This week fifth graders and I started our WWII unit! I love that I am able to write my own curriculum because I was able to split this quarter up into 3 different studies, all relating to civil rights (segregation in the south, WWII and Japanese Internment Camps and the rights of students with learning disabilities).
**Disclaimer!! I started out with learning about segregation because we march in the MLK parade at the end of January. So since students have learned, in depth about many civil rights movements and especially Dr. King's involvement, this march is much more meaningful to them because of the time we spend learning about it in the classroom. Otherwise, I would teach this in February for obvious reasons :)
And so we begin WWII! Specifically, the Japanese Internment Camps. Many adults are unaware of this injustice to our own people during this time and as I tell my students...we need to learn about history in order to make sure it doesn't repeat itself and to be inspired by how to go about making a change for the things we believe in.
Already, students were really excited to start this unit, I think because of their interest in war and history. For any new unit of study, I always start my introduction with which books in our classroom library relate to what we will be learning about. Sharing books with students and having them read about topics we can't necessarily cover in class is a great way to help create an integrated feel in the classroom and for students to gain even more information. From there, I shared with students a WWII timeline and craftivity that I created. We read through the timeline and then they completed the craftivity that depicts the Allies and Axis Powers. I am sure that they have a solid understanding of which countries were on either side now and it will be much easier to refer to each of these powers as we continue to learn about the war! I also love that I was able to decorate the room with their artwork. I placed some in the library and at the different learning centers.