Ch.26 World War II

World War II, the most destructive war in history, resulted in the deaths of more than 40 million people.  More than half of the deaths were civilians, including about six million Jews and many others that were killed in the Holocaust.  At the end of the war, the United States emerged as the strongest nation in the world and the possessor of a powerful weapon - the atomic bomb.  World War II marked the beginning of the nation's role as a superpower.  The war also transformed the American economy into an enormously productive and prosperous economy.

Students will begin by focusing on the causes of World War II and analyzing the rise of dictators in Europe.  We will review key political terms, discuss the major nations involved, and examine the leaders of those countries.  Students will also discuss America's attempt to stay neutral during the early years of the war.  Students will then discuss the early triumphs of Germany in the war.  We will analyze how the U.S. became involved after the attack at Pearl Harbor by the Japanese and FDR's call to arms.

Students will examine life on the homefront and how the U.S. mobilized for war.  They will also discuss the discrimination that certain groups - women, African-Americans, Asian-Americans - faced during this time.  Particular emphasis will be placed on the internment of Japanese-Americans on the West coast and the violation of Constitutional rights that occurred.

Next, we will discuss the turning point of the war and the invasion of Normandy on D-Day.  From there, students will focus on the Holocaust.  We will discuss the events that led up to the "Final Solution" and the impact of this mass genocide.  Finally, students will focus on the end of the war and the decision to drop the atomic bomb on Japan.

Throughout the unit, students will use maps and primary sources to analyze history.  We will also view scenes from the award-winning mini-series "Band of Brothers."  We will visit the Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center and the students will have the opportunity to interact with a guest speaker who survived the Holocaust. 




Pearl Harbor After Visiting Hours: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MgE2KiPd3xg&feature=youtube_gdata_player




** Illinois Holocaust Museum permission form due by Friday, 4/12
    - It can be downloaded below.

** "Band of Brothers" permission form due by Monday, 4/8
    - It can be downloaded below.


* Define WWII Key Terms in Notebook - Completed in class Wednesday, 3/20 and Thursday, 3/21
  - Appeasement, Mobilization, Autocracy, Oligarchy, Democracy, Dictator, Fascism,
    Totalitarianism, Anti-Semitism, and Genocide

* Life on the Homefront Activity - Completed in class Thursday, 4/4
  - For your group of Americans, explain 3-5 positive and 3-5 negative ways the group was affected
    by U.S. involvement in WWII.  
  - Wrap-Up Question: Imagine you lived during the time of WWII.  Which of these groups would you
    have been a part of? Explain how you would have been affected personally by U.S. involvement
    in WWII.

* Ch.26 / Sect.1+2 Quiz - Thursday, 4/11

* Japanese-American Internment Reflection Question - Completed in class the week of 4/8-12
  - Wrap-up Questions:
    1. Was the decision to intern Japanese-Americans a military necessity?  If not, was it justifiable
        for a reason besides military necessity? Explain.
 
    2. Could there have been an alternative to Executive Order 9066 that would have lessened the
        hardships placed on Japanese-Americans during the war?  If yes, explain the possible 
        alternatives/options.  If not, explain why.

* Concentration Camps Reflection Questions - Completed in class Wednesday, 4/17
  - This will be completed as part of a follow-up activity after the field trip to the 
     Holocaust Museum

* Atomic Bomb Persuasive Essay - Due Friday, 5/10
  - Should the United States have used the atomic bomb on Japan to end the war? 
    Support your opinion using details from the class resources and use the MEL-Con format
    for writing.


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