Driven Back to War, World War II
Seventh Grade History
Seven lessons - 18-20 fifty-minute class periods depending on lecture
The world was driven into conflict just 20 years after the Treaty of Versailles was signed, and the impact of World War II is still felt today all around the world. This content-rich unit examines what propelled nations back into war, the major leaders and events of the Second World War, and the world that was faced with its cleanup in 1945.
A. Concept Objectives
1. Students understand the chronological organization of history and know how to organize events and people in major eras to identify and explain historical relationships. (Colorado State Content Standard History 1)
2. Students know how to use the processes and resources of historical inquiry. (CSCS H 2)
3. Students understand that societies are diverse and have changed over time. (CSCS H 3)
4. Students understand how science, technology, and economic activity have developed, changed, and affected societies throughout history. (CSCS H 4)
5. Students understand political institutions and theories that have developed and changed over time. (CSCS H 5)
6. Students know how to use and construct maps and globes to locate and derive information about people, places, and environments. (Colorado State Content Standards Geography 1)
7. Students understand the effects of interactions between human and physical systems and the changes in meaning, use, distribution, and importance of resources. (CSCS G 5)
B. Content from the Core Knowledge Sequence (pages 165-166)
1. The rise of totalitarianism in Europe
i. Mussolini establishes fascism
ii. Attack on Ethiopia
i. Weimar Republic; economic repercussions of WWI
ii. Adolf Hitler and the rise of Nazi totalitarianism; cult of the Fuhrer (‘leader’); Mein Kampf
iii. Nazism and the ideology of fascism, in contrast to communism and democracy
iv. Racial doctrines of the Nazis; anti-Semitism; the concept of Lebensraum (literally, “living space”) for the “master race”; Kristallnacht
v. The Third Reich before the War: Gestapo, mass propaganda, book burning
c. The Soviet Union
i. Communist totalitarianism: Josef Stalin, “Socialism in one country”
ii. Collectivization of agriculture
iii. Five-year plans for industrialization
iv. The Great Purge
d. Spanish Civil War
i. Franco; International Brigade; Guernica
2. World War II in Europe and at home, 1939-45
a. Hitler defies Versailles Treaty: reoccupation of Rhineland; Anschluss, annexation of Austria
b. Appeasement: Munich Agreement, “peace in our time”
c. Soviet-Nazi Nonaggression Pact
d. Blitzkrieg: invasion of Poland; fall of France; Dunkirk
e. Battle of Britain: Winston Churchill, “nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears, and sweat”
f. The Home Front in America
i. American Lend-Lease supplies; Atlantic Charter
ii. America First movement
iii. U.S. mobilization for war: desegregation of defense industries; “Rosie the Riveter”; rationing; war bonds
iv. America races Germany to develop the atomic bomb; the Manhattan Project
g. Hitler invades Soviet Union: battles of Leningrad and Stalingrad
h. The Holocaust: “Final Solution”; concentration camps (Dachau, Auschwitz)
i. North Africa Campaign; El Alamein
j. D-Day: Allied invasion of Normandy; General Dwight Eisenhower
k. Battle of the bulge; bombing of Dresden
l. Yalta Conference
m. Surrender of Germany; Soviet Army takes Berlin
3. World War II in the Pacific and the end of the war
a. Historical background: Japan’s rise to power
i. Geography of Japan (review all topics from Grade 5)
a) Sea of Japan and Korea Strait
b) High Population density; very limited farmland; heavy reliance on imported raw materials and food
ii. End of Japanese isolation; Commodore Matthew Parry
iii. Meiji Restoration; end of feudal Japan; industrialization and modernization
iv. Japanese imperialism: occupation of Korea; invasion of Manchuria; Rape of Nanking
v. Japanese-Soviet neutrality treaty
b. Pearl Harbor, December 7th, 1941: “A day that will live in infamy.”
c. Internment of Japanese Americans
d. Fall of the Philippines: Bataan Death March; General Douglas MacArthur, “I shall return.”
e. Battle of Midway
f. Island amphibious landings: Guadalcanal, Iwo Jima
g. Surrender of Japan
i. Atom bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki; the Enola Gay
ii. U.S. dictates pacifist constitution for Japan; Emperor Hirohito
h. Potsdam Conference; Nuremberg war crimes trials
i. Creation of United Nations: Security Council; Universal Declaration of Human Right
D. Skill Objectives
1. Identify the various countries and leaders involved in World War II.
2. Analyze the different events following World War I that led to or contributed to the beginning of World War II.
3. Understand the rise of fascism in Europe and its influence and impact on World War II.
4. Analyze the neutrality of the United States and its preparation for the upcoming war.
5. Identify the importance of the development and research of atomic weapons.
6. Construct a map of Japan.
7. Identify how Japan’s Geography limits a growing nation.
8. Investigate Japans rise as an imperialist nation.
9. Identify and use primary sources to interpret Executive Order 9102.
10. Analyze Germany’s change in policy and action towards the Soviet Union.
11. Understand the impact the attack on Pearl Harbor had on the United States role in World War II.
12. Identify the impact that the D-Day invasion had on the war and on the future of the United States.
13. Know the major battles and events of 1943 and how they turned the tide of World War II.
14. Analyze Truman’s decision to use the Atomic Weapon, and its impact on the world and the future.
15. Interpret the writings of the crew from the Enola Gay and their view on the use of the Atomic Weapon.
16. Understand the various meetings of the Big Three and what their plans were, and why their ideas changed.
17. Construct a timeline of World War II events.
18. Know the main events of World War II.
19. Analyze the post war actions of the winning nations in their attempt to avoid another World War, and the strengthening of their countries.