Sunday, February 28, 2016

World War II: My teachers' toolkit of the best online resources (Part One)

I'm concentrating on two topics with my students during my unit on World War Two: how technology impacted the war, and how the war impacted four social groups.  This post will concentrate on the technology; I'll write about the social groups later.

As a general introduction, though, I'm first having my students watch a selection from the extraordinarily valuable series of 13 short videos called Teachable Moments that was produced by the FDR Library.   Each student watches four videos on her/his smartphone.  The student takes notes on a blank sheet of paper divided with a large diamond in the center.  The diamond itself is divided into four triangles.  Each sheet will look something like this (sorry about the graphic!).
Notes for each of the four assigned videos will go in a different triangle.  Then the students look for students who watched other videos and share what they learned.  (No copying!  Just listening and note taking.)

For the technology component, we're going to discuss the atomic bomb and the Enigma machine.  In this video (1:24) from the Newseum, Paul Tibbets, the Enola Gay pilot, describes his mission.  The bomb's devastation is also shown.
 In this video (1:21) President Truman announces the bombing and explains its power.
This video (2:32) explains the Enigma machine and how British codebreakers led by Alan Turing broke it.  
This video (2:26) shows how an Enigma machine worked.
For the atomic bomb, my favorite online print resources are from the Truman Library (link is to primary sources), the Center for Strategic and International Studies (link is to an analysis with alternatives), and the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum (click on Search by Topic).

For the Enigma machine, my favorite online print resources are from Bletchley Park (home to the British codebreakers), the BBC, and the Imperial War Museums.

1 comment:

michael.gonzales2 said...

I incorporate Google Classroom with my instruction. My class is equip with Chromebook for each student to be able to access our learning material daily. In my lessons, I have incorporated a variety of short stories and YouTube videos regarding WW II: The U.S. Involvement. One of my student’s favorite projects for this ear is “Acting as the President”.
Through Google Classroom, I provide PowerPoint slides and YouTube videos for my students to access. I also encourage out resource research. I want for my students to be able to explore different learning material to enrich their understanding and comprehension levels of the topic we are learning. In my three week unit of WW II: The U.S. Involvement, my students learned about the dropping of the Atomic Bomb. As they strategized in small groups about the pros and cons about using the Atomic Bomb on Japan, I encouraged my students to act as the Chief in Command. Focusing on key questions and placing themselves in real world scenario situations, caused them to think about the consequences their decisions would have. With six groups working, I assigned three groups to be pro use and three groups to be anti-use of the Atomic Bomb. Each group needed to present their position to the class that would back up their views and encourage the people (my class) to side with their decision.
This is always a great project for my students as they really strive to understand the thinking process our leaders during this drastic era had to endure. The use of technology now provided to help learning has be most beneficial in my classroom. Being able to view such videos such as the FDR address to congress to declare war, was a great virtual field trip I was able to expose my students too.