Eastern Europe 1939-45 — Stalingrad

Acts of civilian courage in Great Britain—and in one case, the island of Malta—often receive the George Cross, instituted by King George VI at the beginning of World War II. After the valiant defense of Stalingrad by its inhabitants, many in the British Empire hopes to see the George Cross given to the city for its service in stopping the advance of German troops. Young historians read primary source documents and plan a report that argues whether Stalingrad should or should not receive the coveted prize of valor during wartime.

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas
  • Display the initial letter on the board; have learners discern who wrote the letter, what they are asking, and what students think the government's response will be
  • Use in a cross-curricular lesson on persuasive/argumentative writing and World War II in social studies
Classroom Considerations
  • Requires access to the Internet and the latest version of Flash®
  • The last of four resources that investigate major events of World War II in Eastern Europe
  • Lesson was published by the British National Archives, but would still fit into any country's study of World War II
  • Provides electronic and printable versions of all documents
  • Inquiry-based format lends well to both small-group collaboration and independent research
  • None