World War II

World War II

In this unit students will connect past and present experiences of war by interviewing, researching, and analyzing different sources. They will also compare the ideologies that were the driving forces behind each major country involved in World War II. By the end of the unit, students will be able to discuss, defend, and draw conclusions about major events/controversies that happened during the war.

This unit was created by Carson Klute in the ESUCC Nebraska BlendEd Learning Group.

Content Area Skill:

Vocabulary, Analyzing Historical Sources, Multiple Perspectives

Digital Age Skill(s):

Creative Communicator, Digital Citizen  

Duration of Unit:

2+ Weeks

Empower Learners:

Content Area Skills

Student Friendly Learning Objectives:

SS 12.4.4.a (US) Compare and evaluate contradictory historical narratives of Twentieth-Century U.S. History through determination of credibility, contextualization, and corroboration

I can analyze a historical topic through different types of resources while being able to determine if those resources are accurate and reliable. 

SS 12.4.4.c (US) Evaluate how decisions affected events in the United States (e.g., Supreme Court Decisions, revolutions, alliances, treaties)

I can examine and defend or argue against different controversial decisions made throughout WWII i.e. D-Day and the dropping of the atomic bomb, the draft, etc.

SS 12.4.3.a (US) Analyze and evaluate how multiple perspectives facilitate the understanding of the full story of US history (e.g., Immigration, early 20th Century African American leaders, World Wars, international trade agreements, women’s rights)

I can view the holocaust, invasion of Russia, and ideas of non-interventionism through the perspective of several different sides of the conflict.  

SS 12.4.2 (US) Students will analyze and evaluate the impact of people, events, ideas, and symbols upon US history using multiple types of sources.

I can evaluate the decisions made by Roosevelt, Wilson, and other leaders to analyze how those decisions changed the direction of American foreign policy. 

Empower Learner Activity:

Students will evaluate their own abilities with student-friendly “I can” statements using this Google Form on a 1-4 scale.

Download: WWII_Assessment.pdf

Knowledge Application Artifact Profile:

Title of the Artifact:

Veteran Interview: Then and Now

Detailed Description:

In groups, students will interview anywhere from 4-6 veterans ranging from (hopefully) WWII - Afghanistan/Iraq. They will have the opportunity to visit local nursing homes for older veterans or get in contact with someone they know that served. 

The goal of this is to compare military service across decades and to analyze the difference in mindset, training, enemies, and training. 

The final product will depend on what the students choose to do with their interview. A few of the choices may include a podcast-type interview, a documentary, or a mini-movie showcasing what they found. 

Content Area Skills Addressed:

- Compare and evaluate different historical narratives.

- Evaluating decisions made by the United States.

- Analyze history how multiple perspectives encompass the full story of the United States.  

Digital Age Skills

- Knowledge Constructor: Students explore real-world issues and strive to find solutions.

- Creative Communicator: Students choose the appropriate platform for meeting the desired objectives. 

Rubric PDF

Download: Veteran_Interview_Rubric.pdf

Knowledge Deepening Tasks:

Task 1: Allied vs Axis Leaders

Description: The students will complete mini biographies for the 6 main leaders of the countries involved. (Three from the Allies and three from the Axis) A specific student will be responsible for choosing two of the mentioned leaders, but one has to be from each side. They will be responsible for sharing a brief presentation over the people they chose to study. 

Must Do’s: Answer questions on subjects: Motivation, reason for joining the war, goals for the war, and major ideas promoted. 

May Do’s: Students may complete the questions on any two of the three leaders of each side of WWII. However, one must be from each opposing side. 


Biography Presentation Rubric (PDF found below)

Download: Leadership_Presentation.pdf

Task 2: Days 2-7 (Same format, different topics covered)

Description: At the beginning of these six (or more) days in a row of blending new material with individual work time, students will first be handed a sheet with a brief description of the following six main topics that we will cover in class. Those topics are the build up of the war, the holocaust, controversial decisions during the war, life at home in America/Britain, life as a soldier during the war, and finally, meaningful dates and/or battles. 

After students have been given adequate time to look over and process these six main idea, they are to choose three topics they want to become experts in. They will look at the choice board and make a choice of what event they want to do and what way they will become experts at showing their knowledge. Those ways are listed on the board and they must have one of each color. 

At the beginning of the day, the teacher will begin by giving information to the students about one of the six main ideas. Some days the information will be direct instruction, other times small groups and readings students will do on their own. Each day, students will do a check for learning via Flipgrid, 3-2-1 Questions, (Three things you learned, two questions, one interesting fact) or Google Form.

After 15 minutes, students will then be given work time to work on their topic and choice board. 

Must Do’s: Students must choose three of the six topics (unless otherwise discussed) and then choose three (one of each color) choice board activities. 

Students also must participate and complete activities during the mini-lesson even if they are not choosing that topic for the choice board activity.

May Do’s: Students may choose any of the three main topics. They also may choose any activity they wish to complete. 


Choice Board (PDF found below)

Download: Choice_Board.pdf

Direct Instruction Learning Path:

Day #


BlendEd Model



Previewing leaders of Axis/Allied countries

Whole group instruction, independent work. (Flex)


Mini-lesson (Build-up and goals of Germany) and work time.

Direct Instruction


Mini-lesson (Holocaust) and work time.



Mini-lesson (Decisions and Controversies) and work time.

Whole Group Rotation


Mini-lesson (Wartime Life - Focus everyday life including government propaganda) and work time.



Mini-lesson (Life as a soldier) and work time.

Whole Group


Mini-lesson (Meaningful Dates/Battles) and work time.

Whole Group


Possible Presentation Days - Teacher Discretion


Possible Presentation Days - Teacher Discretion


Artifact - Veteran Interview



Artifact - Veteran Interview



Artifact - Video Work



Artifact - Video Work


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