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Saturday, April 29, 2017

5 Good Resources for Teaching and Learning About World War II

This morning I went to the World War II museum in New Orleans. It is a fantastic museum. The museum does a masterful job of mixing artifacts and oral histories into the greater context of World War II. And for folks like me who are fascinated by aircraft the Boeing center is a great place to see vintage aircraft up close. In the Boeing center I stopped and recorded some photospheres in the Google Street View images app and in the Google Cardboard Camera app. The whole experience prompted me revisit some of my favorite online resources for teaching and learning about World War II.

The Science and Technology of WWII provides students and teachers with lesson plans, timelines, essays, images, and learning activities about the scientific and technological developments that took place during WWII. The darkroom section of the website contains thirteen categories of images of WWII scientific and technology developments. The timeline on the website allows students to explore the scientific, technological, and political steps in the development of the atomic bomb. The learning activities section of The Science and Technology of WWII gives students the opportunity to learn about and send coded messages.

The World at War is an interactive timeline about FDR's decisions during WWII. Click on any of the key decisions listed to learn more about those decisions. The decisions are interspersed amongst other key events of WWII. None of the event descriptions are terribly detailed, but the timeline does provide a nice general overview.

History Animated is a resource that I first started using with students in 2009. History Animated provides animations of battles of the American Revolution, the War of 1812, the US Civil War, and US Campaign in Europe in WWII, US Pacific Campaign in WWII. In each of the three series of animations you will see the animated movement of armies displayed on a map. Each animation is accompanied by captions describing the strategies of the armies as well as the results and consequences of each battle. The animations will make great supplements to classroom instruction. The animations are a significant improvement over drawing or pointing to places on a map.

The BBC's World Wars In-depth series contains some great audio, visual, animated, and text resources for learning about WWII from start to finish. WWII In-depth contains a timeline overview of the war. From there you can jump-off in a number of directions to explore details about WWII.

The Wikimedia Commons' Atlas of World War II contains dozens of maps related to World War II. Some of the maps are blank outline maps, but most are labeled. In the Atlas of World War II you will find maps of battle locations, shifts in control, and possession of territory. The collection of maps is arranged by region.