WWII: Western Europe 1939-45 – Occupation

Warsaw, Poland, suffered much of the blunt of World War II—but according to Polish letters from the early days of Nazi occupation, other parts of the country were much worse off. High schoolers use the letters and contemporaneous photographs to analyze a drawing by Terence Cuneo that depicts the invaded state of Poland in September 1939.

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas
  • Allow partners to investigate the question together and report their findings to the rest of the class
  • Divide the primary sources between several stations and have small groups work through each station
Classroom Considerations
  • The second of eight interactive lessons on World War II in Western Europe
  • Requires Internet access and Flash®
  • Based on the British National Archives, but applicable to any country’s study of World War II
  • Provides a PDF version of the entire lesson in case you'd rather print the documents
  • Format makes the assignment easy for both group work in class and independent work at home
  • Challenges learners to use primary source analysis and critical thinking skills
  • Comes with two versions of the worksheet, making it easy to scaffold instruction
  • None