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Classroom Toolkit: World War II

Overview of the lessons, including procedures.
Disciplines: Social Studies and Language Arts
Grade Levels:4 - 8

Time Frame: Four class periods (Each lesson in this section could be taught as a stand-alone lesson.)

Lesson Materials:

00:00 / 03:23
00:00 / 04:47

Learning Objectives: The students will:

  1. Gather information about the local reactions to the declaration of war in December, 1941 from meeting notes and scrapbook pages.

  2. Define pertinent vocabulary including infamy, civilian, and defense.

  3. Gather information about steps to implement civilian defense in the North Country.

  4. Write a paragraph about the things that they would have to do without during WW2 rationing.

  5. Listen to a birthday message recorded by the parents of two child refugees, sent to America to escape the bombing of Britain.

  6. Answer questions about local aid programs for British civilians after reading scrapbook entries.

  7. Write an imaginary letter to their parents back in Britain using the information they have gathered from the recording and the scrapbook.

  8. Read about school air raid evacuation plans for Gouverneur and answer questions about the preparations.

  9. Interview their grandparents, neighbors or others about their memories of blackouts and prepare a written report of what they have learned.

NYS Social Studies Standards Correlation:
Standard 1: Key Idea 4
Consider different interpretations of key events and /or issues in history and understand the differences in these accounts.
Explore different experiences, beliefs, motives, and traditions of people living in their neighborhoods, communities, and State.
View historic events through the eyes of those who were there, as shown in their art, writings, music and artifacts.



  • Consider the sources of historic documents, narratives, or artifacts and evaluate their reliability.-Describe historic events through the eyes and experiences of those who were there.


Standard 5: Key Idea 4

  • Explain the role that civility plays in promoting effective citizenship in preserving democracy.


These lessons were orginally developed through a grant from the New York State Archives and Records Administration, Local Government Records Management Improvement Fund. They were developed during the fiscal year 2003-2004 by Bryan Thompson, Town of De Kalb's Historian.


In 2009, Bryan Thompson received the Bruce W. Dearstyne Annual Archives Award for Excellence in the Educational Use of Local Government Records. This award is presented to an individual who has demonstrated outstanding initiative, leadership, and creativity in encouraging and promoting the use of local government historical records for elementary and secondary education.

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