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You’d think it was Christmas

April 2, 2011
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We’re up to World War II in history.  Everyone’s so excited!  Usually I bring home library books and immediately add them to the book baskets in the living room from which they are promptly taken and devoured.  But I have so many for this time period (about 57–who knew there were so many picture books for WWII?) that I’ve been hiding them in my bedroom until I could sort out what books went with what topics and decide how we’re going to tackle this mammoth subject.

World War II is huge.  And we’re trying to make it kid-friendly.  Kid-friendly World War II–is that an oxymoron?  I’m not sure, but I do know that C’s been looking forward to this since last August.  He loves military anything…and everything.  He was so excited when he saw the various piles of books laid out on my bed a few nights ago.  He wanted to jump in and start reading right there and then.  I told him no, but each night when I go to bed I put a couple more books on the couch where they’ll find them in the morning.  It’s almost as good as Christmas!

So, how are we tackling World War II?  I got a great tip on the WTM boards.  The Veritas Press history card for WWII has 7 major points for a younger student to know about the war.  I’ve tried to roughly sort those into a 4-week long study.  Here are the topics we’ll read about each week.  (I have a lot more books for some weeks than on others so we’ll see how it goes.  Personally, I could study this time period for many more months.)

  • Week 1–Rise of Hitler and the Third Reich, invasions in Europe, London during the Blitz
  • Week 2–Pearl Harbor, life on the homefront, Japanese internment camps
  • Week 3–Concentration camps in Europe, D-Day, Germany’s surrender
  • Week 4–Atomic bomb, Japanese surrender, reconstruction

I originally planned to do another lapbook, but the boys are lapbooked out at the moment and so we’re mainly reading and we’ll do a little writing and make some nice notebook pages.  We also started a timeline just for the war years and we’ve got some projects planned.  (Anyone who lives by me in real life want to save your scrap metal for my children this week?)

There are so many great WWII movies out there as well.  DH and I just watched Saints and Soldiers and we’ve got The Great Escape and Memphis Belle here waiting to be watched.  But we don’t think the boys were ready for those just yet.  So tonight we watched The Sound of Music which of course coincides with the Anschluss.  I also have an old copy of Miracle at Moreaux to watch the third week and of course next week will be Tora, Tora, Tora! We saw that a couple of years ago and C’s been begging to watch it again.  My children are weird.  I think they may also enjoy The Scarlet and the Black, although I should probably preview it.  It’s been a few years since I’ve seen it.  Any other suggestions for kid-friendly war movies?

There are also three Five in a Row books that D will enjoy.  Next week we’ll start All Those Secrets of the World.  Grandfather’s Journey mentions Japan and the atom bomb, and then A New Coat for Anna will go along with the aftermath of the war in Europe.

That’s what we’ll be doing in April.

(I’m looking forward to it too!)

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Susan Harrington DeVogel permalink
    April 2, 2011 6:12 pm

    As a young child, I always loved the WWII movie about the 5 Sullivan brothers. It was all about brotherly and family solidarity… even though it had a sad ending. But it was not gruesome.

  2. April 7, 2011 3:16 pm

    What a great break down of WWII topics. Great post. Thanks for sharing.

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