Thursday, February 26, 2015

Week 6: The Japanese Invasions & Pearl Harbor

This week we watched several fun videos from the WWII era while we were preparing for our Pearl Harbor simulation.

Charlie Chaplin -- The Lion's Cage

Charlie Chaplin -- Factory Work

Abbott & Costello -- 7 X 13 = 28

Bugs Bunny's Debut -- A Wild Hare

After we finished making paper airplanes and paper boats, we headed outside to the parking lot where Pearl Harbor was located.  We placed our boats and planes and then walked thru the morning of December 7th, 1941 in Pearl Harbor.  We got a little wet as the weather was misty, but we were at the harbor so that made sense.  :-)

We finished up with FDR's speech asking Congress for a Declaration of War on December 8th.  America wasn't the only country the Japanese attacked on the 7th.  They also attacked Malaya, Hong Kong, Guam, the Philippine Islands, and Wake Island.  They attacked Midway Island the morning of the 8th.

It was interesting to note that the Japanese had initiated formal negotiations for the maintenance of peace in the pacific and there ambassadors were still in Washington DC for that purpose when they attacked Pearl Harbor.


  • Make a simple timeline of the important events in WWII
  • FINISH READING:  The Hiding Place  by Corrie Ten Boom
  • Keep working on the interviews.  You can interview anyone that lived during WWII.
  • Keep working on you personal hero projects.  You should have 4-6 of them done by now.
NEXT WEEK:  The Holocaust

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Week 4: The Germans' Invasions

General Paige taught our lecture on the German invasions leading up to and including the early part of WWII.

Noah and Josh each shared one of the heroes they've studied for their individual hero projects. 

As part of our culture of the era, we shared a video of Abbott and Costello's "Who's on First?" comedy sketch:

Another video we shared was a more general video about the heroes and heroism of Americans:

We went more in depth on how to do the interviews of folks who lived during WWII.  Please help your scholar to find at least two people to interview.  I'll try to send out a help sheet later when I get home.

We ran out of time for our journal prompt this week so it would be great if students could spend 3-5 minutes answering this question in their journals at home this week:  Make a list of kinds of bondage and their causes.

Writing Assignment:  "What choices do you still have when you are in bondage?"

Keep working on your individual hero reports.  You should have 3-4 heroes now.

Biography Presentations:  (find a biography to read on someone during the depression or WWII era)
March 12 -- Alison
March 19 -- Haley
March 26 -- John
April 9 -- Joshua
April 16 -- Carson
April 23 -- Katie
April 30 -- Noah

Monday, February 9, 2015

Week 3: The Rise of the Demagogues

Hi Everyone!

This week we covered the Axis leaders, especially the big three -- Germany, Italy, & Japan.  We were all surprised by how many other countries were on the side of the Axis powers:  Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Finland, Thailand, Iraq, Iran, San Marino, and numerous puppet states.

We discussed the difference between a demagogue and a true leader.  I had to look up the definition of demagogue, so here's the definition in case you needed to look it up too.  :-)

demagogue -- a political leader who seeks support by appealing to popular desires and prejudices rather than by using rational argument.

In learning about the rise of these demagogues before WWII, we learned some interesting facts and trivia about Hitler, Mussolini, and Emperor Hirohito.


  • Born in AUSTRIA, not even a German citizen until after WWI
  • High School drop out
  • He spent a year in prison for trying to overthrow the German government in 1923.
  • He was an artist.  He supported himself for a time in Munich by painting and selling his artwork.  Below is a watercolor he painted in 1914 called "The Alter Hof in Munich."

  • Founder of Fascism
  • Expelled from the socialist party for supporting WWI
  • Was a journalist and writer.  He even published a novel in 1910.
  • Was imitated BY Hitler in several things -- staging a coup (Mussolini was successful, Hitler was not).  Hitler copied Mussolini's Fascism and gave it his own flavor. Mussolini had "blackshirts",  Hitler had "brownshirts."  Both the blackshirts and the brownshirts performed the same functions for their respective leaders.  The color came from the color of their uniforms.
  • 3rd largest navy in the world before WWII
  • Personally authorized the use of chemical weapons during WWII
  • Was not indicted of war crimes and allowed to keep his position as Emperor of Japan
  • Has published several scientific papers in the field of Marine Biology

Our Journal Prompt this week was:  Make a short list of leaders that you admire.  Choose one and make a list of his/her most defining character traits.

  • Writing Assignment:  What makes a true leader?
  • Reading:  Keep working on Flags of our Fathers -- due on 2/19
  • Personal Hero Project:  You should have 2-3 heroes done by class on Thursday.
  • Come prepared to sign up for your presentation dates:  One date for your oral presentation on the biography you chose to read.  The other two dates to share one of the heroes you're doing in your personal hero project.  (these second two dates are just short little presentations to help keep you on track. 1-3 minutes)
  • Keep spreading the word and/or find a couple of people you can interview for your requirements.  We're practicing interviews on Thursday and you'll want to get started ASAP after that.
NEXT WEEK:  The Germans' Invasions

~General Lisa & General Paige