Lesson: World War II Exam II

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Lesson Objective

By the end of the lesson, SWBAT display their knowledge of World War II in a written exam.

Lesson Plan



  • In the Pacific theater, Japan controlled much of East Asia and many islands in the South Pacific.
  • The Allied Powers had to go from island to island fighting the Japanese
  • Island hopping and fighting against the Japanese was not easy because the Japanese people worshipped their leader, Emperor Hirohito, and they were willing to die for him so many became Kamikazes.
  • General Douglas MacArthur was the Supreme Commander of the Southwest Pacific.
  • The Allied Powers were winning, but Hirohito would not surrender.
  • June 6th, 1944, the Allied forces launched the largest sea attack in history.
  • 160,000 troops and soldiers crossed the English Channel in ships and planes and landed on the beaches of Normandy.
  • Eisenhower led the surprise attack.
  • This day is known as D-Day.
  • After they landed on the beaches of Normandy, France, UK, and the U.S. pushed from the west towards Germany, while the Soviet Union pushed from the East – Germany was fighting a two front war.
  • The Allied powers also attacked Sicily and North Africa where Italy was fighting. The Tuskegee Airmen played a major role in the fight in Sicily.
  • In Germany, Hitler took away all the rights of Jews.
  • In 1938, the Nazis burned downed Jewish temples, destroyed shops owned by Jews, and put Jews in walled off places known as ghettos.
  • In the Ghettos, Jews had to wear Jewish stars so everyone could identify them as being Jewish.
  • Soon, Hitler’s Nazi party started to systematically kill the Jews in Concentration camps.
  • The Nazis would round up Jews stick them on cramped trains and send them to Concentration Camps where Jews were either killed right away, or put to work with little food, shelter, or clothing – most eventually died because of the horrible conditions.
  • Jews were killed in various ways.  
  • Nazis also did experiments on the Jews.
  • Almost 6 million Jews died in Europe during the Holocaust.
  • Finally, the U.S. invaded Germany and started to liberate the Concentration camps. It was the first time that people had a full grasp of the damage that the Nazis had done.
  • The Allied Powers raced towards Berlin, eventually winning the war in May of 1945. This day is known as V-E Day.
  • Hitler killed himself before he could be captured, but many of the Nazi leaders were put on trial in Nuremberg Germany for war crimes where they were sent to jail or put to death for their actions in the Holocaust.
  • In Japan, the surrender did not come as quickly as it did in Germany.
  • Japan would not surrender so Harry Truman, Roosevelt died, decided to unleash and drop this brand new weapon known as the atomic bomb.
  • There were two bombs – one dropped on Hiroshima killing 140,000 people, and the other was on Nagasaki killing close to 75,000 people. April 1945.
  • This was a tough decision for Truman because he known that causalities would be big, but he knew if the U.S. kept fighting the U.S. casualties would be large – so he dropped the atomic bombs.
  • On September 2, 1945, the war officially ended when Japan surrendered. This day is known as V-J Day
  • Essential Question: How did World War II affect the globe?
  • 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, D-Day, holocaust, Navajo Code Talkers


At the end of the lesson, Ss will have completed an end of unit exam on World War II.

1. OPENING (5 min.)  


  • T will begin the lesson with the following starter: “Turn to your neighbor and explain the importance of D-Day.”
  • T will have the Ss share their responses with the class.
  • T will explain that today we are going to take and end of unit assessment on WWII.
  • T will review the objective for the day.


  • Ss will share their sponge.
  • Ss will internalize the objective for the day.



  • T will then have the Ss work in pairs to review their study guides.
  • T will instruct the Ss to quiz each other on the vocabulary and short answer questions.
  • Then as a class, T will then have the Ss ask any questions that may have arisen while reviewing with partners.
  • T will mention some last minute key points.


  • Ss will review their study guides
  • Ss will ask questions about things that are unclear to them.
  • Ss will listen to the key points.

3. GUIDED PRACTICE (10 min.)


  • T will tell the Ss to clear their desks and prepare for the exams.
  • 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.


  • Ss will complete their exam

5. CLOSING (5 min.)


  • If there is time, T will review key portions of the exam.
  • T will then outline and get the Ss excited for the next unit: the Cold War.


  • Students will answer questions.
  • Students will ask any last minute questions.
  • Students will pay attention to topic of next unit

Teacher's Reflection:

Overall, the exam is pretty straightforward. The thing I tried to emphasize with my students was that there was not just one correct answer for a lot of the short answer type questions. I wanted to put these type of questions in the exam so the students could really understand that history is full of ambiguity. Finally, some of the questions were derived from Study Island.  

Lesson Resources

Study Guide - World War II Exam II - Great Depression and World War II Unit   Notes
Lesson Plan - Lesson 18 - World War II Exam II - Great Depression and World War II Unit   Lesson Plan
Exam - Lesson 18 - World War II Exam II - Great Depression and World War II Unit   Assessment
Answer Key - Lesson 18 - World War II Exam II - Great Depression and World War II Unit   Assessment


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