Franklin Roosevelt and World War II Teacher s Guide

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1 Franklin Roosevelt and World War II Grade Level: 9 12 Curriculum Focus: Social Studies Lesson Duration: 3 class periods Program Description Roosevelt Vows to Avoid War (6 min.) Sets the stage for Roosevelt s second term as president and explains why he vowed to keep America out of the brewing overseas war. Roosevelt Strengthens National Defense (5 min.) Examines how, after Hitler escalated the war, Roosevelt devised ways to prepare the U.S. national defense. Roosevelt Finds Ways to Help Britain (6 min.) Recounts how Roosevelt sent help to Britain without breaking the laws prohibiting U.S. involvement in the war. U.S. Support for Britain Grows (9 min.) Chronicles the political strategies Roosevelt used to increase U.S. support for Britain in congress and among the people. America Enters WWII (4 min.) Explains how Roosevelt s foresight prepared the United States to gear up for war quickly after Japan attacked Pearl Harbor. Discussion Questions What would have happened if the United States had not become involved in World War II? Did most Americans support fighting the war to defeat Adolf Hitler? If some Americans opposed involvement in World War II, what do you think made them feel that way? Has the United States ever elected a president with a physical disability? Lesson Plan Student Objectives Identify the circumstances and events that led the United States into World War II and the reasons many Americans initially opposed involvement in the conflict. Explain the warning signs that caused Franklin Roosevelt to believe the United States had to prepare for war as a matter of national defense, despite public opposition. Research one of the policies designed by Roosevelt to boost the U.S. national defense and determine why Roosevelt considered it important. Analyze the geographic locations that played crucial roles in the events that led to America s entry into World War II and identify the reasons for their importance.

2 Franklin Roosevelt and World War II 2 Materials Franklin Roosevelt and World War II video Computer with Internet access Print resources about Franklin Roosevelt, World War II, and pre-world War II geography A large world map displayed where all the class can see it Pre-printed blank pre-war world maps and current world maps (downloadable from the Internet) Paper, markers, pens and other supplies for creating reports, maps, and presentations Procedures 1. Ask some general pre-viewing questions and briefly discuss the topic with the class. What would have happened if the United States had not become involved in World War II? Did most Americans support fighting the war to defeat Adolf Hitler? If some Americans opposed involvement in that war, what do you think made them feel that way? Do you think the United States has ever elected or would ever elect a president with a physical disability? 2. View the video. 3. After viewing, ask students to share their general observations about Franklin Roosevelt. Which circumstances and events led the United States into World War II and why did Americans initially oppose any involvement in that conflict? What warning signs caused Roosevelt to believe the United States had to prepare for war as a matter of national defense, despite public opposition? How did the lingering effects of the Dust Bowl, the Great Depression, and World War I (which people then referred to as The Great War ) make Americans reluctant to commit their sons and the nation s resources to another European war? What events and circumstances changed their minds and made most Americans favor not only helping the Allies but actively fighting the war? 4. Ask students to name the actions Roosevelt took that, while not overtly declaring war or specifically violating the nation s neutral status, still prepared the U.S. to respond quickly after it was attacked. As students give their input to the discussion, compile a list on the board of Roosevelt s actions. (If students do not volunteer one or more of the following, add them to the list: the tax increase to boost military spending; reclassification of some military equipment as surplus so it could be sold to U.S. Steel, which could then sell it to Great Britain; bartering with Britain and trading 50 navy destroyers for leases on Britain s military bases in the Caribbean; activating the military draft; creating the Lend-Lease Act, which enabled the U.S. to officially remain neutral while equipping Allied nations to fight the war.) 5. Ask students to research in more detail one of Roosevelt s policies designed to bolster the U.S. national defense and determine why Roosevelt considered it important. After researching, they will write a report explaining how Roosevelt s foresight to take this action put the U.S. in a stronger position to defend itself when it finally went to war. Students may begin their project research with the Web sites below, but encourage them to visit other sites, as well as the library.

3 Franklin Roosevelt and World War II 3 The following Web sites provide resources for student research: Wikipedia: Lend-Lease Naval Historical Center: The Lend-Lease Act Yahooligans: Franklin Delano Roosevelt The American Experience: Franklin Roosevelt World War II Chronology Wikipedia: Selective Service Act The World at War, Speeches by Franklin D. Roosevelt The American Economy During World War II 6. Later in the week, ask the class to form into groups of four or five students. Each group will analyze the geographic locations that played crucial roles in the events that led to America s entry into World War II and identify the reasons for their importance in the chain of events. They will then create a map display and oral reports about their chosen geographic locations. Each group will highlight one location on its map display for each member of the group (four or five locations total). Each member will make a short presentation to the class about one of the locations and what importance it had to the beginning and progress of the war. Students may begin their project research with the Web sites below, but encourage them to visit other sites, as well as the library. The following Web sites provide resources for student research: Blank World Maps

4 Franklin Roosevelt and World War II 4 Map of Europe in European Border Changes, Wikipedia: Sudetenland Sudetenland Assessment Germans Invade Poland Polish September Campaign Survival and Resistance: The Netherlands Under Nazi Occupation Battle of the Netherlands Dunkirk Evacuation, Operation Sealion, and the Battle of Britain Wikipedia: Battle of France The London Blitz, Wikipedia: Attack on Pearl Harbor Use the following three-point rubric to evaluate students work during this lesson. 3 points: Students clearly identified the circumstances and events that led the United States into World War II and the reasons Americans initially opposed any involvement in the conflict; students clearly explained the warning signs that caused Franklin Roosevelt to believe the United States had to prepare for war as a matter of national defense, despite public opposition; students thoroughly researched one of Roosevelt s policies designed to boost the U.S. national defense and wrote an excellent report examining and explaining why Roosevelt considered the policy important and how it prepared the U.S. to fight the war;

5 Franklin Roosevelt and World War II 5 Vocabulary students contributed significantly to their group project, accurately analyzing the geographic locations that played crucial roles in events leading America into World War II; students gave an excellent presentation that illustrated the location of the events and identified the reasons for their importance. 2 points: Students adequately identified the circumstances and events that led the United States into World War II and the reasons Americans initially opposed any involvement in the conflict; students adequately explained the warning signs that caused Franklin Roosevelt to believe the United States had to prepare for war as a matter of national defense, despite public opposition; students adequately researched one of Roosevelt s policies designed to boost the U.S. national defense and wrote an acceptable report examining and explaining why Roosevelt considered the policy important and how it prepared the U.S. to fight the war; students contributed to their group project, adequately analyzing the geographic locations that played crucial roles in events leading America into World War II; students gave a good presentation that illustrated the location of the events and identified the reasons for their importance. 1 point: Students did not adequately identify the circumstances and events that led the United States into World War II or the reasons Americans initially opposed any involvement in the conflict; students did not adequately explain the warning signs that caused Franklin Roosevelt to believe the United States had to prepare for war as a matter of national defense; students minimally researched one of Roosevelt s policies designed to boost the U.S. national defense and wrote an unacceptable report which did not adequately examine or explain why Roosevelt considered the policy important or how it prepared the U.S. to fight the war; students did not contribute much to their group project, failing to analyze the geographic locations that played crucial roles in events leading America into World War II; students gave a poor presentation that did little to illustrate the location of the events or identify the reasons for their importance. Axis Powers Definition: Nations that opposed the U.S. and its Allies in World War II, specifically Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, and Imperial Japan Context: The Axis Powers began with an alliance between Germany and Italy, followed by the addition of Japan. Atlantic Charter Definition: A joint declaration by the United States and Great Britain issuing principles to be followed in their national policies in the postwar period Context: President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill created the Atlantic Charter in a series of meetings aboard a warship in the North Atlantic. blitzkrieg Definition: German word meaning literally lightning war or flash war that became a popular term for large scale military attacks by Nazi Germany

6 Franklin Roosevelt and World War II 6 Context: Germany s blitzkrieg against Poland convinced the world that Hitler intended to conquer all of Europe. Dust Bowl Definition: Region of the United States that suffered a series of dust storms in the 1930s caused by a severe drought and farming practices that depleted the land Context: The Dust Bowl, in addition to the Great Depression, contributed to the disastrous economic conditions of the 1930s. Great Depression Definition: A severe worldwide economic slump which began in 1929 and continued through most of the 1930s Context: In 1940 the United States finally began to see some relief from the Great Depression. isolationists Definition: People who support a national policy of abstaining from political or economic relations with other countries Context: In the 1930s most Americans considered themselves isolationists because of the losses they saw the nation suffer during World War I. Lend-Lease Act Definition: A program that allowed the United States to provide help to the Allied nations in World War II while officially remaining a neutral country Context: The Lend-Lease Act became America s first step away from isolationism since the end of World War I. polio Definition: The common term for poliomyelitis, a viral disease that causes muscle weakness and paralysis Context: Franklin Roosevelt led the United States through some of the greatest difficulties in its history, even though polio had left him with partially paralyzed legs. Academic Standards Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning (McREL) McREL's Content Knowledge: A Compendium of Standards and Benchmarks for K 12 Education addresses 14 content areas. To view the standards and benchmarks, visit This program addresses the following national standards: Civics What Is Government and What Should It Do: Understands ideas about civic life, politics, and government; Understands the essential characteristics of limited and unlimited

7 Franklin Roosevelt and World War II 7 governments; Understands the major characteristics of systems of shared powers and of parliamentary systems. Civics What Are the Basic Values and Principals of American Democracy: Understands the central ideas of American constitutional government and how this form of government has shaped the character of American society; Understands the importance of Americans sharing and supporting certain values, beliefs, and principles of American constitutional democracy; Understands the roles of voluntarism and organized groups in American social and political life; Understands the character of American political and social conflict and factors that tend to prevent or lower its intensity; Understands issues concerning the disparities between ideals and reality in American political and social life. Civics How Does the Government Established by the Constitution Embody the Purposes, Values, and Principles of American Democracy: Understands the major responsibilities of the national government for domestic and foreign policy, and understands how government is financed through taxation; Understands what is meant by "the public agenda," how it is set, and how it is influenced by public opinion and the media; Understands the roles of political parties, campaigns, elections, and associations and groups in American politics; Understands the formation and implementation of public policy. Civics What Is the Relationship of the United States to Other nations and to World Affairs: Understands how the world is organized politically into nation-states, how nation-states interact with one another, and issues surrounding U.S. foreign policy; Understands the impact of significant political and nonpolitical developments on the United States and other nations. Civics What Are the Roles of the Citizen in American Democracy: Understands the importance of political leadership, public service, and a knowledgeable citizenry in American constitutional democracy. History United States History, Era 8 The Great Depression and World War II ( ): Understands the causes and course of World War II, the character of the war at home and abroad, and its reshaping of the U.S. role in world affairs. Geography The World in Spatial Terms: Understands the characteristics and uses of maps, globes, and other geographic tools and technologies; Knows the location of places, geographic features, and patterns of the environment; Understands the characteristics and uses of spatial organization of Earth's surface. Geography Human Systems: Understands the nature and complexity of Earth's cultural mosaics; Understands the patterns and networks of economic interdependence on Earth's surface; Understands the forces of cooperation and conflict that shape the divisions of Earth's surface. Geography Environment and Society: Understands the changes that occur in the meaning, use, distribution and importance of resources. Geography Uses of Geography: Understands how geography is used to interpret the past. Language Arts Writing: Uses the general skills and strategies of the writing process; Gathers and uses information for research purposes.

8 Franklin Roosevelt and World War II 8 Language Arts Reading: Uses the general skills and strategies of the reading process; Uses reading skills and strategies to understand and interpret a variety of informational texts. Language Arts Listening and Speaking: Uses listening and speaking strategies for different purposes. Life Skills Working With Others: Contributes to the overall effort of a group; Works well with diverse individuals and in diverse situations; Displays effective interpersonal communication skills. National Council for the Social Studies The National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) has developed national standards to provide guidelines for teaching social studies. To view the standards online, go to: This lesson plan addresses the following thematic standards: Culture Time, Continuity, and Change People, Places, and Environment Individuals, Groups, and Institutions Power, Authority, and Governance Production, Distribution, and Consumption Science, Technology, and Society Global Connections Civic Ideals and Practices DVD Content This program is available in an interactive DVD format. The following information and activities are specific to the DVD version. How to Use the DVD The DVD starting screen has the following options: Play Video This plays the video from start to finish. There are no programmed stops, except by using a remote control. With a computer, depending on the particular software player, a pause button is included with the other video controls. Video Index Here the video is divided into sections indicated by video thumbnail icons; brief descriptions are noted for each one. Watching all parts in sequence is similar to watching the video

9 Franklin Roosevelt and World War II 9 from start to finish. To play a particular segment, press Enter on the remote for TV playback; on a computer, click once to highlight a thumbnail and read the accompanying text description and click again to start the video. Curriculum Units These are specially edited video segments pulled from different sections of the video (see below). These nonlinear segments align with key ideas in the unit of instruction. They include onscreen pre- and post-viewing questions, reproduced below in this. Total running times for these segments are noted. To play a particular segment, press Enter on the TV remote or click once on the Curriculum Unit title on a computer. Standards Link Selecting this option displays a single screen that lists the national academic standards the video addresses. Teacher Resources This screen gives the technical support number and Web site address. Video Index I. Roosevelt Vows to Avoid War (6 min.) During Roosevelt s second term as president, he watched nervously as Adolf Hitler made aggressive moves in Europe. Discover why Roosevelt vowed to keep America out of the brewing overseas war. II. Roosevelt Strengthens National Defense (5 min.) After Hitler escalated the war, Roosevelt knew he had to prepare the U.S. for national defense. Examine the complex political issues Roosevelt had to consider to keep America safe. III. Roosevelt Finds Ways to Help Britain (6 min.) Winston Churchill warned that if America waited to join the war, Hitler might succeed at world domination. Learn how Roosevelt sent help to Britain without breaking laws prohibiting U.S. involvement in the war. IV. U.S. Support for Britain Grows (9 min.) Roosevelt s reelection left him free to press Congress for more aid to Britain. Analyze the political strategies Roosevelt used to persuade Congress to give Churchill the help he requested. V. America Enters WWII (4 min.) Roosevelt s foresight had prepared the United States to gear up for war quickly after being attacked. Imagine the consequences if Americans had been less prepared to fight Japan and the Nazis. Curriculum Units 1. American Isolationism in the 1940s Pre-viewing question Q: How do you think most Americans felt about the war against Hitler in 1940?

10 Franklin Roosevelt and World War II 10 A: Answers will vary. Post-viewing question Q: Why did most Americans oppose getting involved in the war against Hitler? A: Many Americans had been killed and disabled in the Great War, which we now call World War I. Families suffered because of these losses, and most Americans did not see how involvement in that war had helped anyone in America except companies that manufactured the tools and supplies for war. The American economy was still suffering the effects of the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression, and Americans wanted their government to direct its attention and resources to problems at home. 2. Roosevelt Before His Presidency Pre-viewing question Q: From what disease did Roosevelt suffer before and during his presidency? A: Polio and its crippling aftereffects. Post-viewing question Q: Why did Roosevelt try to hide his disability from the American public? A: He believed that, for Americans to have the hope and strength they needed to overcome the many problems they faced, they needed to have confidence in the strength and vitality of their president. 3. Winston Churchill Pre-viewing question Q: Who led Great Britain through World War II as Roosevelt led the U.S.? A: Prime Minister Winston Churchill. Post-viewing question Q: Why did the British Parliament replace their prime minister, Neville Chamberlain, with Winston Churchill during a war? A: Chamberlain wanted to negotiate with and appease the Nazis, even after they had invaded Poland. The British parliament lost confidence in his strategies when Germany continued its aggression, attacking Holland and Belgium. Parliament then replaced Chamberlain with Winston Churchill, who had long warned of the dangers of not fighting the Nazis. 4. The 1940 Presidential Election Pre-viewing question Q: What was unusual about Roosevelt running for reelection in 1940? A: No previous American president had ever run for a third term. Post-viewing question Q: Q: Why did Roosevelt want so much to win the 1940 election? A: His opponent, Wendell Wilke, ran a campaign based on a policy called isolationism. Isolationists wanted America to stay out of wars and other international affairs and to focus the nation s resources on domestic projects rather than defense. Roosevelt feared that, if Wilke won the election, he would not

11 Franklin Roosevelt and World War II 11 prepare the U.S. for a war with Germany and the nation would not be able to defend itself when necessary. 5. Pearl Harbor Changes America s Mind Pre-viewing question Q: When did the United States officially enter World War II? A: In December Post-viewing question Q: What finally convinced Americans of the need to go to war? A: The Japanese air attack and bombing at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii.

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