This semester we have been studying World War II history. It’s been such a fascinating unit, I wanted to share with you what we’ve done so far!
We have jumped ahead in time to pick up where we left off last spring in modern history. Last year we studied the growth of imperialism & nationalism, WWI, the Russian Revolution, the Great Depression and some Chinese History. We read a number of wonderful books from The Jungle & the Great Gadsby to The Grapes of Wrath and Red Scarf Girl.
This semester, we started with 1930s Germany. We spent quite a bit of time talking about the buildup of anti-Jewish sentiment as Hitler came to power. We watched the powerful (award winning) mini-series, The Holocaust (affiliate link) with Meryl Streep & James Woods. It follows a family as they face growing antisemitism. One family member winds up in a concentration camp, others are expelled from Germany and spend time in the Warsaw ghetto. It covers many of the chilling aspects of this history: Krystalnacht, the Gestapo, the laws that prohibit Jews from working, gassing of people with mental/physical disabilities, the Nuremberg Laws, the Einsatzgruppen, uprising of the Warsaw Ghetto and of course the mass extermination of people in Auschwitz. It is a powerful series (but of course, with horrific content and absolutely *not* for young kids!)
As we watched the series (which we had to do even on the weekends b/c it is so long!), we also went through and talked about those topics.
I made the kids note-taking pages (as well as notebook pages). The kids taped the topic/picture on top of some blank note taking squares (see the flaps down in the picture below?). I also made a page with answers provided.
From there, we went on to talk about the race for the atomic bomb. We read Bomb: The Race to Build–and Steal–the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon (affiliate link) by Steve Sheinkin. This has a 5 star rating on Amazon and it is well-deserved!! It is a Newbery Honor Book and won the Washington Post Best Kids Books of the Year title. It’s intriguing and exciting! My kids *loved* it!!
This book shows how the race between America and Germany to develop a powerful atomic bomb played out not only with the race by physicists around the globe, but also with spies, espionage, and sabotage. It shows Allies’ desperate struggle to prevent Germany from developing the bomb and the Soviet Union’s equally desperate struggle to steal the plans for the atomic bomb. After reading this, one completely understands how/why the Cold War developed immediately after the War (since distrust and fear were already growing during the war itself!)
I also created some notebook pages that we covered over the past week or so.
The World War II packet is not ready to share as we have not completed the military history of the war itself, but feel free reach out to me if you’re currently doing this unit and I’ll provide what I have at a deeply discounted rate (since it is incomplete). ~Liesl
I mentioned above that last year we studied nationalism, imperialism, WWI and the Russian Revolution last year. You can find out more about our 100+ page World War I unit here:
See you again soon here or over at our Homeschool Den Facebook Page! Don’t forget to Subscribe to our Homeschool Den Newsletter. You might also want to check out some of our resources pages above (such as our Science, Language Arts, or History Units Resource Pages) which have links to dozens of posts. Don’t forget to check out Our Store as well. ~Liesl
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Happy Homeschooling! ~Liesl
Disclosure: Please note that some of the links in this post are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase.