This month we focus on Web sites for the study of World War II, in honor of the release of the new PBS series The War and our own Wisconsin War Letters Web site.
The War, a seven-part series broadcast on your local public television station, tells the story of the Second World War through the personal accounts of a handful of men and women from four quintessentially American towns. The Web site includes a viewer’s guide to the series you can use to identify segments of programs you might want to watch with your students.
Wisconsin War Letters is an ECB companion site to “The War” designed to get students involved with digital storytelling. The site, designed in cooperation with the State Historical Society and Wisconsin Public Radio and Television, features primary source materials related to WWII in Wisconsin, and tools for students to create their own multimedia stories about the War. Completed projects will be digitally archived on the site to be shared with others.
Children of World War 2 from the BBC shows how the war touched the daily life of children in Great Britain. Various activities help students understand what it was like to be a child during the War. The “Research Room” contains an easy-to-use collection of primary source documents and images. The site was designed for children 7-9, and includes materials for teachers and parents.
The BBC’s World War II Web site contains many different resources on the war such as articles timelines, movies, and more.
A People at War is an on-line exhibit from the National Archives and Records Administration. It highlights contributions of many individuals who took part World War II, and includes descriptions and stories that put the primary source documents and photographs displayed in context.
Rationing During World War II from the Smithsonian helps students explore questions about rationing and the homefront using a painting, an Office of War Information film and other primary source materials.
World War II: The Homefront is a student-created Web site that includes a timeline and a simulation activity exploring what it was like for families on the home front during the war.
World War II Timelines from Professor Steven Schoenherr provides many pages of timelines covering the events of WWII with links to primary documents and other materials.
American Treasures of the Library of Congress features photographs, art, newspaper articles and other documents that help to gain an understanding of the war. Each item in the collection comes with a short description of its significance.
Powers of Persuasion: Poster Art from World War II from the National Archives and Records Administration addresses the “propaganda war” the U.S. government waged to galvanize public support for the war. This lesson plan provides teaching ideas for using the collection.
Pictures of World War II from the National Archives and Records Administration contains phototgraphs of the war taken by American military photographers. The photographs are arranged by topic (France, Germany, Japan, Phillipine Islands, the home front, aviation, leaders, the Holocaust, etc.) and feature short captions.
Photographs from the U.S. Center of Military History include a collection of photographs to give students a view of the war from the perspective of the soldiers who fought it. Galleries include African Americans in the U.S. Army, Preparing for Battle, and Christmas in the Army.
The Normandy Invasion from the U.S. Center of Military History provides a very detailed history of the invasion. This site also offers many historical photographs with detailed descriptions, as well as stories of all of the Medal of Honor recipients from this campaign.
Today in History: June 6 from the Library of Congress gives a brief history of D-Day and Operation Overlord, with links to additional information and primary source materials in the Library’s collection.
D-Day from PBS’ American Experience series offers information about the people and events surrounding D-Day. The site also includes a timeline, maps, and letters from the front.
Find primary source photographs and images of the Tuskegee Airmen, America's first black fighter pilots, at the National Air and Space Museum's Black Wings exhibit. In Tuskeegee Airmen Flight Leader, an immersive 3D role-play game, students can escort B-24 bombers over Germany, confronting the challenges, decisions, and dangers of high-altitude combat.
Explore the British National Archives' Learning Curve WW II site with animated maps, audio, video and photographs.
Enigma and the Codebreakers from the Imperial War Museum in Britain presents an engaging look at the history and use of codes in wartime and explains how the German Enigma code was broken during the Second World War. The interactive exhibit is appropriate for elementary and middle school children
The Navajo Code Talkers: World War II Fact sheet is presented by the US Naval Historical Center.
America’s Native Heroes: The Lives and Times of the Navajo Code Talkers is a documentary film about these WWII heroes. The site includes biographies of six code Talkers, a slideshow, and detailed descriptions of some of the battles in the Pacific Islands.
World War II Virtual Museum from the National Park Services’ American Memorial Park presents historical information, photographs, and video selections related to the war in the Pacific.
The USS Arizona Memorial Web site from the National Park Service explains the December 7, 1941, events at Pearl harbor. The site includes a slideshow of the attack, biographies of survivors, and teacher materials.
National Geographic's Remembering Pearl Harbor Web site provides a compelling multimedia look at the events and people surrounding the attack on Pearl Harbor. The "Attack Map" allows users to navigate through the event using an interactive timeline, maps, historic and audio narration. A World War II timeline and a table of U.S. and Japanese ships and planes are also featured.
Today in History: December 7 from the Library of Congress gives a brief history of the attack on Pearl Harbor, with links to additional information and primary source materials in the Library’s collection.
Suffering Under a Great Injustice is a collection of Ansel Adams' photographs of Japanese-American internment at the Manzanar War Relocation Center in California.
Rosie Pictures: Select Images Relating to American Women Workers During World War II from the Library of Congress features images from World War II, often issued to encourage women to join the work force or to highlight other aspects of the war effort. Original titles and captions have been retained.
What did you do in the War, Grandma? , created by South Kingstown (R.I.) High School students, includes essays by several professors, a timeline, and interviews with Rhode Island women who lived through World War II.
Teaching with Documents: A Date Which Will Live in Infamy is a lesson based on Franklin Roosevelt's famous speech from the National Archives and Records Administration's "Teaching with Documents" project.
The Enola Gay Exhibit from the National Air and Space Museum features the B-29 bomber used in the atomic mission that destroyed Hiroshima. The site includes a timeline of events and 360-degree virtual panoramic views of the Enola Gay.
The Avalon Project at Yale Law School makes provides a collection of World War II documents in its online collection.
America in WWII is a magazine that focuses on the experiences of American men and women in the war and on the homefront. The archive features many articles from past editions.
World War II is a magazine from HistoryNet with background information for teachers that may not appear in current textbooks.
Last updated 11/05/2008