World War II fascinates people of all ages who are drawn to its narrative of good versus evil. Popular imagination has labelled World War II as "The Good War," even though all wars have horrific consequences. History projects are a good way for students at all levels to demonstrate their knowledge of World War II.
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Skip the disturbing details of World War II in an elementary school classroom. Examine the social factors of the war in a positive way in grades four through six. For instance, do a history project on "Rosie the Riveter" and the role of women. Demonstrate the role women had in the household while they also took jobs to support their families. In addition, show that women took positions in the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps and did volunteer work in United Service Organizations (USO). Consider dressing up like a female soldier, USO volunteer or female worker to do your presentation.
Tie your examination of World War II to Black History Month in February. Examine the role of African-Americans during World War II. Make a poster board with a chronological view of important events, such as the compromise between President Franklin Roosevelt and civil rights leader A. Philip Randolph that averted a protest march on Washington during the war. Also examine topics such as the Double V, the idea of victory at home and abroad, and Executive Order 9981, in which President Harry Truman integrated all branches of the United States armed forces after the war. Demonstrate that the involvement of African-Americans in World War II led up to what became known as the Civil Rights Movement.
Analyse the propaganda that American, German and Japanese governments showed to their people. Write a report that compares what propaganda shows about the countries and their people. Note that some types of propaganda utilise images of children and cartoons, and analyse why. Watch videos by Googling "World War II propaganda" to compare the way film was utilised. In addition, find posters that were shown to the public. Do not just report on what you see. Analyse the propaganda thoroughly.
Create a research assignment and presentation by picking a topic that you find interesting and important. For instance, examine the belief that World War II is the "Good War." Analyze the number of people killed while fighting to end the holocaust and examine the amount of Japanese sent to internment camps. Know that vets faced psychological trouble when they returned home. In addition, analyse the children orphaned when their fathers died. The American World War II Orphan's Network, awon.org, is an excellent place to find people to interview on the topic of losing fathers to World War II.
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