WE CAN DO IT! The WWII Home Front – for May 6/7

“War is no longer simply a battle between armed forces in the field. It is a struggle in which each side strives to bring to bear against the enemy the coordinated power of every individual and of every material resource at its command. The conflict extends from the soldier in the front line to the citizen in the remotest hamlet in the rear.”  

American government report from 1939

The American home front was essential to the success of the US and the Allies in World War II, so one of our essential questions must be about the Home Front – right?  Check out the reading guide handed out in class.

Examine the content checklist first, and then tackle the reading about  Pearl Harbor: Galvanizing the Nation Rationing and War Bonds – Daily Life During the War and Division and Unity – The Internal Conflicts , all from Jackdaw Publications. Complete these before returning to school after DC.

Want to do a little role play ion the home front? ?

What was the household like on the home front?  Check it out!

You can also check out the video below for a little home front info …

And, of course, our good AHR friend John Green …

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THE ATOMIC BOMB – Preparation for April 26

It is one of (if not THE) the most important single decisions of the 20th century (source, source).  The short term and long term impact of the use of the atomic bomb have been debated since August of 1945.  On Friday, we will be discussing and debating the use of atomic weapons to end to the Pacific War in World War II.  To prepare for our combination class, use the following material online and any other reliable information you discover to develop an option on the use of atomic weapons on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945.

GET THE BASIC FACTS – Use your “You Decide” handout and the video below to get an overview of the event.  You can also consult The Bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki from the History Channel. You should all know the basics facts behind the event.

EXAMINE THE OPINIONS – Perspectives on the bomb are all over the internet, both scholarly and not so scholarly. You can start taking some notes on the two sides of the story using the resources below.


We will have a discussion/debate in combo classes on Friday.  To prepare, you should develop THREE CLAIMS about the decision to use atomic weapons, supported by evidence and reasoning you will have the opportunity to discuss your opinion about the use of atomic weapons by the United States at the end of World War II.  TWO CLAIMS should be on one side of the debate, and ONE CLAIM should be on the opposing side.

You will be able to choose your side when you come to class on Friday – and that choice can be either side, no matter how many claims you have for your choice. Our goal is to examine this controversial subject completely, and your goal is to express your perspective clearly.

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The Turning Points of the Pacific War

Got the turning points of the war in Europe?  Good!  Now, it’s on to the other theater – the Pacific!

Use the links below (and any other reliable resource)  to add the Pacific component to your awesome WWII maps.

You can watch the video overview to get a feel for the entire war in that theater.  (usmstudent, wildcats) We will watch parts in class as well …

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Want more cool info about WWII?

The internet abounds with awesome sites on the greatest global conflict in history.  Check out some of these:

The American Battle Monuments Commission has some awesome WWII interactives -I love World War II: A Visual History to start.  They also have great narratives of some of the military engagements, including  The Battle of the AtlanticThe Strategic Bombing CampaignThe Sicilian CampaignEntering Italy: The Naples-Foggia CampaignLiberating Rome: The Anzio and Rome Arno CampaignsThe Normandy CampaignThe Battle of Pointe du Hoc,

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Learning Experience for April 17 (all classes) – The American Military in WWII

As we examine the flow of the war in Europe and the Pacific, you surely will wonder … Who were the men and women that served in Europe and the Pacific? Please read and interact with the American Troops in WWII.  This reading will give you an idea about the makeup of the men and women that served in the American military during the war.


You can (and should) also spend some time examining some of the amazing primary sources from the PBS The War website about being At War.  Take a look at these as models for oral history!

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Learning Experience April 15/16 – MAPPING WWII – The War in Europe

  • I can explain the major turning points of the war and contrast military campaigns in the European and Pacific theaters.
  • I can summarize the essential information and impact of a historical event.
  • I can geographically present the flow of World War II.

The National Content Standards of American History identify that all US history students should be able to explain the major turning points of World War II – so that’s what I am expecting from my young historians!  Over the next week, we will see the progression of the war.  Your major task is to develop an annotated map that not only locates each of the major turning points, but also offers essential information about the event.  For each location listed, you should have a proper location on your map, a title, a date, and a brief overview of the event and its impact.  For an example, take a look at my map with Pearl Harbor. My description is probably a little more detailed, with a quote, an image, and a resource or two.  Those options are up to you – whatever it takes to hit the targets.

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 Museum and another overview map may be helpful as well.

Then, check out the individual links below.

Click for a larger map of the European Theater

Click for a larger map of the Pacific Theater


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From Isolation to Intervention – Learning experience for April 15/16

We now 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? That’s our target, so let’s find out!

Complete your “From Isolation to Intervention” notes  using the website provided for you by your fave 8th grade American history teacher.   Make sure you check out the videos on the site!  This experience will take you longer than 25 minutes – don’t save it for one sitting!

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

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The Origins of WWII – Review

Did you miss class on Friday/Monday?  Want to add to your sketch notes?  Need to know more about the start of WWII? Check out America in the 20th Century: World War II: The Road to War from class – usmstudent, wildcats

You can also check out this AMAZING interactive of World War II from my good friends at the American Battle Monuments Commission (seriously, I met the External Affairs head, and he is super cool).

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Depression and New Deal Quiz


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Preparation for April 9/10 – Debating the New Deal!


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 Tuesday and Wednesday. Carefully consult and use your New Deal debate 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.

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