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This is a lesson on the origins of World War II, complete with worksheets
12, 11, 10
Title – The Origins of World War II
By – Ron Schultz
Primary Subject – Social Studies
Grade Level – 10th – 12th
Class – Modern European History
Unit: World War II
PA Academic Standards:
- 8.1.12.A. Evaluate chronological thinking.
- 8.1.12.B. Synthesize and evaluate historical sources.
- 8.1.12.C. Evaluate historical interpretation events.
- 8.4.12.A. Evaluate the significance of individuals and groups who made major political and cultural contributions to world history since 1450.
- 8.4.12.C.. Evaluate how continuity and change throughout history has impacted belief systems and religions, commerce and industry, innovations, settlement patterns, social organization, transportation and roles of women since 1450.
- 8.4.12.D. Evaluate how conflict and cooperation among social groups and organizations impacted world history from 1450 to Present in Africa, Americas, Asia and Europe.
Goal of this lesson: To achieve student understanding of the causes of World War II.
Textbook, Lesson Notes, Map Handout, Transparency of Europe, Dry Erase Marker, Worksheet
- 1. Take Roll
- 2. Make transparency of Europe
- 3. Make copies of European Map
- 4. Make copies of worksheet
- TSWBAT (The student will be able to) answer questions based upon the previous night’s reading assignment in a question and answer session.
- The students will respect each other’s opinions and aid each other in answering during our question and answer session.
- TSWBAT explain, based upon a class question and answer session, how the Treaty of Versailles contributed to Hitler’s rise to power in Germany.
- TSWBAT state, based upon information discussed in class, the importance of the Munich Conference and why it is seen negatively today.
- Based upon a hands-on map exercise, TSWBAT identify the important countries involved in the beginning of World War II.
- Based upon a hands-on map exercise and a class worksheet, the students will be able to explain the importance of the various countries involved in the beginning of World War II.
- Have you ever had a problem with a bully? The bully may take your lunch money or force you to do his/her homework. In the late 1930s Hitler was bullying the rest of Europe and got his way several times. Finally, France and Britain had enough and the result was World War II.
- 1. Question and Answer Session based upon the previous night’s reading assignment. I will supplement each answer with my own thoughts and if the students struggle, I will hint around to lead them to a good conclusion.
- Q: What was the Treaty of Versailles and how did it treat Germany?
- A: It was the treaty which ended World War I. The treaty placed the blame for the war on Germany and demanded that they pay reparations for damages to the victorious countries of the war.
- Q: How did the treaty aid in Hitler’s rise to power in Germany?
- A: The German people felt alienated from the rest of the world and the reparations were putting a terrible strain on the German economy. Hitler’s Nazi Party used Nationalism, pride in one’s own country, to rally the German people behind his cause.
- Q: What was the Munich Conference and why is it seen today in such a negative light?
- A: Leaders from Britain and France met with Hitler and agreed to give him a portion of Czechoslovakia where many ethnic Germans lived. The Munich Conference is seen today negatively because Britain and France appeased Hitler. They gave into his demands instead of standing up to him.
- Q: Why did Britain and France give into Hitler’s demands?
- A: Neither country wanted to fight another large scale war. The French were especially terrified about fighting the Germans again after the massive number of casualties and damage resulting from WWI.
- Q: What was the Nazi-Soviet Pact and why was it important?
- A: The Nazi-Soviet Pact was a non-aggression pact between Germany and the Soviet Union. It was important because Britain and France had been trying to arrange a pact with the Soviet Union but were unsuccessful. With the Soviet Union now neutral, Britain and France were out of possible powerful European allies.
- Q: Why did Hitler make a deal with the Soviet Union?
- A: Hitler did not want to fight a two front war against Britain/France in the west and against the Soviet Union in the east. The Germans needed raw materials to fight the coming war against Britain and France. The Soviet Union is a huge country abundant with raw materials.
- Q: Hitler’s invasion of what country finally led to war? Why?
- A: Germany’s invasion of Poland on September 3, 1939 caused the British and French to declare war on Germany. The British and French had promised to aid Poland if it were attacked.
- Time estimate for Question and Answer Session: 30 minutes
- 2. Now that we’ve covered much of the build up to World War II, let’s look the step by step moves made by Hitler which lead to World War II. (Pass out the map handout to the students and randomly hand out note cards with the name of an important country or area on it.)
- Place Europe transparency on the overhead and go through the note cards chronologically asking each student to come up and fill in their corresponding country. After each country is filled in I will state that country’s importance and draw in other important features of World War II. This will give students a geographic appreciation of the war and allow them to participate in the lesson.
- Time Estimate for Hands-On Activity: 15 minutes
- 3. Worksheet based upon question and answer session as well as the map exercise.
- Make sure to hang on to those map handouts because I assure you that something similar will show up on the test. I will pass out to each student a worksheet to be completed by the next class meeting.
- Time Estimate for Worksheet: 2 minutes to pass out, it is a take home activity
- If time permits: The students will be able to ask me any questions they have about the lesson or the map exercise. Students can begin to work on their worksheets which are due at the beginning of the next class.
- The students will complete a worksheet to be handed in at the beginning of the nest class meeting.
- Now that we have covered the causes of World War II and the initial battles, next class we will look at the relationship between the Soviets and Germans as well as the Battle of Britain.
Students with Special Needs:
- The student with ADHD will be seated in the front of the classroom so that he will not be distracted by students sitting in front of him/her. The student will also be seated away from the windows to avoid distraction. If I notice the student wandering off task, I will use non-verbal cues such as eyeballing or proximity to regain the student’s attention.
- 1) If I only had one computer in my room but had projection, I could display the questions for my question and answer session as well as clues to lead the students to answers if they struggle. I could also find pictures to display the destruction caused by Hitler’s Blitzkrieg of Poland. I could visit websites which give detailed personal accounts of Polish people who lived through the event.
- 2) If I had a 1:4 computer to student ratio, I could have the students rotate at different stations doing very small hands-on projects including an online project to find good pictures of important people in WWII. I could also assign group work to students in groups of four which would include doing research online about a topic relative to early WWII. (Munich Conference, Sudetenland, Blitzkrieg, Rise of Hitler)
- 3) If I had enough computers for each student I could assign a research project to each of them for a specific topic in regards to WWII. I could have them visit specific websites which provide accounts of the German advance into Poland at the beginning of WWII as well as pictures which would make the event more real.
The Origins of World War II
Match the left column with the letter of the statement in the right column which best describes it.
|1. ___Germany||a. This country along with France declared war on Germany after Hitler invaded Poland.|
|2. ___France||b. This country made a non-aggression pact with Germany.|
|3. ___Britain||c. Hitler was appeased at the Munich Conference with a portion of this country called the Sudetenland.|
|4. ___Austria||d. This country was blamed for World War I and forced to pay huge reparations to the victor countries.|
|5. ___Czechoslovakia||e. This country fortified its borders with Germany except for an area called the Ardennes forest which they assumed could not be penetrated by a large army.|
|6. ___Soviet Union||f. Hitler invaded this country only to get to the northern part of France.|
|7. ___Belgium||g. This country was unwillingly annexed by Germany in a move called the Anschluss.|
|8. ___Poland||h. The invasion of this country sparked the beginning of World War II.|
Answer the following short essays based upon the discussion in class.
1. What was the Munich conference? Why did the French and British give into Hitler’s demands?
2. What was the Nazi-Soviet Pact? Why did Hitler make a deal with the Soviet Union?
Bonus: What was the name of the region in Western Germany which Hitler illegally reoccupied?
The Origins of World War II Worksheet Answer Key:
Section 1 matching
1. Leaders from Britain and France met with Hitler and agreed to give him a portion of Czechoslovakia where many ethnic Germans lived. Neither country wanted to fight another large scale war. The French were especially terrified about fighting the Germans again after the massive number of casualties and damage resulting from World War I.
2. The Nazi-Soviet Pact was a non-aggression pact between Germany and the Soviet Union. It was important because Britain and France had been trying to arrange a pact with the Soviet Union but were unsuccessful. With the Soviet Union now neutral, Britain and France were out of possible powerful European allies. Hitler did not want to fight a two front war against Britain/France in the west and against the Soviet Union in the east. The Germans needed raw materials to fight the coming war against Britain and France. The Soviet Union is a huge country abundant with raw materials.
Bonus: The Ruhr Region
Fill in the names of the countries we discuss and take notes on their importance in the space provided below.
Fill in the names of the countries we discuss and take notes on their importance in the space provided below.
|Area of western Germany which Hitler illegally reoccupied with troops and military equipment. Illegal based upon Versailles Treaty of WWI.|
|In March 1938, Hitler’s army marched in and occupied Austria. This is referred to as the Anschluss.|
|The Czechs had already lost the Sudetenland and in March 1939, Hitler’s army marched in and took the Western half of the country and declared Slovakia an independent country.|
|On Aug. 23, 1939, the Germans and Soviets signed a non-aggression pact which included a secret protocol for dividing up Poland which was Hitler’s next target.|
|France and Britain had promised to protect Poland if it was invaded and the Germans did invade on Sept. 1, 1939. On September 1, 1939, France and Britain declared war on Germany. World War II had begun.|
|Belgium was a victim of circumstance in WWII. Hitler only invaded Belgium to get to France.|
|When the Germans invaded, the French army was of equal size to the German army. But due to lack of morale, poor leadership, and fear left over from WWI the French were defeated by the Germans in only 6 weeks. Germans attacked with a maneuver called a Pincer. Half of their army came from the North through Belgium and the other half surprised the French by attacking through the thick Ardennes forest in Western France. Germans set up a puppet government in Vichy, France.|
|After the fall of France, the British were left all alone to fight the Germans for almost a year and a half until the United States entered the war in December of 1941.|
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