World War II Pearl Harbor

Women Pilots-"Pistol Packiní Mama" Aviation in World War II

African Americans troops in World War II Heroes of World War II

Famous Leaders of WWII Battan Death March

Hiroshima and Nagasaki Birth of the United Nations

Naval Battles of World War II Tuskeegee Airmen

Liberation of concentration camps Suicide of Hitler

V-E Day and V-J Day

Story 2 Possible Topics: Homefront (1939-1945)

American Isolationism at beginning of war

Japanese- American Internment Camps

Women on the Homefront/ Rosie the Rivetor

Manhattan Project: Decision to drop the Bomb

Anti-Semitism in America

Zoot-Suit Riots/ Mexican Americans

Conservation efforts on the Homefront

Port Chicago Incident

War Refugee Board

Story 3 Possible Topics: Social Aspect (1939-1945)

World War II Era Music, Movie reviews of World War II era movies

Sports of the World War II era Art of the WWII era

Religious messages of the era Fashion of the WWII era

Story 4 Possible Topics: Editorial Section (1939-1945)

Interviews with WWII veterans Diary of WWII veteran/

Letters written home from Europe or Asia Stories of Holocaust survivors

Editorial columns about the war Interviews of supporters on the Homefront

Resources: DHS School Library

Yolo County Library or UC Davis Library

Internet- WWII related Web sites under Historylinks


World War II Newspaper due on Thursday March 20, 2003

Unit Test/ Notebook Check due on Tuesday March 25, 2003