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Wisconsin World War II Stories

PART II: EUROPE

Author: Victoria Zuleger Straughn

The second video in the Wisconsin Stories: World War II collection brings the experiences of servicemen and women in Europe into clearer focus. The story begins with the Allied invasion of France in June, 1944, and follows the war in Europe to its conclusion and “aftermath” in the spring and summer of 1945. Viewers learn about the very human experiences of the war --- from hunger, fear, privation, horror, and racial segregation to friendship, luck, and leisure activities.

The videos in this series and the coordinated lesson plans can be used in various ways. The lessons can be combined with part or whole use of the videotapes or online video clips, or the lessons can “stand alone.” The 5 video series and lesson plans can constitute a complete World War II unit. Alternatively, any one component may be added as enrichment to an existing unit or program.

This Package Contains:

  • History and Social Studies Standards
  • Lesson 1 - Chronology and Geography
    Students will use online historic map resources to analyze military maps and trace the progression of the war in Europe.
  • Lesson 2 - Entertainment
    Students can work individually or in small groups to analyze the impact of World War II era music and learn about the contributions of Hollywood and other entertainers who performed on radio during the war and who toured with the USO.
  • Lesson 3 - Segregation and Civil Rights
    Students draw upon photographic collections to learn about World War II Era struggles for civil rights both in the war zone and at home. Enrichment activities will expand upon the contributions of people of color during World War II.
  • Lesson 4 - The Costs of War
    Students study national records detailing casualties resulting from World War II by region and date. They are asked to make generalizations and draw conclusions from this data. Enrichment activities focus on women in the war, concentration camps and the Holocaust, and the personal accounts of soldiers via letters home.
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