Lesson: World War II Exam I

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Lesson Objective

By the end of the lesson, SWBAT display their knowledge about the start of World War II, and the cultural changes of the time.

Lesson Plan




·       Germany lost World War I and, like the U.S. was in a deep depression so they turned towards a strong leader: Adolf Hitler.

·       Adolf Hitler was elected chancellor of Germany in 1932 – he was the leader of the Nazi party.

·       Hitler blamed the problems of Germany on innocent people: mainly the Jews, and the socialists.

·       He said the Jews and the socialists were holding the Germans, the smartest people in the world, from ruling the world.

·       People supported the Nazi Party because they wanted Germany to become powerful.

·       In 1939, Germany invaded Czechoslovakia, then Poland. This started World War II.

·       There were two sides – the Allied Power (UK, France, Russia, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand) and the Axis Powers (Germany, Italy, and Japan)

·       Japan, like Germany was in a big depression, so the emperor Hirohito, decided to take up a policy of imperialism: he started taking over parts of China, and small islands in the South Pacific.

·       U.S. was neutral until Japan bombed Pearl Harbor in Hawaii on December 7, 1941.

·       12 warships and 188 airplanes were destroyed.

·       2,000 people died.

·       Japan also attacked Hong Kong, Shanghai, the Philippines, Thailand, Guam, and Malaya.

·       U.S declared war on the Axis Powers and joined the Allied Powers.

·       World War II ended the Great Depression because the factories were busy again making things for the war.

·       Women worked in sweatshops and factories to support themselves and their children.

·       The Tuskegee Airmen were African American pilots who fought with the 332nd Fighter Group of the U.S. Army Air Corps.

·       They were the first African Americans pilots in the U.S. military.

Essential Questions: Why did World War II begin? What cultural changes did World War II bring?

Vocabulary: Tuskegee Airmen, Rosie the Riveter, Rationing, Scarcity, Internment Camp, Pearl Harbor, Allied Powers, Axis Power, Japan, Germany, Opportunity Cost, Roosevelt, : Allied Powers, Axis Powers, Germany, Japan, Nazis, Hitler, Hirohito, Stalin, dictator, fascism, socialists, imperialism, racism


At the end of the lesson, Ss will have completed a mid-unit assessment on the start and cultural changes during WWII.



SS5H6 The student will explain the reasons for America’s involvement in World War II.

a.  Describe Germany’s aggression in Europe and Japanese aggression in Asia.

b.  Describe major events in the war in both Europe and the Pacific; include Pearl

 Harbor, Iwo Jima, D-Day, VE and VJ Days, and the Holocaust.

e.  Describe the effects of rationing and the changing role of women and African-

 Americans; include “Rosie the Riveter” and the Tuskegee Airmen.


1. OPENING (5 min.)  


·       T will begin the lesson with the following starter: “Turn to your partner, and tell them how World War II started, and why the U.S. entered World War II.”

·       T will have the Ss share their responses with the class.

·       T will explain that today we are going to take the mid-unit assessment on WWII.

·       T will review the objective for the day.


·       Ss will share their starter

·       Ss will internalize the objective for the day.



·       As a way to review, T will show the Ss a film about the home-front during World War II (Home Front in America during WWII Film – Lesson 13 – World War II Exam I – Great Depression and World War II Unit)

·       Because the films may be a little challenging to understand, it is important for the T to stop and review during the film to discuss the topics.

·       T will have a short discussion about the films after they are done.


·       Ss will watch the films

·       Ss will discuss the films


3. GUIDED PRACTICE (10 min.)


·       T will tell the Ss to clear their desks and prepare for the exam (Exam  – Lesson 13 – World War II Exam I – Great Depression and World War II Unit) - some of the questions are courtesy of StudyIsland.

·       T will go over the sections of the exam – making students read the directions.

·       T will emphasize the importance of complete thoughts when doing short answer questions.

·       T will ask the Ss if they have any questions when it comes to the directions.


·       Ss will preview the test.



·       T will have the Ss begin with the test.

·       T will be available to answer questions about wording etc.

·       T will monitor the room.

·       T will allow those students that have struggled in the past to have extra time.

·       T will have some students go onto Study Island if they finish early.


·       Ss will complete their exam

5. CLOSING (5 min.)


·       T will tell the Ss that next class we will be learning about the major battles against Japan.

·       T will remind the Ss of their leaders of World War II project

·       T will ask the Ss if they have any final questions.


·       Students will answer questions.

·       Students will ask any last minute questions.

·       Students will pay attention to topic of next lesson.


HOMEWORK (if appropriate).

Project on the leaders of World War II

Teacher's Reflection: Overall, I found that students though this exam was pretty straightforward. The only issue they did have the exam was the short answer part involving the map. Therefore, I found it to be extremely important to keep hounding the students to study their study guides and to also really go over the directions of the exam before they began. The film that is in the lesson can also be complex; therefore stopping and reviewing elements of that really helped me as well.

Lesson Resources

Lesson Plan - Lesson 13 - World War II Exam I - Great Depression and World War II   Lesson Plan
Exam Answer Key - Lesson 13 - World War II Exam I - Great Depression and World War II Unit   Assessment
Exam - Lesson 13 - World War II Exam I - Great Depression and World War II Unit    Assessment
Study Guide World War II Exam I - Great Depression and World War II Unit   Notes
Home Front in America during WWII Film – Lesson 13 – World War II Exam I – Great Depression and World War II Unit.mov  


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