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WWII Introduction

Lesson Plans by Matt Campbell

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Introduction to WWII Lesson Plans


When beginning a unit on World War II, it can be helpful for students to first understand the origins and major themes of the war before they dive into the events that would forever change the course of history. The activities in this lesson plain aim to examine how the aftermath of World War I planted the seeds of conflict that brought about World War II. Students will also gain a better understanding of the leaders in power at the time, the innovations made to warfare and weaponry, and the global influence of the war.

Student Activities for Introduction to World War II Include:



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World War II

On November 11th, 1918 World War I or “the war to end all wars” came to an end. Many believed that World War I would be the most catastrophic combat the world would ever see. But in 1939, the world watched Germany invade Poland and once again, humanity witnessed the world spiral into an even more deadly and destructive war. World War II lasted from 1939 to 1945 and over thirty countries took part in a global conflict that resulted between 50,000,000 to 80,000,000 deaths. The most destructive war in human history spanned throughout the globe and forever shaped the geopolitical landscape of the world as we know it.

Before a student of history can understand the magnitude of this global conflict, it is imperative to first answer the question, “How did this war happen?” and hopefully discuss how we can prevent this from ever happening again. Through the examination of the origins of World War II, students will understand the horrific impacts that can occur when the power of leaders go unchecked and hate, along with fear, can quickly spread throughout a planet.


Essential Questions

  1. What were the causes that lead to World War II?
  2. Who were the major leaders of World War II?
  3. What new technology or innovations were used during the war?
  4. What were the theaters of World War II?



Check out other lesson plans on history and literature during World War II and Holocaust


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Prefer a different language?

•   (English) World War II: An Introduction   •   (Español) Introducción a la Segunda Guerra Mundial   •   (Français) Introduction à la Seconde Guerre Mondiale   •   (Deutsch) Einführung in den Zweiten Weltkrieg   •   (Italiana) Introduzione Alla Seconda Guerra Mondiale   •   (Nederlands) Inleiding tot de Tweede Wereldoorlog   •   (Português) Introdução à Segunda Guerra Mundial   •   (עברית) מבוא למלחמת העולם השנייה   •   (العَرَبِيَّة) مقدمة في الحرب العالمية الثانية   •   (हिन्दी) द्वितीय विश्व युद्ध का परिचय   •   (ру́сский язы́к) Введение во Вторую Мировую Войну   •   (Dansk) Introduktion til Anden Verdenskrig   •   (Svenska) Introduktion Till Andra Världskriget   •   (Suomi) Johdatus Maailmansota   •   (Norsk) Introduksjon til Andre Verdenskrig   •   (Türkçe) II. Dünya Savaşı Giriş   •   (Polski) Wprowadzenie do II Wojny Światowej   •   (Româna) Introducere în cel De-al Doilea Război Mondial   •   (Ceština) Úvod do Druhé Světové Války   •   (Slovenský) Úvod do Druhej Svetovej Vojny   •   (Magyar) Bevezetés a Második Világháború   •   (Hrvatski) Uvod u Drugi Svjetski rat   •   (български) Въведение във Втората Световна Война   •   (Lietuvos) Įvadas į Antrojo Pasaulinio Karo   •   (Slovenščina) Uvod v Drugi Svetovni Vojni   •   (Latvijas) Ievads Otrā Pasaules Kara   •   (eesti) Sissejuhatus II Maailmasõda