"World War II Remembered" gives students the opportunity to investigate
World War II by learning about events through the stories of people
who experienced them firsthand. Eyewitness accounts unfold around
four significant wartime events: the story of Nazi Germany and Anne
Frank, the attack on Pearl Harbor, life in America during wartime,
and the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, Japan. An oral history writing
activity is woven throughout the project. It is used in conjunction
with the Writer's Workshop.
"World War II Remembered" includes
an abundance of information that can be used flexibly to meet most
classrooms' many needs. Any combination of the events, or just
one single event may be taught. This project can be used over several
weeks of class time, or segments of it can be utilized during a
shorter time frame. It provides opportunities for group collaboration
and exploration as well as for individual learning. Instructors
should feel free to tailor these activities for use with their students.
Visit We Remember Anne Frank or We Witnessed the Attack on Pearl Harbor for more detailed activities and lesson plans
on those specific World War II experiences.
Several assessment components are embedded in this lesson plan.
An Activity Assessment Rubric assesses
student proficiency with the journal activity and a Writing Workshop
rubric assesses student proficiency with the oral history activity.
In the course of participating in "World War II Remembered," students
- learn about World War II, its survivors,
and the war's impact on daily life;
- identify cause and effect relationships
among wartime events;
- draw conclusions about human behavior;
- become familiar with war-related
- improve content-area reading and
- keep a daily journal about personal
reactions to historical events;
- exchange topical information in
- write an oral history;
- become proficient with the interview
- enhance knowledge of online research;
- expand fluency of text structures,
including maps, timelines, diaries, and interviews;
- read nonfiction stories;
- use technology skills to navigate
interactive Web activities and find information.
We Remember Anne Frank
This component gives students the unique opportunity to "meet"
two heroic women whose enduring human spirit and courage in the
face of horror enabled them to risk everything to help Anne Frank
and her family. Students gain important knowledge of World War II
and its devastating effects by doing research online, becoming familiar
with terms and places associated with the Holocaust, and understanding
how events in Europe during the Nazis' rise to power impacted
the lives of real people. For more specific information, please
refer to a separate Teacher's Guide
for this component.
Students explore an eyewitness account of the bombing
of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. They use a timeline to sequence
events surrounding Japan's surprise attack, and analyze the
influence of geographic location and features on political events.
Students also have an opportunity to enrich their vocabulary by
familiarizing themselves with words and phrases associated with
war. For more specific information, please refer to a separate Teacher's
Guide for this component.
The social changes that affected all aspects of American life during
World War II are explored. The personal accounts of two Americans
are at the center of the social upheaval. Betty Reilly reveals the
changes that women's roles underwent during the war and how
this affected the American workplace. Read the transcript of the student interview of Ms. Reilly about her experiences. Norman Mineta discusses his
boyhood experience as a victim of the forced relocation of many,
particularly West Coast-based Nisei and foreign-born Japanese. Students
also explore the changes in everyday life through an interactive
photograph of a "typical" American kitchen and living room. Users
are able to get more information about objects in these rooms by
clicking on them.
World War II Timeline
Using the Tom Snyder ® Productions' Timeliner, students can explore a timeline of important dates and photos of World War II. Using the resources from the project, students can add important information to this timeline. Note: this requires a download.
World War II Remembered Discussion
Join author Ken Mochizuki and Professor Roger Daniels as they discuss the plight of Japanese Americans during World War II. Students can submit questions May 1 through May 31, 2002.
War II Memory Book
Students interview a relative or community member about the war's
impact on his or her life. Four research-based steps develop students'
interviewing skills: finding a subject, preparing for the interview,
interviewing the eyewitness, and writing an oral history. Upon completion
of the interview, students may publish their work online and join
other students in creating a World War II Memory Book. It is used in conjunction with the Writer's Workshop.
A Survivor's Story
Students read the factual account of Mitsuo Tomosawa, an eyewitness
to the bombing of Hiroshima; respond to comprehension questions
about the story; and read a transcript of the student interview
with the eyewitness.
(12 days) Explain to students that they will be learning about
World War II and its effect on the people who lived through it by
studying four significant episodes of the war: the Holocaust,
the attack on Pearl Harbor,
American life during wartime, and the bombing of Hiroshima,
Japan. Inform students that they will be reading firsthand
accounts of these events.
Begin the unit
with a discussion of the knowledge students already possess of World
War II. Hone in particularly on the four events explored here. Record
responses on the chalkboard. Have students keep a World War II journal
in which they record their reactions and feelings to the material
as they work through the project. Share the journal rubric with
students to inform them of what their journals should accomplish.
Have students record their thoughts about the new information in
their journal. Students can also find valuable
background information on World War II on the World Wide Web.
Assign the oral
history writing activity and visit the World War II Memory Book
Writer's Workshop. Monitor students' progress in the writing
activity as they work independently and in pairs throughout the
life of the "World War II Remembered" project. Allow some class
time every day for students to return to their oral histories. Check
with students on their progress on a regular basis. Students can
find transcripts of interviews with Miep
Gies, Hanneli Pick-Goslar,
the Ganos, and Francis
Mitsuo Tomosawa to use as models.
Engage students in a discussion about their knowledge of Anne
Frank and the Holocaust. Show them pictures that relate to Anne
Frank and the events surrounding her life. Have students record
reflections in their journals.
and the Holocaust (12 days)
Introduce the story of Anne Frank
and Her Diary. Have students refer to the Holocaust
Glossary when encountering terms they don't know.
to submit three questions they have about the effects of World War
II and the Holocaust on people like Anne Frank. Explain that they
will be discussing answers to these questions in the coming week.
of Miep Gies (2 days)
Read the story
of Miep Gies. Have students take notes
on Miep's actions and their consequences. Discuss why Miep took
risks and how students would have acted if put in Miep's shoes.
Have students read Miep's
interview transcript for other information, such as what the
Secret Annex looked like, Anne's personality, how Anne's
diary was found, and life after the war. Let students know that
they will be interviewing someone who remembers World War II. Then
discuss interview elements, such as the types of questions asked,
the main idea of interview questions, and so on.
Courage (2 days)
Stories of Courage writing activity.
Show students how to access the list of Holocaust Rescuers and Survivors
provided in the activity. Encourage them to select one person to
If students conduct interviews for this activity, refer them to
tips on the interview process of the memory book.
to read one of the twelve online biographies available through the
Stories of Courage activity. Have them react to what they read by
writing a poem, essay, dialogue, etc. Have students write a Story
of Courage when they have finished researching and writing. Discuss
the activity with the class before students begin their work.
of Hanneli Pick-Goslar (23 days)
Read the story
of Anne Frank's friendship with Hanneli by clicking through
Memories of a Friendship. As they
read the story, ask students to write down questions they have.
Read the interview with
Hanneli Pick-Goslar to see if any of students' questions are
answered. Encourage students to take notes on the interview process
while reading. Have students pay attention to the interviewer's
tone, and notice the various subject areas of the interview. Explain
that this will help them with the interview they conduct for the
describe orally or in writing their impressions of Hanneli and what
they learned about the Holocaust.
For more detailed
information on Anne Frank and the Holocaust, please refer to a separate
Teacher's Guide for this component.
information about the Holocaust and Anne Frank. Display a map of the
world and point out Europe and the Netherlands, where Anne Frank
lived. Then point out the geographic location of Hawaii and Pearl
Harbor in the Pacific Ocean. Explain that the war had eventually
spread to half of the globe. Talk about distances that are topically
Engage students in a discussion about their knowledge of the
bombing of Pearl Harbor. Show them pictures that relate to the event.
Have students record new information in their journals.
History of Japanese-American Relations (2 days)
Assign small groups to research an event on the timeline leading up to December 7. Have students start by clicking
each date to access detailed information about the event. The hyper-linked
Web sites within the text will provide additional online resources.
Ask groups to present their event to the class, including their
response to the discussion starters related to various items on
For more detailed
information on Pearl Harbor, please refer to the Teacher's
Guide for this component.
7 (12 days)
Begin by reviewing
the hour-by-hour events, re-creating
history with students.
to record three questions in their journals that they may have about
the effects of World War II and Pearl Harbor on its survivors. Explain
that they will be discussing answers to these questions later in
Eyewitnesses (12 days)
Read the profile with Pearl Harbor eyewitnesses Johnie
and Dale Gano. Have students develop three questions they would
ask the Ganos if they were interviewers. Students can read the questions
aloud and discuss why they believe these would be good interview
questions. Then they can read through the transcripts of the interview
with the Ganos to see if their questions have been answered. If
questions were not answered, have small groups discuss possible
Have small groups discuss answers to their questions about Pearl
Harbor and record personal responses in their journals. Explain
that Pearl Harbor was the event that caused the United States to
join World War II, and that the bombing of Hiroshima was one of
the main events that ushered in the end of the war.
Build Background (half day)
Engage students in a discussion about their knowledge of American
life during World War II. Show them pictures that relate to the
event, and visit Web sites listed in the Resources. Have students
record reflections on the new information in their journals.
Homemaker to Shipbuilder (3-4 days)
Have students read the account of Elizabeth
"Betty" Reilly. If computer resources are an issue, print out
pages for individual reading. Have students click the hyperlinked
Web sites within the text for additional relevant information and
definitions of war-related vocabulary. Encourage students to react
to the comprehension prompts at the end of each page in their journals.
You may wish to have students listen to a version of the "Rosie
the Riveter" song. Read the lyrics with the class along with
the song. Divide the class into small groups. Circulate the following
questions for small-group discussion.
- What can
you infer about the American workplace prior to World War II?
- How might
women's perceptions of themselves have changed during World
War II? Why?
- Imagine that
it's 1941. You and your group members are listening to the
radio. You have just heard that Pearl Harbor has been bombed.
How would each of you have reacted?
- Why do you
think it's important to remember Betty Reilly and others like
- Compare life
during World War II and your life today. How are they different?
How are they similar? (Have students work through the interactive
home life activity before they answer this set of questions.)
- Both men
and women were responsible for ending the war. What do you think
this means? Do you agree or disagree? Why?
to present their information in a whole-class discussion. Create
a compare and contrast chart on the chalkboard and have volunteers
organize the group's responses to question 5 in the chart. Prompt
students to add reflections to their journals.
Americans: The War at Home (2 days)
Join the discussion: Have students prepare a list of questions they would like to ask either author Ken Mochizuki or Professor Roger Daniels. They may use what they've learned about Japanese internment camps, Norman Mineta's experiences during the war, and racism in 1940s America. Give students time to discuss what they've written.
Have students decide which questions would be best to ask in the discussion. Arrange a submission day, or schedule submissions over several days. Remember to submit questions from May 1 to May 31, 2002.
Have students read the account of Norman
Mineta. If computer resources are an issue, print out pages
for individual reading. Discuss the story and the comprehension
prompts at the end of each page with students. Prompt students to
add reflections to their journals.
Have a whole-class discussion about the interview process in
the context of the interview with Betty Reilly. Ask students to
respond to the following questions:
- What did
you learn from the interview that could help you to prepare your
own interview or oral history writing?
- What kinds
of questions are helpful? What kinds might you want to avoid?
Engage students in a discussion about their knowledge of the
bombing of Hiroshima. Show them pictures that relate to the event.
Have students record reflections in their journals.
A Survivor's Story (2 days)
Students read the account of Francis
Mitsuo Tomosawa's pre-war years in Hawaii, his adolescence
in wartime Japan, his extraordinary story of survival in the aftermath
of the bombing, and his struggle to return to America. Discuss the
story and the comprehension prompts with students.
Have students prepare a list of questions they would have asked
Mr. Tomosawa. They may use what they've learned about Tomosawa,
Hiroshima, and the interview process to develop their questions.
Give students time to discuss what they've written.
- Have students
read the transcript of the interview with Francis
Mitsuo Tomosawa to see if their questions are answered.
students to react to the interview with Tomosawa by writing a
one-paragraph profile about this World War II survivor. Profiles
should include personal reactions to Mr. Tomosawa's wartime
experience, a life lesson learned from Mitsuo, and a fact about
the war's effects on people that Mitsuo's story helped
- Ask students
to incorporate new interview skills they've learned into their
own Memory Book activity.
Build a Timeline
Note: You will need to download the Tom Snyderâ Productions Timeliner Demo 5.0 before using the timeline in the classroom. Click here for download directions.
Build Background (half day)
Engage students in a discussion about what they have learned about World War II. Discuss the timeline of events for the United States and the world. Discuss important dates of the war and as a class, record these dates.
Build Your Own Timeline (2 days)
Assign small groups to research one of the dates discussed earlier. Have the students find information as well as one piece of media (photograph, film, or sound file) from the Internet. Tom Snyder has a good resource list of sites for finding images and clip art. Once students have gathered their information, as a class, compile the information. Students will enter this information into the World War II Timeline (TBD), which they can print out. (Note: Students will not be able to save their timelines with the Tom Snyder Demo. Make sure you have enough time left in the class for students to enter their information in one sitting.)
It Up (15 days)
can spend the final few days finishing any incomplete writing
and extension activities.
- Allow students
time to finish their oral histories and use the rest of the week
to publish them in the Memory Book
in the Writer's Workshop.
- Collect student
journals for assessment.
may share copies of pages of their World War II journals with
the class. You may wish to publish journal entries from in a classroom
World War II Journal. Students may wish to post these on a Class
This project aids students in meeting national standards in several
National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS)
- Culture (Students learn how
to understand multiple perspectives that derive from different
cultural vantage points.)
- Time, Continuity, and Change
(Students study how the world has changed in order to gain perspective
on the present and the future.)
- People, Places, and Environments
(Students utilize technological advances to connect to the world
beyond their personal locations. The study of people, places,
and human-environment interactions assists learners as they create
their spatial views and geographic perspectives of the world.)
- Individual Development and Identity
(Students learn to ask questions such as Why do people behave
as they do? What influences how people learn, perceive, and grow?)
- Individuals, Groups, and Institutions
(Students study interactions among individuals, groups, and institutions.)
- Power, Authority, and Governance
(Students study how people create and change structures of power,
authority, and governance.)
- Civic Ideas and Practices
(Students study the ideals, principles, and practices of citizenship
in a democratic republic.)
- Global Connections (Students
analyze patterns and relationships within and among world cultures.)
- Production, Distribution, and
Consumption (Students study how people organize for the production,
distribution, and consumption of goods and services.)
- Science, Technology, and Society
(Students study relationships among science, technology, and society.)
Reading/Language Arts National Council
of Teachers of English (NCTE) and the International Reading Association
- Students read a wide range of print
and non-print texts to build an understanding of texts, of themselves,
and of the cultures of the United States and the world; to acquire
new information; to respond to the needs and demands of society
and the workplace; and for personal fulfillment. (1)
- Students adjust their use of spoken,
written, and visual language (e.g., conventions, style, vocabulary)
to communicate effectively with a variety of audiences and for
different purposes. (4)
- Students employ a wide range of
strategies as they write and use different writing process elements
appropriately to communicate with different audiences for a variety
of purposes. (5)
- Students apply knowledge of language
structure, language conventions (e.g., spelling and punctuation),
media techniques, figurative language, and genre to create, critique,
and discuss print and non-print texts. (6)
- Students conduct research on issues
and interests by generating ideas and questions, and by posing
problems. They gather, evaluate, and synthesize data from a variety
of sources (e.g., print and non-print texts, artifacts, people)
to communicate their discoveries in ways that suit their purpose
and audience. (7)
- Students use a variety of technological
and information resources (e.g., libraries, databases, computer
networks, video) to gather and synthesize information and to create
and communicate knowledge. (8)
- Students develop an understanding
of and respect for diversity in language use, patterns, and dialects
across cultures, ethnic groups, geographic regions, and social
- Students participate as knowledgeable,
reflective, creative, and critical members of a variety of literacy
- Students use spoken, written, and
visual language to accomplish their own purposes (e.g., for learning,
enjoyment, persuasion, and the exchange of information). (12)
Technology Foundation Standards for Students
- use technology tools to enhance
learning, increase productivity, and promote creativity
- use technology tools to collaborate,
publish, and interact with peers, experts, and other audiences
- use a variety of media and formats
to communicate information and ideas effectively to multiple audiences
- use technology to locate, evaluate,
and collect information from a variety of sources
- use technology tools to process
data and report results · employ technology in the development
of strategies for solving problems in the real world
- Using computer
software such as ClarisWorks, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Works
or The Writing Center by The Learning Company, have students
create and maintain electronic versions of their journals. Allow
students to illustrate their work by using the drawing and painting
features of the software. In addition to recording their personal
reactions, the journal can be used for keeping notes, creating
glossaries of unfamiliar words, and storing pertinent questions.
- Provide a
classroom bulletin board or school area where students are responsible
for developing a special display on The Diary of Anne Frank
or one of the other World War II events. Assign a group of students
the task of designing the bulletin board. The idea could be expanded
to include different types of diaries, such as picture (drawing)
or electronic journals. Invite other subject-area teachers such
as the art teacher to participate in expanding this activity.
- Have students use the Tom Snyderâ Productions Timeliner or print the World War II timeline and add images or drawings to create a full World War II multimedia timeline.
- Have students
use questions, answers, and facts they've learned throughout
the project to compile a list. Invite students to turn five items
into question and answer form. These should involve the effects
of the war on people. (Grades 46)
- Ask students
to develop their own personal timeline about their families during
the years 19411945, or a timeline of their own lives. A time
line can be as traditional in format as a listing of events. A
timeline could also be represented through a chart, photographs,
or objects. (Grades 56)
- Display a
world map, marking the location of the historical events described
throughout this project. Where did the events occur? Research
what life was like in your community during World War II. How
did the events impact your community? Compare and contrast life
then and now. (Grades 68)
- Have students
create a map of the world that reveals relevant information concerning
different nations' roles in the war. Ideas for map subjects
include: which nations were at war, allied and axis nations, numbers
and location of injured or lost populations, military strength
in numbers, cities bombed or destroyed by the war, the economic
cost of the war, and so forth. Suggest that students develop and
create a key. (Grades 78)
the events surrounding World War II were devastating to the world's
nations and resources, science made several important gains. Have
students research a scientific breakthrough that occurred during
the war period. Students can write a paper, give an oral report,
keep a historical journal, or create artwork that depicts a relevant
experience. In their work, students should include the effects
the scientific breakthrough had on society and the world as a
whole. (Grades 78)
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