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Big Era Nine: Landscape Unit 9.1

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World Politics and Global Economy
After World War II

Why This Unit?

World War II stands as one of the worst human tragedies in history. Though estimates vary greatly, some say that as many as 62 million people died during the war, and it ended with the first and only use of atomic bombs. Though the war was full of horror, the world continued to advance, at least technologically, if not morally. In order to understand the current world in which we live, it is imperative that we understand the foundations of this world that were laid during and immediately after this war. It is conceivable that global leaders might have agreed to far less than they did and that another world-scale conflict might have ensued. This did not happen. It is imperative that students understand what did happen, so they may gain a deep knowledge of our contemporary world, including its key economic, social, and political developments.

Unit Objectives

Upon completing this unit, students will be able to:

1. Explain the effect that the events of World War II had on the international community’s understanding of illegal war practices.

2. Describe the impact that the Marshall Plan had on European nations.

3. Describe the basic structure and early accomplishments of the United Nations.

4. Report on the events that led to a communist government in China.

Time and Materials

This unit should take 5 class periods.

Table of Contents

Why this unit?

  2

Unit objectives

  2

Time and materials

  2

Author

  2

The historical context

  2

This unit in the Big Era timeline

  4

Lesson 1: The Rules of War

  5

Lesson 2: Refugees

14

Lesson 3: Cleaning up War-Time Destruction

20

Lesson 4: China

30

Lesson 5: The Formation of the United Nations

38

Assessment

45

This unit and the Three Essential Questions

46

This unit and the Seven Key Themes

46

This unit and the Standards in Historical Thinking

46

Resources

47

Correlations to National and State Standards and to Textbooks

48

Conceptual links to other lessons

50

Complete Teaching Unit in PDF Format

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