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WWII – The European and Pacific Theaters

Congratulations! You and a partner have been hired by American History Rules! Cool School Stuff, an emerging educational supply company, to create an interactive  map that helps support an important standard for learning about World War II – the TURNING POINTS of the war.  To do so, you will use Google Maps to display and annotate the major events in the Atlantic and Pacific Theaters during World War II. Follow the instructions handed out in class to develop a best selling educational tool!  Check out Taft’s example for Pearl Harbor on this map.

View America in World War II in a larger map

Everyone should watch the video below – it will give you a great overview of the entire Atlantic / European theater.

To add to your maps, you can use this great animated overview of the war in Europe.  You can also consult  World War II in Europe from the United States Holocaust Memorial MuseumWorld War II from PBS, and another awesome interactive map. Another overview map may be helpful as well.

Then, check out the individual links below.

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Assignment April 15/16 – WORLD WAR II

Click for a more detailed image of this awesome poster

And now … the most important global event of the 20th century — WORLD WAR II.  We will dive into WWII this week, use it as part of our focus in Washington DC, and return to the conflict when we get back from our historical odyssey.  What will we be examining with this very popular topic in American history?






In addition, you will have an individual assignment that will hopefully pique your interest – come up with a quesrtions that you want answered about America in WWII … and answer it – in any fashion that you choose!

How will you find out what topic you want to chooose?  Play around with some of the sites below – they are chock full cool stuff.

Once you have decided your topic and compelling question, fill in the form below!

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In class April 15/16 – INFAMY

I’m sure you have some questions about what happened on December 7, 1941, right? To find out, spend some time reading over the information on the Pearl Harbor fact sheet and read/listen to FDR’s December 8 speech and answer the short questions. Check out the video presented in class, and if you want,  spend 15 minutes or so with the various links about Pearl Harbor here.  As you do, think about (don’t write …)

  • Why were tensions high between the United States and Japan in the 1930s and early 1940s?
  • What was the purpose for Japan’s attack on the American forces at Pearl Harbor?
  • What happened on the attack?
  • How successful were the Japanese in their attack on Pearl Harbor? What was the damage to the American fleet?
  • What, if anything, did the United States know about the Japanese plans? What are the “conspiracy theories” racing around the web that you should read with skepticism?
  • What did FDR say about the attack? (Read his speech on the back of your handout as you listen to him deliver it)
  • What was the overall impact of the attack on the United States and the American people?

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Assignment April 13/14 – America’s Path to War

We know a little about how WWII started in Europe – but how did the US get involved in this global conflict?  How did American go from ISOLATION to INTERVENTION? Let’s find out!

Complete your “From Isolation to Intervention” notes  tonight and tomorrow using the resources available here PDF .  Make sure you use the following videos –  should also out the videos about American Isolationism in the 1930s, the Cash and Carry Planthe Lend Lease Actthe Atlantic Charter, and the path to “infamy” with Japan.


The video below will give you an awesome overview of America going to war – watch it for review!

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In class April 12/13 – The Path to War

For many of you, it’s the topic you have been looking forward to for the entire year – World War II. I hope our studies won’t let you down! Let’s begin with a reason to study it – tell me why!

Take a look at the origins of the war using the resources around the room and below.  Make sure those notes are complete!

Want to follow the “Road to War” on  your handout?  Use the voicethread below (or click on this link) to get an overview of how Europe went from some dictators rising in power to the Axis controlling almost the entire continent.

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Assignment April 9/10 – Goodbye to that old depressed feeling …

Hopefully the Depression wasn’t too depressing for everyone, and the New Deal wasn’t too … well … boring. Thanks for the great debates today!  I assume everyone understands the importance of FDR’s program of precedent setting legislation. Let’s find out with an open note, open web, flying solo Depression and New Deal online quiz. The quiz is availabale on MyUSM, and you will notice that there are quesrtions that will need to be evaluated by hand – so don’t freak if your score seems low at the start!  Please finish the quiz by Monday, making sure you pay carefull attention to instructions and consider the Common Trust.

Your  Federal Project Number One should be completed by Monday as well.  Submit it electronically on Google Classroroom or print it and hand it to me Monday morning. Make sure you consult the rubric

Next week, we begin WORLD WAR II!

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Assignment April 7/8 – Getting ready to debate the New Deal

I pledge you, I pledge myself, to a new deal for the American people.

We have a lot of background knowledge on the government programs of FDR’s administration during the economic crisis of the Great Depression, including many of the Alphabet Soup programs.  Our next step is to discuss the short term and long term legacy of the plan with an in-class debate on Thursday/Friday.

Carefully consult and use your discussion handout (or your own format) to prepare for at least three of the five major topics of discussion:

  1. Was the New Deal successful in dealing with the economic crisis of the 1930s?
  2. Did FDR have too much power as President during the New Deal?
  3. Did the New Deal help all segments of the population?
  4. Was the government moving too close toward socialism during the New Deal?
  5. Is the long term legacy of the New Deal positive for the United States?

The materials already discussed in class and the following resources should be helpful, but you can also find your own – make sure they are reliable! Statistics and primary sources are great to support an opinion.

There will be a chance for back channel interaction in class – want to get started early?

New Deal Debate 1 / New Deal Debate 2 / New Deal Debate 3 / New Deal Debate 4 / New Deal Debate 5

Finally, you should post and describe AT LEAST one recent article, image, or video about something in our current society that relates to some aspect, argument, or program originating during the New Deal.  The catch – YOU CAN’T MAKE ANY REPEATS IN YOUR PERIOD – first posted, first served. Post on the proper section, and include a short explanation and your name.

NewDealToday1 / NewDealToday2 / NewDealToday3 / NewDealToday4 / NewDealToday5

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Alphabet Soup Madness seedings!

Here they are -the first round match-ups for Alphabet Soup Madness:

#1 WPA vs #8 AAA

#4 TVA vs #5 PWA

#2 CCC vs #7 NRA

#3 SSA vs #6 NLRB

Make sure you can discuss the ins an outs of your program in the tournament on Tuesday/Wednesday!

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In class and assignment April 2/6 – Hello, FDR! Hello, New Deal!

Was the New Deal a positive step for America? That’s an essential question for this unit, and you will be developing a foundation of information regarding the New Deal in a lengthy study guide in order to help answer this question. You can write your guide using the one provided, or use this FDR NewDeal document  if you want to type it.

Your resources for the guide are available on the New Deal Study Guide resource page.


Carefully follow directions on all parts of the assignment!  In order to prove that you have read them, write or type “loves history” after your name on your answer sheet!

Here’s a quick introduction to get your brain thinking about the New Deal – take a look!

You should also check out the outside assignment for the New Deal – Federal Project Number One.  This is a creative assignment based on some of the programs in the New Deal.  You will choose ONE of the assignments and work on it over the next week.  This creative assignment is due by April 13.

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Assignment March 31/April 1 – Life During the Depression

You have seen many of the effects of the Depression on the general public, and also a little bit about the approach of the Hoover administration.  What about specific groups of the population that were affected in various ways?  Remember, the Depression only directly affected one-third of the population – but those that were hit really suffered!  Consult the “Life During the Depression” reading and  take some bulleted notes that everyone should know about the plight of some specific groups during the thirties.  There is an example from African Americans during the Depression on your notes handout – use that as a guide. Try to spend no more than five minutes or so on each – and you can work with a partner if you like! Your goal isnlt to memroize everything – just get a general idea about the challenges different Americans faced during the Depression.

You may also want to review what happened on a bank run – check out the video below!

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