World War II (Stah)

Teacher:Jessica Stah
Extra Help:Tuesdays 3-4pm in room 205 or by appointment

Essential Questions: How and why does a nation decide to go to war?  What choices do nations face in war?  How does war influence people’s daily lives and the decisions they make?  How did the Allies achieve victory over the Axis in Europe and the Pacific?  In what ways did World War II change people’s lives and change the world?

Course Summary: World War II was the deadliest conflict that the world has ever seen.  The war lasted from 1939-1945, with fighting on three continents.  The Allies and the Axis engaged in total war, involving more than 100 million people in more than 50 countries.  The war inspired innovations in military strategy, weapons, and technology, but resulted in millions of casualties.  Civilians were involved in the war in an unprecedented way: families survived on small rations, young people bought war bonds, and women manufactured war planes.  Urban centers were bombed by both sides, inflicting casualties on civilians.  In addition, between eleven and twelve million people (six million of them Jewish) lost their lives through the systematic, state-sponsored program of extermination known as the Holocaust.  By the end of the war, millions of people had lost their lives, the map of Europe looked completely different, and the balance of power in the world had shifted.

While the course will primarily focus on the United States’ involvement in the war, we will study the war as a whole and how it affected the entire world and people around the globe.  A large focus of the course will be studying the war through the eyes of those who were involved: soldiers, military leaders, and civilians back at home.  We will explore this era through a multitude of readings, documentaries, and regular analysis of both primary and secondary sources.  Primary sources to be examined will include letters, speeches, photographs, video footage, propaganda posters, and interviews.  Special attention will be paid to American involvement in major events of the war, including the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the Allied invasion of Normandy, the Battle of the Bulge, and the decision to use atomic weapons.  In addition, we will study the Holocaust and the experience of men and women on the American homefront.  This course will allow us to gain a deep understanding of the war and its effects on people around the world.

Homework assignments, project information, and other student resources can be found on Google Classroom.

Course Documents