World War 2 unit

One of my favorite authors sent out an email reminding us this week is the 70th anniversary of D-Day.  I was lucky enough to be in France during the 50th anniversary of D-Day, and in honor of that I’d like to share with you all of our World War 2 unit for elementary.

World War 2 elementary unit

World War 2 is a hard topic to cover in elementary school because the reasons for it are so hard for adults to understand.  How could so many be willing to do this to their friends and neighbors, why didn’t anyone speak up?


The Start of World War 2

Holocaust picture books helps make a truly scary matter a little less frighetning, but still a serious matter.  We read these books cuddled up in a tent, and I previewed all of them first.  I strongly recommend reading these books before you let your child see them.

The start of World War 2 is a complex matter, who was invaded and when, and how often, it becomes easier to understand when you break it down on a map with lots of markers.

Officially the United States entered World War 2 with the attack on Pearl Harbor, then Germany declared war on us as well and that caused us to enter the European theater.

Another great post on the start of World War 2 from Blitzkrieg to Pearl Harbor.

D-Day June 6, 1944

During World War 2

While you’re learning about the war, take some time to learn about training the recruits for World War 2.  Then go learn about Admiral Nimitz, who led the Navy for WW1 AND WW2!

There are a wide variety of World War 2 movies, both the home front, before, during and after the war.  You can find movies for every age range in your family to watch together.

You can also find some great World War 2 picture books or World War 2 junior fiction novels.

World War 2 wasn’t just in Europe and Japan, it was also in Africa, and this is a great post covering World War 2 in Africa.

World War 2 hands on unit

End of World War 2

Victory in Europe covers the United State’s actions at the end of World War 2 in Europe.  As we studied World War 2 last year we discovered D-Day was just one important step in a major offensive months in the planning, and it could never have happened without several key battles earlier in the year.


Check out more great history ideas over at the Massive Guide to Homeschooling History

** Photos used with permission from these locations: D-Day: the Normandy Invasion, Reflection on D-Day, and D-Day image.   Images were added to a collage, and may have been slightly cropped.


15 responses to “World War 2 unit”

  1. Great job covering a tough topic. One of my great uncles drove a boat just like that in the last picture. He never really talked about it. Another great uncle was a spy that landed a few weeks before D-Day and sent secret communications back to the white house! I love learning about what they did and this war but such a sad time in history!

    1. What great stories they had to share with you! Sadly my Grandpa who was in WW2 died while I was still very young and I never got a chance to ask him about the war.

  2. I heard the reference about D-Day today on the radio and was racking my brains at to what D-Day was. Growing up in the Soviet Union, we studied WWII extensively, but from a different point of view. In fact, between me, my German husband and our best friend who is an expert in US history we have three different takes on that period. I liked how it was presented in SOTW, but thought that not enough was said about 20 million people in the former Soviet Union dying between 1941 and 1945.

    1. I hadn’t thought of how D-Day probably doesn’t have much meaning to people in Eastern Europe like it does for those of us in Western Europe/America.
      When I first wrote about the end of WW2 I had someone write a very long rant at me how I got the battle all wrong and the date of the end all wrong. I looked up some information, and what I’d presented was correct for the United States and Great Britain, we signed a peace treaty and announced it 2 days before the USSR did, which led to a completely different end date. Her other points would have been valid if we weren’t studying US history last year, but we were, so I ignored that part.

      It would be fascinating to learn about WW2 from your husband’s viewpoint and learn more about it from your viewpoint. I remember my European history teacher telling us about what the Soviet Union went through during many of those battles, and it was truly amazing what ya’ll endured and how you triumphed. Also, how incredibly stupid Hitler was to attack the Soviet Union (it’s like he didn’t learn from history or something and see what happened to Napoleon attacking Russia).

  3. I remember visiting Normandy Beach when we lived in France, and they had an incredible split-screen documentary showing what was happening from both sides. I was 9 or 10 years old.

    1. That would be amazing to see!

  4. Thank you for linking to my blog! 🙂

    1. Of course, I knew with your facination with this era you had to have some posts on the subject.

  5. What a great overview to study this subject – WWII is a subject taught in Canadian schools at nearly every grade level to some degree, it is interesting to see how the study progresses as the kids get older.

    1. Wow! In America it doesn’t really get taught until high school, and then not very well, which is a shame because it’s a rather necessary topic to learn.

  6. I’m so looking forward to studying this era, and have some great (if not a little over the top) ideas! Thanks for sharing!

  7. We just today read about Pearl Harbor and the US entering the war in SOTW. Thank you for posting this … I’m off to gather resources to expand on our unit. 🙂

  8. Yes, thanks for sharing all these great resources ideas! What a fascinating (and difficult) topic.

  9. Wow, I can’t believe it’s been 75 years!

    1. I know! I’ve also been thinking about what the Japanese are feeling with this being shared all over right now. Do they think “That was our grandparents, we didn’t do this!”

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