I received several emails and a message from people interested in the WWII Portfolio Project I made for LD. So, here it is!
My son is doing some research work on WWII. Except for reading some novels last year (like Number the Stars), we have not covered this topic at all… He has been doing quite a bit of reading and has watched a video before jumping into the project ideas below. This is *not* a full, complete study of WWII, but rather an introduction to some WWII topics (if you know what I mean). I just felt I had to explain that since I’ve taught courses on the modern European history, the Holocaust, etc. This project just serves as his first introduction into WWII. My son is 10.
So what has he done so far? He’s read through some general WWII books from the library. I picked up the “I Survived…” books that had to do with WWII. He read I Survived the Nazi Invasion. He thought it was “pretty good,” though not as good as the Percy Jackson series. They are short novels, so he was able to read through that one in just a day. I also got him the I Survived Pearl Harbor (affiliate link) which he said he’ll start tomorrow. He also has been watching the made-for-TV miniseries called Holocaust (with James Woods and Meryl Streep). I went back and forth whether to let him watch it… It’s not gruesome or graphic (for the most part), but it is emotional and powerful (and long — 7 or 8 hours). It touches on so many key events… Krystalnacht, the early attempts at gassing people, the SS firing squads, the development and use of Zyklon B in the “showers,” the horrors of the Warsaw ghetto. With those tough topics, you’ll have to decide for your own family if the series is “too rough.”
Another option that you might consider is about the deportation of Jews from Denmark is Miracle at Midnight. (affiliate link)
Update: My friend’s son did a unit in 5th grade on WWII. They watched the Boy in Striped Pajamas. (affiliate link) We recently watched that and is another powerful option. It’s about an 8 year old living in Berlin whose family movies to the countryside.
He also read these books about the Holocaust (These are affiliate links.):
- Number the Stars by Lois Lowry (Set in Denmark in WWII)
- Snow Treasure about kids who outwitted the Nazis
When he’s a little older I’ll have him re-visit this period and will have him read
As for the portfolio project, I also wanted to make it clear that he does not have to do every project listed below… he’ll pick and choose the projects that interest him.
If you’re interested, you can download if free by clicking on the link:
By the way, here is a nice blank map of the WWII countries in Europe. I printed one out for LD:
This is a really neat video showing how borders in Europe changed during WWII.
My daughter is doing her research portfolio projects on animals. You can download by visiting this post: Animal Portfolio Project.
Related Posts that Might be of Interest:
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- Free Engineering Units: Grades 3-5, 6-8 From the Museum of Boston on topics such as urban landscape, engineering insulated homes, rockets, air drop packages and more
- Free Writing Workshop Resource Pack
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Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase.