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Junior Scholastic Teaching Kits

Teacher-approved stories, resources, and worksheets, courtesy of Junior Scholastic, the middle school Social Studies classroom magazine.

The History and Heroes of World War II

An overview of World War II: why the U.S. got involved, what citizens did to fight back, and how people worldwide were affected

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.

Read the Play
Reading a Chronology
Answer questions about a timeline of World War II.
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Lesson Plan
A step-by-step guide to teaching this article in your classroom
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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.

Read the Story
Know the News
Answer multiple-choice questions about the article.
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Lesson Plan
A step-by-step guide to teaching this article in your classroom
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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.

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Behind Barbed Wire
Analyze a primary source.
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Lesson Plan
A step-by-step guide to teaching this article in your classroom
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Adolfo Kaminsky, A Hero of the Holocaust

Not all the heroes of World War II were soldiers. Find out how a shy Jewish teenager in France risked his life to help thousands of victims escape the Nazis by forging documents.

Know the News
Answer multiple-choice questions about the article.
Get Worksheet
Know the News
Answer multiple-choice questions about the article.
Get Worksheet
Lesson Plan
A step-by-step guide to teaching this article in your classroom
Get Lesson Plan
Lesson Plan
A step-by-step guide to teaching this article in your classroom
Get Lesson Plan

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Quotes
 

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

Key Figures
 

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.

Anne Frank

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.

Adolf Hitler

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.

Winston Churchill

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.

Glossary

Terms and definitions that pertain to World War II

anti-Semitism

noun

discrimination against Jews

concentration camp

noun

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

ghetto

noun

a part of a city in which members of a minority race or group live, usually in poor conditions

Holocaust

noun

the mass slaughter of millions of Jews and other people by the Nazis during World War II

internment camp

noun

a place where enemies or suspected enemies are held

Nazi

noun

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.

The Roles of the Presidency

From Commander-in-Chief to Chief-of-State, the President has many critical roles.

The Roles of the Presidency

From Commander-in-Chief to Chief-of-State, the President has many critical roles.

The United States Constitution

The United States Constitution

Ancient Civilizations

An overview of humanity’s first large societies: how they formed, who ruled them, and how they influenced the world today.

Ancient Civilizations

An overview of humanity’s first large societies: how they formed, who ruled them, and how they influenced the world today.

The Civil Rights Movement

TKTKTK

The Civil Rights Movement

TKTKTK

Women’s History: The Struggle for Equality

Learn about important women throughout history—including Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Sojourner Truth—and the progress that’s been made in the fight for gender equality.  

Women’s History: The Struggle for Equality

Learn about important women throughout history—including Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Sojourner Truth—and the progress that’s been made in the fight for gender equality.  

Real Teens of History

These inspiring teens fought for what they believed in—and made history in the process.

Real Teens of History

These inspiring teens fought for what they believed in—and made history in the process.

Social Studies Debate Kit

Teaching the art of debating—and how to write an effective argument essay—can help students master critical-thinking and communication skills.

Social Studies Debate Kit

Teaching the art of debating—and how to write an effective argument essay—can help students master critical-thinking and communication skills.

Mastering Media Literacy and Digital Literacy

In an increasingly digital world, being able to navigate technology skillfully and evaluate online resources for accuracy and trustworthiness is crucial.

Mastering Media Literacy and Digital Literacy

In an increasingly digital world, being able to navigate technology skillfully and evaluate online resources for accuracy and trustworthiness is crucial.

Map Skills

Teaching map skills can build students’ geography knowledge—and enhance their understanding of the world in which they live.

Map Skills

Teaching map skills can build students’ geography knowledge—and enhance their understanding of the world in which they live.

Middle School Civics

An overview of civics: what it means to be a good citizen, how democracy works, and why staying informed and engaged matters—even as kids.

Middle School Civics

An overview of civics: what it means to be a good citizen, how democracy works, and why staying informed and engaged matters—even as kids.

The Civil War and Reconstruction

Use these features and supporting resources to give students deeper as well as broader knowledge of these key periods in U.S. history.

The Civil War and Reconstruction

Use these features and supporting resources to give students deeper as well as broader knowledge of these key periods in U.S. history.

Immigration

The U.S. is a nation of immigrants, built by people who left their homes to seek new lives and opportunities. However, Americans' feelings about immigrants are mixed.

Immigration

The U.S. is a nation of immigrants, built by people who left their homes to seek new lives and opportunities. However, Americans' feelings about immigrants are mixed.

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)