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Sites to See:
World Wars I and II

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Education World's Sites to See and Great Sites for Teaching About ... pages highlight Web sites to help educators work timely themes into their lessons. The sites below are some of the best on the Web for teaching about World Wars I and II.


Trenches on the Web
Trenches on the Web is a comprehensive resource of World War I materials brought together and organized in a user-friendly manner. Visit the Reference Library to see the site map and take in the length and breadth of this awesome collection of information: maps, timelines, articles, primary sources, virtual reality activities and much more. Visitors also can get an overview of the site by taking such Selected Tours as The Arts and the Great War, The Soldier's Experience, or First Hand Accounts. Teachers and students of the Great War will find this site full of information.

Images of War
This feature on the Eyewitness Web site offers great perspective on the evolution of the soldier throughout the 20th century by using photographs to document the progression of warfare. Images include Machine Gun Crew and Wounded from 1918; Rescue, Crossing the Rhine, and Fleeing in Terror from 1945; as well as photographs from the wars in Korea and Vietnam. Quotes, captions, and analysis accompany the presentation, and all images can be enlarged. This is an excellent vehicle for exploring history, technology, and the arts.

The Great War
This Web companion of the PBS series of the same name provides some wonderful resources perfect for augmenting classroom instruction on World War I. The Interviews section alone offers a wealth of firsthand accounts of Europe from all sides of the war. The timeline is no longer available, but click Maps & Locations and Start Interactive Gallery for a fabulous collection of facts and images on the war presented in chronological order.

Decoding Nazi Secrets
This NOVA site is a companion to a PBS special that offers an intriguing look into espionage and breaking the code of Nazi messages. Not only can students learn the facts behind World War II ciphering, they can also send their own coded messages using Shockwave technology.

World War II: An American Scrapbook
This ThinkQuest entry uses interviews from primary sources to present a picture of life during the Second World War from the vantage point of the United States. Lesson plans -- Rosie the Riveter's Recipes, It's My Right, and HIStories-HERstories -- are extensions of the content presented on the site and are designed with middle school students in mind. The site also challenges other students to investigate their families' involvement in the war and submit their stories to the site.

Atomic Archive
Perhaps the most ominous legacy of the Second World War -- indeed of the entire 20th century -- was the development and deployment of atomic weaponry. This site offers extensive treatment of both the years developing this capability and the use of atomic weapons in warfare. Biographies, documents, treaties, photographs, videos, maps, and much more are brought together for an in-depth study of the ethical and historical implications for this major turning point in human existence.

Voice Vision: Holocaust Survivor Oral Histories
This University of Michigan site uses Adobe Acrobat and RealPlayer technologies to present about a dozen firsthand accounts of life in the concentration camps during the Second World War. The pages are a little slow loading, but the richness of information and the impact of the experiences these people endured make it worth the effort to wait and be immersed in their accounts!

Walter McKenzie
Education World®
Copyright © Education World

Updated 10/30/2010

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