TeachersFirst's Pearl Harbor and World War II Resources
This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers and students honor Pearl Harbor Day and the important events of World War II through related projects and classroom activities. Whether you focus on Pearl Harbor for one class or spend an entire unit on World War II or the Holocaust, the ideas included within the "In the Classroom" portion of reviews will launch discussions and meaningful projects for student-centered learning. Take your classes beyond infamy to inspiration.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomBring history lessons about the 20th century alive by reviewing World War II photographs, videos, and interviews with survivors from the United Kingdom. Then ask your class to upload photographs of artifacts, people, film clips or conduct interviewers with survivors in their own community. Record the interview with a site such as Vocaroo reviewed here. Compare and contrast the experiences of both groups during the War. Have students in family and consumer science research fashion, clothing, food, and/or drink from various locations and time periods. Enrich an anticipatory set about William Shakespeare with photographs of his birthplace, Macduff's castle, the Globe Theatre, and his cottage in Stratford. Younger children will enjoy the numerous digital images of animals and antique toys. Prepare a series of topic albums for students to access and use for research by using the sites "My Album" feature.
Grades6 to 12
tag(s): d day (8)
In the ClassroomShare this collection as the basis of a research project on D Day or as one of several for World War II. Choose from various project options in the reviews.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomHelp students see real world applications of science and the relationship of science to history by exploring this site. Assign student groups to investigate one aspect of science/technology and its impact on the war's outcome. Some portions of the site include text explanations, so be sure to partner ESL/ELL students or weak readers with someone who can help. Have students create multimedia presentations using a tool such as ThingLink, reviewed here, or Gravit, reviewed here, underscoring the role of that technology. Connect this study to more current technologies and their role in the military or national security. Challenge students to decide: Does science drive history or does the military drive science? Even science teachers can take a moment on D-Day or Veterans Day to highlight the role of science in changing the course of history.
Grades5 to 12
In the ClassroomUse your interactive whiteboard or projector to take your class on a virtual field trip to Amsterdam to visit the Secret Annex where they can realize what it was actually like for Anne Frank's family and four others to live inside a hidden space, with the constant fear of being discovered by the Nazis. Help the words in Anne's diary come alive by showing what the outside and inside of the building looked like, by viewing the painstaking ways that were taken to keep them safe, and by looking at the space where Anne ate, slept, and hung her pictures. Students will be more likely to relate to Anne as a real person, instead of a fictional character, and admire her optimism, courage, and resiliency. Use this to initiate journal entries for students to reflect on how they would handle two years of hiding and sharing a small space with others, as well as what they would do to remain positive, or use the online exhibit to shed some light on a dark period in history and to strengthen the personal account of the hiding period and the deportation to the camps. Assign class members to read about one of the house members or helpers to research, then have them write a diary (or blog entry) from that person's point of view. Assign teams to debate who was the most important member of the household or if this situation could take place in today's society. Not comfortable with wikis? Have no wiki worries - check out the TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through.Have groups compare two people they learned about using a tool such as the Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here). Create a class wiki for students to share their journal articles and respond to others.
Grades5 to 12
In the ClassroomThis is a great site to add to your class web page during your study of Anne Frank and the Holocaust, or as part of the themes of discrimination and resiliency. Use it as an introduction before reading The Diary of Anne Frank by displaying the website on your interactive whiteboard or projector to spark a whole class investigation of Anne Frank's childhood and family, her teenage years in hiding and the people who helped, the betrayal, the captivity and suffering in the concentration camps, and her diary. Students may continue exploring and learning on their own in the computer lab or with a class set of laptops. You can easily develop a checklist to direct students to the links that you want to emphasize and to keep them on task while navigating the site. There are even online multiple-choice quizzes about Anne Frank and her diary. Consider having cooperative learning groups create multimedia presentations about Anne Frank. How about online books using a site such as Bookemon, reviewed here.
Grades3 to 12
In the ClassroomAsk your students to visit the site and create a multimedia presentation from the information about any specific year they see there. Or have them compare life in two different decades. Have students create online books using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here. Or challenge students to create an online poster using Padlet (reviewed here).
When studying literature, point out this site as a source authors might use for cultural background information in their writing. Pick out the details while reading a novel, for example, that might be found at this site. Or before studying a historical period, use this site as an anticipatory set or "activator" on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Have students collect information tidbits and predict what might be put into the site for the current year.
Ask your ESL/ELL students to share similar information about the years they were born and the events that occurred in their home cultures. Use the site when preparing a unit on summarizing or informational paragraphs, showing the students how to select and condense relevant information from the site into a few sentences.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomUse this collection of resources to add to your classroom, both inside and out during a unit on the Second World War. Materials range from webquests, learning centers, lesson plans & then some. Make sure to save this one as a favorite!
Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomSearch for your state and see what this site has to offer. Looking for a specific topic (i.e. Civil War or Pearl Harbor), search using topics. Take advantage of these ready to go lesson plans. Infuse your lessons with technology by creating a class wiki about the lesson/topic being discussed. Maybe make a wiki guidebook to your state. Not comfortable with wikis? Have no wiki worries - check out the TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through. Save this site in your favorites, and check back as you plan throughout the year.
Grades7 to 12
In the ClassroomShare the site on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Use the word lists to compile a vocabulary list to enhance a unit on the Holocaustor or Diary of Anne Frank. Have students try the interactive puzzles and then attempt to create their own word puzzles about the Holocaust. Share the word puzzles on a class wiki.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomHave students research the history of political cartooning with Theodor Geisel (or others). Have cooperative learning groups create multi-media presentations such as a PowerPoint, or an online book, using a tool such as Bookemon reviewed here to share on an interactive whiteboard or projector.
Share the video/audio clips on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Take advantage of the FREE lesson plans that connect geography, history, reading, and writing.
Grades9 to 12
To fully experience this site, you need Adobe Acrobat and Real Player. You can get both from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.
In the ClassroomPrimary documents are a vital link between the students of today and the experiences of real people from the past. Students can access these interviews and accounts through searching by time period (WWI through the present), branch of service, gender, or POW status. As your class studies a particular conflict, assign students different accounts to research and then have them "portray" that person in a panel discussion about the war. Compare the experiences of persons filling similar roles across conflicts. Examine gender differences or the differences between those serving in the Navy and the Army. For a powerful long-term project, download the site's "field kit" and consider gathering new accounts for the project in your community.
GradesK to 12
Plan to spend some time reading through the directions and trying out this tool before you assign it to students. Teachers and students must register and login each time they use this tool. Students can share the URL for their posters with grandparents or parents to show off their good work!
Students will need to know how to locate and upload a file for an image (such as a digital picture) to place it in their poster. If you allow them to use images from the web, the tool asks them to give information on their image source, as well (hooray for ethical use of the Internet!). If you use digital pictures of students, be SURE that you do NOT use full names on the site. You should get parent permission for uploading any student images, even if anonymous.
This site includes advertising.
tag(s): posters (39)
In the ClassroomSome uses for this simple tool: book reports (take a digital photo of the book cover), biographical posters of famous people (images from the web), "all about me" posters, posters about community members such as veterans of World War II whom students interview and photograph, author posters, fictitious character studies, science posters on processes or terms with accompanying digital pictures to illustrate, etc. The possibilities are endless. Once students know the tool, they can use it over and over.
Teachers, make sure you select the archive option to keep student projects live online for more than a month. Use the Teacher Feature option to create one web page of your class' archived projects. You will want to put your created web page link prominently on your class homepage.
Grades9 to 12
tag(s): world war 2 (142)
In the ClassroomThe film is embedded in the site as a link to YouTube, so systems that block YouTube access may not be able to access this without a work-around. If your school blocks YouTube, consider accessing this site and previewing the video at home, using a tool such as KeepVid reviewed here to bring it in for class use.
While there is no real content to this site other than the film itself, it would be a great addition to a modern U.S. history course or a discussion of current world politics. However, teachers will need to set the context carefully and provide discussion questions afterwards. Watching pretzels and bratwurst mow down a line of matzo, or hamburgers flattening a hundred sushi will spark laughter; it is our responsibility to translate that into a discussion of the Holocaust or the use of atomic weapons. Younger students will just giggle, but older students, with prodding, will find the film thought provoking. You might want to use it mid-unit after mastering the basic facts of WWII so you can raise the level of discussion to a more nuanced approach.
Grades7 to 12
In the ClassroomAllowing students to choose among these books may encourage them to read. Having students "teach" their book to the rest of the class after they have finished it might be an activity that would urge other students to pick up those books, too. Have students share their books creatively: write a blog post as a character, make a video to post on TeacherTube or SchoolTube, or make a podcast "interview" of the main character, played by a classmate. Bring reading into the 21st century reality of your students and watch the two worlds "mash" together.
Grades7 to 12
Teachers can present a sweeping historical overview with any of the nine Big Eras in a few class periods or delve into an era in deeper detail with their students. Each of the nine Big Eras of world history, plus the History, Geography, and Time and the Past and Future sections, offers one Panorama Teaching Unit with a PowerPoint Overview presentation. Panorama units address very large-scale developments in world history through landscape teaching units and close-up teaching units.
Besides helping teachers meet state and national standards, this site offers teachers fabulous research-based curricular activities and makes history into a manageable content area for instruction. The site includes a clickable "Curriculum at a Glance" overview feature that takes you to the standards, teaching units, three essential questions, and seven key themes. This site requires Flash and Adobe. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..