Mapping World War II

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Social Studies, United States History, Geography

Grade 5- 8

Objective

Students map World War II in honor of Memorial Day.

Directions

World War II presents itself with a number of possible mapping activities. Some suggested projects are listed below. Use the maps on page 226 or have the students draw their own maps as specified. Pair or group the students and assign each a different mapping activity. When all projects have been completed let one group at a time share their assignments with the rest of the class. Compile all the maps into a classroom book about World War II.
  1. Use a map of Europe. Title the map "German and Italian Aggression in Europe in 1939." Color all the German-invaded countries red; label each country with its correct name. Color the Italian-invaded countries green; label each country with its name.
  2. On a map of the Pacific region, color red all the countries which were Japanese territories in 1941. Label each country with its name. Give the map an appropriate title.
  3. Map the European theater war battles. Draw a symbol of your choice to show where battles took place, for example, Dunkirk, Nunzio, and Kursk. Label each city with its name. On the back of the map, list each city and tell who fought there and who won.
  4. Use a map of Europe to show which countries were Allied forces, which were Axis powers, and which remained neutral. Color all Allied countries blue, color all Axis countries red and leave all neutral countries white. Label each country with its name.
  5. Draw a map of the island of Oahu. Locate and label the following military installations: Hickam Field, Wheeler Field, Pearl Harbor, Bellows Field, Barbers Point Marine Base, Haleiwa Field, and Kaneohe Naval Air Station. Draw appropriate symbols, such as planes, to indicate the path taken by the Japanese forces and the damage done to U.S. forces. Make a list of all the U.S. Navy ships which were sunk or damaged in the attack on Pearl Harbor.
  6. Make a map which reflects the changes in boundaries of European countries after World War II. Label each country. Make a list of those that were newly created and another list of those that were eliminated.
  7. Map the Battle of the Bulge, the D-Day invasion, or the Battle of Britain. Draw different symbols for each set of forces. Label the cities in which the battles were fought. Use arrows to show the directions in which the various forces moved.
  8. Draw a map of Germany; copy it. Label one map "Pre World War II." Label the other map "Post-World War II." Show the differences in internal boundaries between the two time periods.

Resources

Maps of European and Pacific Theaters activity page
pencils
paper
coloring materials
Cobblestone Magazine (January 1993 issue) "World War II: Americans in Europe."
World War II by Tom McGowen (Franklin Watts, 1993).

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