Junior Scholastic Teaching Kits
Teacher-approved stories, resources, and worksheets, courtesy of Junior Scholastic, the middle school Social Studies classroom magazine.
Featured Teaching Kits
Teacher-approved stories, resources, and worksheets for teaching about World War II in your classroom, courtesy of Junior Scholastic, the middle school Social Studies classroom magazine
The Attack on Pearl Harbor
This American History play tells the story of the shocking 1941 attack on the U.S. naval base in Hawaii. Accounts from real soldiers help bring this infamous day to life for your students.
Meet the Navajo Code Talkers
During World War II, information could be just as important as weapons. Learn how a group of young Navajo men helped win the war in the Pacific by creating an unbreakable code for the United States military.
Life in the Japanese Internment Camps
While the U.S. military fought overseas, a different battle was happening on American soil, as more than 110,000 Japanese Americans were placed in internment camps. This American History play tells their story in dramatic detail.
Famous quotes from World War II
“Danger gathers upon our path. We cannot afford—we have no right—to look back. We must look forward.”
— British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, December 1936
“Yesterday, December 7, 1941—a date which will live in infamy—the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.”
— Franklin D. Roosevelt, in a 1941 speech asking Congress to declare war
“It’s really a wonder that I haven’t dropped all my ideals, because they seem so absurd and impossible to carry out. Yet I keep them, because in spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart.”
— Anne Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl
“Today the guns are silent. A great tragedy has ended. A great victory has been won.”
— U.S. General Douglas MacArthur, supreme commander of the Allied Powers, after Japan’s formal surrender in September 1945
Four World War II figures who made an impact
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Roosevelt, who served as U.S. president from 1933-1945, tried to avoid U.S. involvement in World War II but changed course after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. He partnered with Great Britain, the Soviet Union, and China to defeat Germany and its allies.
Born in 1929, Frank was 13 years old when she and her Jewish family were forced into hiding in the Netherlands to avoid Nazi persecution. They were discovered two years later and sent to concentration camps, where Frank died. After the war, her father published her diary, which has been read by millions of people.
Hitler ruled Germany from 1933 to 1945 and led the Nazi Party. He sought to reestablish Germany as a leading power in Europe by seizing land from other countries and eliminating European Jews. Hitler killed himself on April 30, 1945, after realizing he faced certain defeat.
As prime minister of Great Britain during World War II, Churchill gave powerful speeches and famously resisted tyranny. He is largely credited with Britain’s decision to ally with the United States and the Soviet Union--a strategy that helped end the war.
Supplemental resources that link to external websites about World War II
Terms and definitions that pertain to World War II
discrimination against Jews
a prison or place of forced labor; often a general term that includes death camps specifically designed by the Nazis as mass killing centers during World War II
a part of a city in which members of a minority race or group live, usually in poor conditions
the mass slaughter of millions of Jews and other people by the Nazis during World War II
a place where enemies or suspected enemies are held
a member of a political party, led by Adolf Hitler from 1920 to 1945, that was dedicated to German dominance of Europe and the destruction of Jews
Explore Other Topics
Discover other free social studies topics and middle school teaching resources.
narvikk/Getty Images (Plane); Illustration by Dave Seeley (Pearl Harbor); Bettmann/Getty Images (code talkers); Library of Congress/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images (internment camp); Courtesy Sarah Kaminsky (forging materials); Hulton Archive/Getty Images (FDR); Anne Frank Fonds Basel/Getty Images (Anne Frank); Bettmann/Getty Images (Adolf Hitler); Fox Photos/Getty Images (Winston Churchill)