World War II Letters

By: Krista Ruud

AHTC Summer Institute 2007


To download this lesson in PDF format, click here.



Many students view the lives of soldiers at war as one battle after another. As a way to see the more human side of soldiers at war and their loved ones at home, students will view letters written at that time and even learn about the special way of making letters smaller so they would take up less space on transport. By the end of the lesson students will create their own wartime letter that reflects some of the main ideas and topics from the lessons.


Essential Questions



2-3 class periods



1) Pretend they are a WWII soldier or a family member waiting on the home front and write a letter to someone overseas (if a student is a ‘soldier’ he/she will write a letter to someone on the USA home front and visa versa).

2) Write a letter to a soldier currently serving overseas (it can be a general letter with no specific recipient).


Setting the Purpose

After spending some time learning the background of World War II, students will discuss how the United States got into the war and the overwhelming support most Americans gave to the war cause.  Students will be able to see this lesson in the context of why citizens and the government felt so strongly about ensuring communication between soldiers and people on the home front and why communication was, and still is, important.



Part 1

Part 2

Part 3
WWII Letters Final Assessment: Now that students have viewed letters from WWII and have discussed the different ways letters were sent, they are going to create their own letter. When students are finished with their letters it might even be fun to share them in small groups during class and/or compare them with the real WWII letters that were analyzed at the start of the lesson.



List of Materials and Resources

V-Mail Letter

Four V-Mail Letters from Bud

Letters from Home website

NARA’s Written Document Analysis Worksheet


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