World War II
Summer Institute

July 23 - 27, 2008
  Website: Description:
CATEGORY_ID:CPJ_WORLD_WAR_II – Webquests for students


A great selection of webquest finalists that address the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Hiroshima, World War II: The Homefront, and more.  Great interactive sites that often include primary sources.

BBC – Children of World War 2

Great site for elementary to early middle school students.  They can click on “Wartime Home”, “Rationing Challenge” and “Evacuees’ Letters” to get a very visual description of life during that era. 

Older students can click on the “Research Room” and examine letters and documents.  Teachers – there is a link on the left side of the page that gives you some lesson plans using the documents on the website.

Best of History Websites


While the 9 minute YouTube video that this site opens with is intriguing, don’t stop here!  Scroll down for a long list of other sites that include information about World War II in general as well as “special topics” – the Enola Gay, Pearl Harbor, the Bataan Rescue

National Archives and Records Administration Lesson Plans


A wealth of lesson plans using primary documents!  Find documents related to Churchill and FDR, photographs taken on D-Day, D-Day messages from Eisenhower, and documents related to the Japanese relocation during World War II.

National Archives and Records Administration: 
Poster Art from World War II


These “subtle forms of warfare” are exhibited on the National Archives site in two parts to show the two psychological approaches used to rally public support for the war.  It features 11 posters and one sound file from a more extensive exhibit at the National Archives in Washington from May 1994-February 1995.

Discovery Education


This site has several lesson plans for elementary through high school classrooms in a variety of curricular areas.  This lesson is for grades 10-12, where students research the key events of World War II in the Pacific and debate whether dropping the bomb was the best way to end the war.

Discovery Education


This lesson plan addresses Japanese-Americans of World War II.  Students will research the internment of Japanese-Americans, discuss Roosevelt’s Executive Order and the Fifth Amendment, and hold a mock trial to evaluate the positions for and against Japanese Internment.

Aleutian World War II National Historic Area for Kids

For young children, a story told by someone who lived through WWII as a five year old.  She has included coloring pages and a quiz for young elementary children as well as links at the bottom for older children.

Edsitement – the National Endowment for the Humanitie


Again, a great site for lesson plans that incorporate Internet resources and primary sources!  This lesson addresses jazz music – the Second World War’s effect on jazz, and jazz’s role in the American war effort.

Student Voices from World War II and the McCarthy Era

This oral history site describes two historical episodes:  One, experiences of people working on farms during the Second World War, and events surrounding the McCarthy era.  On the left hand side of the page, click on “teaching” to find some primary documents, interview transcripts, and oral history interview guides.

A Personal Record of Hiroshima A-bomb Survival


This descriptive memoir is hard to read, and should be previewed before introducing to students.  (However, there is a section of the website that includes student reactions to the retelling of this man’s experiences on August 6-8, 1945.)

Atomic Bomb:  Decision


These are reprinted documents that show the progression of decision-making in 1945.  In addition to documents discussing the “gadget”, you can find President Truman’s radio speech on August 9, 1945.

BBC:  World Wars Animated Maps
This animated map demonstrates the fall of France during World War II.   A description, key, and timeline are included with the animation so students can replay events and follow along.

PBS American Experience:  D-Day
While this site was developed to support the Ken Burns’ film, there are links that you can use on your own without the video.  The Teacher’s Guide includes activities that address D-Day in a variety of contexts:  Geography, economy, and civics.  You and your students can also read letters GIs sent home describing their experience.

BBC World Wars:  The Battle of the Atlantic Game
For older students, or younger ones with help, the Battle of the Atlantic game asks students to play as a British “Senior Officer Escort”.  They have to learn about the tactics to use to outsmart the German U-Boats.  Students learn about Morse Code, types of attacks, and the capabilities of the German subs.

Scholastic Student Activities:  World War II Remembered
For elementary or middle school students, click on the “Featured Projects” or “Student Activities” to engage children in a discussion on Japanese Americans during World War II, have them create their own timeline, or read a moment-by-moment account of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

National Park Service Tuskegee Exhibit
Before 1940,  African Americans were barred from flying for the U.S. military.  In spite of this limited opportunity, they played a significant role in US military history.  This site gives you and your students a background for the Tuskegee Airmen, the connection to the Tuskegee Institute, and a story from one of the airmen.