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Teaching history through CLIL: Second World War Session 1 : Brief introduction of Second World War, a crucial period in history.


Dates: September 1, 1939 – September 2, 1945 Location: Europe, Pacific, Atlantic, South-East Asia, China, Middle East, Mediterranean and Northern Africa

2 THE TWO SIDES: THE ALLIES AND THE AXIS. The main Allied powers were Great Britain, The United States, China, and the Soviet Union. The leaders of the Allies were Franklin Roosevelt (the United States), Winston Churchill (Great Britain), and Joseph Stalin (the Soviet Union). The common purpose of the Allies was to defeat the Axis powers and create a peaceful post-war world. The main Axis powers were Germany, Japan and Italy. The Axis leaders were Adolf Hitler (Germany), Benito Mussolini (Italy), and Emperor Hirohito (Japan), which had the prime purpose to establish and maintain a new order of things… to promote the mutual prosperity and welfare of the peoples concerned.


1. Europe -The campaign in Poland 1939. -The Baltic States and the Russo-Finnish War 1939-40. -The war in the west, September 1939-June 1940. -The Battle of Britain. -Central Europe and the Balkans 1940-41. 2. Africa -Mussolini's invasion of Ethiopia in 1935 stirred up conflict in Africa. -Half a million Africans fought for the French. -Production in Africa was of great importance because of the halt in industry in Asia. -With European influence, the price of living went up in Africa making it harder for the African working class. 3. United States -Japan attacks Pearl Harbor December 7, 1941. -Hitler declares war on U.S. -US equipment helped the British neutralize the Soviets. -Later US troops helped in the British air raid on Germany. -Drop atomic bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki after Japanese defeat.

Now, it’s your turn!! 1. Are these countries from the Allies or from the Axis? Match them.


2. Match each word in the box with its definition.


Atomic Bomb Joseph Stalin

Axis Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Biltzkrieg

Allies Dictator

1.____________ A nuclear weapon in which enormous energy is released by nuclear fission. 2.____________The alliance of Italy, Germany and Japan. 3.____________German word meaning "lightning war". 4.____________ Communist dictator of Soviet Union. 5.___________Italian fascist dictator. 6.___________A ruler who is unconstrained by law. 7.___________The alliance of Britain, France and Russia. 8.___________German Nazi dictator during World War II. 3. Let’s do some research. In groups of 5 people, look for information regarding one of the following topics: ● ● ● ●

Which are the main causes of the war? Do everybody agree that Hitler really killed himself? Why did Spain remain neutral? Which were the consequences of the war?

Session 2: The causes of the second World War. Chairman: I’m here with four trainee teachers to discuss the question: ‘Who was to blame for the Second World War?’ Well, ladies and gentlemen – you’re going to have to teach this next year: what do you think? John: Obviously it was Hitler! He SAID in Mein Kampf in 1924 he would go to war. In 1935, he told his generals to get ready to do it in four years time. And then he went ahead and did it: 1935: rearmament rally – 1936: remilitarisation of the Rhineland – March 1938: Anschluss with Austria. In September 1938 he bullied Chamberlain into giving him the Sudetenland, and in March 1939 he took the rest of Czechoslovakia and dared the world to stop him. Then in September 1939 he did the same again in Poland and … surprise, surprise ... there’s a war. Open and shut case: Hitler! Andrea: I know that Hitler SAID he was destroying Versailles to get the support of his own people. But the Treaty of Versailles was dead long before Hitler. The allies had killed it already. They had renegotiated reparations in 1924, and allowed Hindenburg to deny war guilt in 1927. In 1935 the British had even made a naval arms agreement with Germany – they cooperated in overturning Versailles. And then they GAVE him the Sudetenland at Munich! So we can’t be surprised if Hitler thought it would be OK to

attack Poland. John: Wasn’t Chamberlain at Munich simply trying to buy time for Britain to rearm? Andrea: Rubbish! If Britain was militarily weak in the 1930s, Germany was weaker. Remember that the German army had orders to retreat if it met ANY resistance in the Rhineland in 1936. No – we ENCOURAGED Hitler to do what he did. Loads of people in Britain actually SUPPORTED what he was doing. And NOBODY thought Chamberlain would ever keep his promise to defend Poland – not even Stalin, who gave up on Britain and made the Nazi-Soviet Pact with Hitler in August 1939. Appeasement ENCOURAGED Hitler to go too far and – for me – you’ve got to blame the appeasers. Peter: I don’t think I blame a person at all. I blame the Great Depression of the 1930s. While the economy was booming in the 1920s, everybody was happy to sign up to peace. But when the economy fell apart in the ‘30s, and people were starving, suddenly it was: ‘I need that and I’m taking it, war or no war’. That’s why Japan marched into Manchuria; their Pacific empire was called the ‘Japanese Co-Prosperity Sphere’ … it can’t be any clearer than that. That’s why Italy invaded Abyssinia. And that’s what lebensraum was all about – expanding into Russia to secure food and raw materials. Paula: But surely that’s nonsense? The invasion of Poland was not about Germany ATTACKING Russia, it was about Germany and Russia allying and splitting Poland between them. That’s politics, not economics. For me, if you’re looking for a scapegoat for starting World War II, what about Stalin? Hitler would NEVER have dared to attack Poland without Russia’s consent. then the Nazi-Soviet Pact of August 1939 sort of releases a trigger and … everything explodes into war. 1.After reading the discussion about the causes of the Second World War, answer the following questions. 1. What was the first possible cause of WWII mentioned? a) Appeasement b) Hitler c) Stalin d) the Great Depression 2. What was the second possible cause of WWII mentioned? a) Appeasement b) Hitler c) Stalin

d) the Great Depression 3. What was the third possible cause of WWII mentioned? a) Appeasement b) Hitler c) Stalin d) the Great Depression 2. DEBATE. THE MOST RELEVANT QUESTION: What do you think? What was the cause of WWII? *Keep in mind. These expressions are used in the discussion. Underline them. Try to guess their meanings and check with your teacher. What do you think? Open and shut case Rubbish! You’ve got to blame… Now use these expressions in your own debate.

Session 3: Some facts about WWII 1. Read the following text and work in small groups (3-4 people). Then, in your groups, answer the questions below (1-10, following the text):!/register

1. Which of the countries mentioned in Question 1 were Totalitarian? 2. Hitler invaded Poland on 1 September, 1939. But, when did he became the ruler of Germany? 3. Why did Hitler invade all the countries mentioned in Question 3? 4. How was the image of the “Perfect German” like? 5. Do you know any famous book or film that is set during the Holocaust? 6. Who ruled in China and Japan when the war began? 7. The U.S has joined the war. What is the Day D? 8. Who was the ruler of Spain during WWII? Why? Did he help any of the countries that were fighting the war? 9. What are “The Nuremberg Trials”? 10. Look for some images showing some of the consequences of the WWII.

2. In pairs, look for some information regarding the war at the Pacific between the U.S and Japan: 1. Where did some of the battles take place? 2. Who belonged to the Allies? And to the Axis? 3. China fought against the U.S. Is it true? 4. Who else was allied with the United States? And with Japan? 5. Midway was crucial for the American victory. What happened? 6. Where and when did the U.S throw the atomic bombs?

Session 4: Consequences of the Second World War 1. Before starting the lesson, think of the impact that the Second World War had. You may have to look for information in the Internet. Work in groups: ● ● ● ●

Economically People (how many people died, the role of women…) Cities (destruction, poverty…) Territories (did any country win or lose any territory?)

2. What if Hitler and the Nazis had won the war? How do you think the world would look like? Discuss it with your groups. Then, we will have a short discussion. 3. Watch the video twice ( and pay attention to how the world would look like if the Axis had won WWII. After it, let’s write some ideas on the blackboard.

4. Now it’s your turn! In groups, discuss what would be the hardest consequence of the ones mentioned in the video.

Final session: Propaganda 1.-As you already know, there was a lot of propaganda from both sides. The main purpose was to attack the other side, to recruit new soldiers and to say that war was a pride for the country. In your groups, you have to create a poster, but this time against war. You can do it both by hand or with your computers. ● ● ● ● ●

Use big images. Capture the attention of the reader with a great slogan. Be creative and ingenious. Be direct. Remember: you must recruit soldier to fight AGAINST war and violence.

Here you have some examples:

The Second World War  

Set of materials for a CLIL classroom of History (Secondary Education)

The Second World War  

Set of materials for a CLIL classroom of History (Secondary Education)