Academy Curricular Exchange
Columbia Education Center
Social Studies


AUTHOR:  Cecelia L. O'Keefe, Natrona County High
         School;  Casper, WY

GRADE LEVEL:  Appropriate for grades 10-12.

OVERVIEW:  World War II had several causes not just
one.  These activities will help the students to be
aware of the various causes of World War II.

PURPOSE:  The importance of this lesson will help the
students later understand the affects of World War II
on the World as a whole.

OBJECTIVE(s):  students will be able to:
1.  Identify the major leaders and groups of World
    War II.
2.  Explain the major events leading to war in
3.  Demonstrate how the geographical locations
    affected the war.
4.  Explain the causes of the United States entry
    into World War II.

Teacher Materials = poster board, butcher paper,
     library, bulletin board, atlas.
Student Materials = writing utensil, paper, text book.

1.   Divide the class into four groups.  Assign one of
     the following to the following to each group:
     Mussolini's takeover of power in Italy, Hitlers'
     ascent to the position of Chancellor of Germany,
     Japan's invasion of Manchuria, United States
     recognition of the Soviet Union.  Have each group
     work to create a news item for a television news
     broadcast covering that event.
2.   Choose one of the following leaders:  Adolf
     Hitler, Benito Mussolini, Joseph Stalin, Hideki
     Tojo, Winston Churchill, and Franklin Roosevelt
     and create a resume for him.
3.   Have students work in pairs to create posters
     illustrating the rise of dictatorship in the
     1930s.  Have students include reasons why
     dictators gained power, and title them.  Display
4.   Create a flow chart of Axis actions and Allied and
     American responses from 1935 to 1941.
5.   Note the physical sizes of Italy, Germany, and
     Japan and then list the reasons why those
     countries were interested in territorial
6.   As a group, discuss how Japan's lack of resources
     influenced its move toward militarism and
     territorial expansion.
7.   Analyze the events that were going on in the
     United States prior to its entry to the War and in
     detail report the major cause of the United States
     entry into World War II.
TYING IT ALL TOGETHER:  Through these various
activities, the students will be aware of the groups,
leaders, and reasons behind the outbreak of World War
II.  This lesson will take several days to complete and
upon completion, the students will have the background
needed to look into actual details of the War and the
affects of it on life today.


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