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                    World War II Unit
                        Anthony Tyrkala
                        13 February 2011

World War II Unit
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Unit Overview:
       The course in which this unit will be taught is 10th grade World History: 1500 to
Present. An alternating block schedule has been implemented in this school, and the
unit will take place over 5, ninety minute class meetings. The following unit will
introduce to students the many features of WWII from a World History perspective.
Specifically, this unit will cover the causes, major events, leaders, and outcomes of
WWII. Additionally, the reconstruction efforts in Germany and Japan, as well as The
Holocaust and genocide will be included in this unit.
       Students will engage some information, such as nationalism, militarism, and
genocide at the conceptual level, while other information will be discriminated through
lecture, and individual exploration. This lesson comes at a point in history when
technology advancements made it possible to capture high quality video and audio,
and I will use these representations to enhance student understanding. Throughout this
unit, several overarching questions will continually be referred to, those questions are;
‚could a war such as WWII occur again,‛ ‚how did events from the WWI era influence
the coming of WWII,‛ ‚what factors lead to genocide, and could an event like the
Holocaust happen again?‛ Additionally, several skills will be weaved into the unit,
students will purposely engage WWII in a way that helps them to develop the ability to
recognize and identify links between events in history, improve their writing ability
through daily writing exercises, and develop an appreciation for the study of history
through consistently linking WWII and its relevance to contemporary times.

       The content of this unit is organized in a way that will build students knowledge
and understanding up. Beginning with the causes of World War II, provides an initial
link to content from the previous unit on World War I, while also preparing students to
engage the interconnectedness of the two Wars. After covering the causes, students will
be introduced to the major leaders of WWII; the brief introduction will give students a
passing knowledge of each leader, which will be enhanced throughout the unit. These
two lessons will be followed by a concept formation lesson on Genocide and The
Holocaust, this information was placed here so as to ensure an understanding of the
Holocaust prior to engaging it as an event. The major events of WWII will then be
covered over two class blocks. In those blocks the previous lessons on causes and major
leaders will be referred to often, creating concrete links of knowledge. Students will

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then engage the end of WWII, and the outcomes of the War, followed by a
comprehensive unit assessment.
       I believe that this progression enhances student’s ability to create clear
connections across history, which is one of the skills that are embedded throughout my
teaching. These connections will be made stronger through writing assignments, which
will be given daily as reflection exercises. Many of the lessons will also reference the
relationship between events of the time and contemporary times, which is designed to
enhance student’s appreciation for the study of history.

 Virginia SOL WHII.12 - The student will demonstrate knowledge of the world wide
 impact of World War II by:
     a) Explaining economic and political caused, major events, and identifying leaders
        of the war, with emphasis on Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Dwight D.
        Eisenhower, Douglas MacArthur, George Marshall, Winston Churchill, Joseph
        Stalin, Adolf Hitler, Hideki Tojo, and Hirohito
     b) Examining the Holocaust and other examples of genocide in the twentieth
     c) Explaining the terms of the peace, the war crimes trials, the division of Europe,
        plans to rebuild Germany and Japan, and the creation of international
        cooperative organizations and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

 NCSS Strands:
 2: Time, Continuity, and Change
 3: People, Places, and Environment
 5: Individuals, Groups, and Institutions
 6: Power, Authority, and Governance

Unit Content Objectives:
   1. Students will be able to identify and explain the significance of the economic and
       political causes of World War II.
   2. Students will be able to identify and explain the significance of major events of
       the WWII.
   3. Students will be able to identify and explain the role of the major world leaders
       of WWII.
   4. Students will be able to define ‚Genocide,‛ and apply the term appropriately to
       the Holocaust and other instances.

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   5. Students will be able to explain the outcomes of WWII, including the terms of
       peace, international organizations and the war crimes trials.
   6. Students will be able to explain efforts for reconstruction in Japan and Germany.

Unit Skills Objectives:
   A. Develop the ability to recognize and identify links between events in History
       (and from class to class)
   B. Improve writing ability through both daily writing exercises as class begins and
       writing assessments.
   C. Develop an appreciation for the study of history through consistently
       highlighting the topics relevance to contemporary times.

Essential Questions:
      How did events from the WWI era influence the coming of WWII?
      Could a war such as World War II occur again? How and why?
      What factors can lead to genocide? Could an event like the Holocaust happen

Content Outline:
1. Causes of World War II
   a) WWI Direct Ties
      i) Failures of the Treaty of Versailles
      ii) Isolationism and Pacifism in Europe and the United States
      iii) Appeasement
      iv) Weakness of the League of Nations
      v) Worldwide Depression
   b) Rise of Dictatorial Rule
      i) Adolf Hitler (Germany)
      ii) Hideki Tojo (Japan)
      iii) Benito Mussolini (Italy)
   c) Aggression by totalitarian powers (Germany, Italy, Japan)

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2) Major leaders of World War II
   a) Franklin D. Roosevelt
      i) U.S. President
   b) Harry Truman
      i) U.S. President after the death of President Roosevelt
   c) Dwight D. Eisenhower
      i) Allied commander in Europe
   d) Douglas MacArthur
      i) U.S. general
   e) George Marshal
      i) U.S. general
   f) Winston Churchill
      i) British prime minister
   g) Joseph Stalin
      i) Soviet dictator
   h) Adolf Hitler
      i) Nazi dictator of Germany
   i) Hideki Tojo
      i) Japanese general
   j) Hirohito
      i) Emperor of Japan
3) Major events of WWII (1939-1945)
   a) German invasion of Poland
   b) Fall of France
   c) Battle of Britain
   d) German invasion of the Soviet Union
   e) Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor
   f) D-Day (Allied invasion of Europe)
   g) Atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki

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4) Outcomes of World War II
   a) European powers’ loss of empires
   b) Establishment of two major powers in the World:
      i) The United States
      ii) The U.S.S.R.
   c) War crimes trials
   d) Division of Europe - Iron Curtain
   e) International Cooperative Organizations
      i) Establishment of the United Nations
      ii) The Universal Declaration of Human Rights
           (1) Established and adopted by the member of the United Nations
           (2) Provided a code of conduct for the treatment of people under the
               protection of their government
      iii) Formation of North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)
      iv) Warsaw Pact
   f) Marshall Plan
5) Efforts for reconstruction of Germany
   a) Democratic government installed in West Germany and West Berlin
   b) Germany and Berlin divided among the four Allied powers
   c) Emergence of West Germany as economic power in postwar Europe
6) Efforts for reconstruction of Japan
   a) U.S. occupation of Japan under MacArthur’s administration
   b) Democracy and economic development
   c) Elimination of Japanese offensive military capabilities
      i) United States’ guarantee of Japan’s security
   d) Emergence of Japan as dominant economy in Asia
7) The Holocaust and ‚Genocide‛
   a) Elements leading to the Holocaust
      i) Totalitarianism combined with nationalism
      ii) History of anti-Semitism
      iii) Defeat in World War I and economic depression blamed on German Jews
      iv) Hitler’s belief in the master race
   b) Final solution
      i) Extermination camps
      ii) Gas chambers

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   c) Examples of other genocides
      i) Armenians
           (1) By leaders of the Ottoman Empire
      ii) Soviet Union
           (1) By Joseph Stalin
               (a) Peasants
               (b) Government and military leaders
               (c) Members of the elite
      iii) Cambodia
           (1) By Pot Pot
               (a) The educated
               (b) Artists
               (c) Technicians
               (d) Former government officials
               (e) Monks
               (f) Minorities
      iv) Rwanda
           (1) By Hutu
               (a) Tutsi minority

Unit Calendar:
      Day 1                Day 2           Day 3           Day 4             Day 5
Topic(s):           Topic(s):         Topic(s):       Topic(s):         Topic(s):
Causes of           Holocaust         Major Events of Outcomes of       Wrap-Up &
WWII & Major        (Genocide) &      WWII contd.     WWII              Unit
Leaders of          Major Events of                                     Assessment
WWII                WWII
Objective(s):       Objective(s):     Objective(s):    Objective(s):    Objective(s):
1, 3, A, B, C        2, 4, A, B, C    4, A, B, C       5, 6, A, B, C    5, 6, A, B, C
Lesson(s): Prezi    Lesson(s):        Lesson(s):       Lesson(s):       Lesson(s):
Lecture, and        Concept           Lecture, and     Discussion and   Short Lecture,
‘Facebook’          Formation,        Completion of    Short Lectures   and Unit Test
Page Creation       Lecture, and      Timeline
                    Beginning of      Creation
Assessment(s):      Assessment(s):    Assessment(s):   Assessment(s):   Assessment(s):
Think Pair          Timeline          Timeline         Discussion       Unit Test
Share Handout                                          Rubric

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Daily Lesson Plans:
Day 1: Causes & Major Leaders of WWII:
       Using a graphic organizer and displaying photographs, audio and video clips,
and documents on an interactive board, I will begin the Unit with a lecture. The
information from this lecture will tie the events of WWII to the ending of WWI, and set
the stage for the rest of the unit. Students will come away from this lecture with a
detailed, and organized, understanding of the causes of WWII. Additionally,
throughout the lecture, students will engage in several think-pair-share activities with a
partner. This will keep students involved in the lecture, and force them to consider the
true meaning and connection of the causes presented.
        Following the lecture, students will complete ‘Facebook’ pages for each of the
major leaders of WWII. Each leader will have biographical information including their
country, allegiance, rank/position, and their role in WWII. Additionally, each leader
will have a ‘friends’ section in which their alliance will be detailed. The final products
will be used as assessments.

Day 2: Holocaust (Genocide) & Major Events of WWII:
       Students will begin the class with a concept formation lesson on Genocide. This
lesson will cement their understanding of Genocide, and it will be applied specifically
to the Holocaust, while other events will be revisited at a later date.
       Following the Genocide Concept Formation lesson, students will receive a short
lecture on the major events of WWII, and will begin creating a timeline and map of the
major events of WWII. Students will use colored pencils to identify alliances on the
map, while also color coding the timeline. The major goal is for students to understand
the large scale of the war, as well as the different challenges that were faced by each
country. Students will have access to textbooks, handouts and an Atlas to complete this
assignment. This timeline will span two lessons, and the final product will be used as
an assessment.

Day 3: Major Events of WWII continued:
       Students will again receive a short lecture on the major events of WWII, and will
complete their timelines. The lecture content will be shaped by observations from the
previous day’s work. Some clarifications will likely be made, and emphasis will be
placed on events as needed. The majority of this class will be used for completion of

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timelines. Students that finish early will be asked to describe links between events, and
presentations will be made if time permits.

Day 4: Outcomes of WWII:
       Initially class will begin with a lecture on the outcomes of WWII. Following the
lecture, students will engage in a discussion based on the lecture, several short
documents, maps, pictures, and videos. The topic(s) for discussion will depend on
perceived knowledge throughout the unit. Possible topics include, dropping of atomic
bombs, differences between NATO and The League of Nations, How hostility
developed between The U.S. and U.S.S.R., What it means to be a super power, and ‘just
war,’ among others. There will be a rubric for the discussion, which will include
discussion etiquette, referencing of sources in discussion, and participation (listening
and talking).

Day 5: Wrap-Up & Unit Test:
       The wrap-up will be based on the unfolding of events over the previous 4
lessons. I will re-cover any information that I feel necessary and answer any questions
that students have prior to the test. Students will also be given 10 minutes of quiet
study time. Lastly, students will complete the unit test. This test will feature multiple
choice, matching, and short answer questions. The assessment will also be revisited in
class, enhancing student understanding of the Unit.

       Throughout this unit there are several opportunities for differentiation, as well as
situations in which differentiation would be necessary. On a large scale several steps
will be taken to ensure that all students understand the expectations for each
assignment. For this purpose, directions will be given verbally, as well as written for all
assignments. I will also write directions on the board when there is no formal
assignment attached to the lesson. Additionally, there will be several opportunities for
students to work with peers for additional understanding throughout the unit.
       On specific lessons, some forms of differentiation that will be present include;
more detailed graphic organizers for regular classes than will be given to honors,
consistently defining terms that are present in readings. For assignments requiring the
use of computers, the librarian will be available to assist with me as needed. Students

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will also have all unit test questions modeled throughout the lesson as they usually only
encounter multiple choice questions.

       The special needs that I must be specifically prepared to accommodate are health
related such as diabetes, as well as a few students who have ADD/ADHD. For the
health concerns I must be prepared to permit bathroom breaks as needed and to
respond to any situation as it comes up. For the learning disabilities, I will continue to
ensure that the students are comfortable in their environment, especially in team
formation, as well as minimize distractions. I will also keep the lessons dynamic to
prevent students from getting complacent or bored throughout lessons. Some other
ways that this lesson can be modified to provide students with special needs maximum
opportunity for success include; providing the text prior to the lesson, and possibly
reading the text aloud.

World War II Unit

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