Home School Life Journal From Preschool to High School

Home School Life Journal ........... Ceramics by Katie Bergenholtz
"Let us strive to make each moment beautiful."
Saint Francis DeSales

World War II, part 1: 1939-1941:President Roosevelt and Blitzkrreig to Pearl Harbor

Timeline and Maps

I was able to show the boys the progression of the war by printing out a very large map from Owl and Mouse  and then using little figures from Axis and Allies 1914 World War I Board Game. Plastic Army men would work as well. I just went through each step of the timeline and they put down the appropriate pieces in the correct places.

1938-1939 Blitzkreig

  • Germans take over Austria, claiming that the people, language and heritage was the same as theirs and should be united.
  • Germans take over Czechoslovakia (Sudetenland).
  • Russians make a pact with Germany 
  • World War I officially begins when Germany invades Poland in a Blitzkrieg or "lightening war."
  • German U-boats sink ships in order to reduce supply shipments to the opposition.
  • Britain and France declare war on Germany.
  • Soviet troops invade Finland
  • British evacuate their cities and coastal towns to suburbs and country towns. (Lion Witch and the Wardrobe and The Secret Garden are set at this time.)

1940 Dunkirk

  • Germans invade  Denmark an Norway. 
  • Germans invade Holland, Beligum  and Luxemborg.
  • Germany invades France from the north through Belgium and the Netherlands, rather than attack along the heavily defended French-German border.
  • Unable to stop the German advance, the British begin an emergency evacuation from the French port of Dunkirk to prevent their capture.
  • German troops enter Paris and mimic the parade that celebrated the French victory of German in WWI.
  • America begins Lend-Lease Agreement with Britain  In exchange for a 99-year lease of 8 British owned naval and air bases, the US sends Britain destroyers.
  • Japan joins Axis.
  • Italy invades Egypt.

1940 The Battle of Britain

  • German planes bomb London for 57 consecutive nights 
  • Germany, Italy and Japan join a ten-year military alliance
  • German troops enclose the Jewish neighborhood in Warsaw, Poland, forming the Warsaw Ghetto.
  • Germany invade Egypt to help Italy.
  • Britian seizes control of Iraq to attack Axis held Syria.
  • British troops in Africa recapture Somailand, Ethiopia.
  • Germany invades the Soviet Union (despite their German-Soviet Pact). As Germans approach Moscow, Russians dig trenches around the city. Germans, not prepared for winter weather, are pushed back by Russians.

1941 Pearl Harbor

  • Japanese aircraft launch an unprovoked attack on the US naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
  • United States declares war on Japan, meanwhile Japan attacks US bases in the Philippines.
 We have been playing World War II edition of Monopoly, and it has helped the boys by familiarizing them with all the events surrounding America's involvement in WWII. The board itself is a timeline, beginning with the Bootcamps and the Lend-Lease policy, and ending with Victory over Japan.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Fireside Chats

32nd President
Served: 1933-1945
Party: Democrat
Important First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt
1921 became sick that resulted in paralysis from the waist down – succeeded in convincing the public he was improving and always was seen in the public standing with braces, a cane or support of someone beside him
Elected in the midst of the Great Depression
“New Deal” – Federal Emergency Relief, National Industrial Recovery Act, Social Security Act, Fair labor laws – setting minimum wage
World War II declared after Pearl Harbor was attacked by Japan – puts an end to the countries economic problems
The “Big Three” – Roosevelt, Stalin, and Churchill –worked together
During his 4th term, FDR suffered a brain hemorrhage in Georgia, where he later died
Death was 1 month before German surrender during WW II
Namesakes: Roosevelt Memorial in Washington, D.C.
Roosevelt dime


Extinguish an Incendiary

Germany's air attack of Britain used ordinary bombs and incendiary bombs. Incendiary bombs started fires and smoked rather than exploding. They could crash into attics and set the whole house on fire within minutes. The British government issued instructions and materials for how to dispose of incendiary bombs before they could cause too much damage. We simulated this process, using cone incense for the bomb. We did it outside to make the process safer and easier to clean up.
Hardly before the incense was lit, the boys went into action.
 They knelt down low to avoid the smoke, turned on the hose and sprayed the "bomb."
In Britain, they used a stirrup hand pump instead of a hose
 Next they were to scoop some sand out of a bucket to cover the bomb. This cools the bomb down to allow it to be handled more safely. The boys did this part so fast, I only got a picture of it after they had finished.
 Next, using a broom, they swept the bomb into a dustpan...
and the bomb was deposited into the bucket. The bomb can now be carried away from the house.
If you choose to do this activity, make sure you take safety adequate precautions and have adult supervision at all times.

 I saw these on a trip to the store and so I picked them up for the boys to do the incendiary bomb activity again.
 The boys had fun pretending that they had been attacked with an incendiary bomb. I, of course, would not recommend you doing this and stopped them, as soon as I snapped a picture. They do make satisfying and convincing smoke though.
 The bomb has landed, so our crew goes into action...
 dousing the bomb with sand. I don't know whether you can tell it from the picture, but it is still smoking some, which was great to show them that the water was needed as well. 
 Now it is all out.
The only step left to do is sweep it up.

Soldiers of the World

These pages are free samples at Homeschool in the Woods' World War II
The boys colored in pages of the various uniforms worn by the soldiers.

Using Clouds

We learned about how clouds were named and where they could be found in the sky by making this 3-D Cloud Chart.
Early in World War II, Army officials thought aircraft spotters could help identify the altitude of aircraft by referring to whatever clouds they saw. The system didn't work very well for spotting aircraft, but Army Air Force officials found out that the additional information did help them predict approaching weather conditions." - World War II Days: Discover the Past with Exciting Projects, Games, Activities, and Recipes (American Kids in History Series), David C. King

Alexander Calder

We learned about Alexander Calder's mobiles or "kinetic sculptures," which he began making in the twenties and continue on after World War II. Here is Katie holding up a mobile she made of found objects and origami.


1 comment:

  1. I like the activity of putting out the incendiary, what a great idea!


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