Today’s typical high school student has likely encountered a handful of books or movies
that explore aspects of World War II, from the Holocaust to D-Day to Japanese
American internment camps. While these media can enhance a student’s intellectual
and emotional understanding of the events, they don’t always provide a full picture of
World War II–its complex causes, effects, and legacy that continues to shape the United
States today. How can a U.S. History teacher invite students into the drama of World
War II and help them make these critical connections?
Core Documents Collection
The collection of documents on World War II explores the American shift from neutrality
to declaration of war after the Pearl Harbor attacks. The documents go on to examine
military and political strategies along with the war’s impact on women, African
Americans, and Japanese Americans at home. Finally, they delve into the aftermath of
Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which ushered in the nuclear age.
The World War II Core Document volume contains the following:
● Key documents on the period, from the Neutrality Act of 1935 to Roosevelt’s
Fireside Chats and speeches, Truman’s press release alerting the nation about
the atomic bomb, letters and diaries from soldiers, and reports from the
● An introduction highlighting key documents and themes
● A thematic table of contents, showing the connections between various
● Study questions for each document, as well as questions that refer to other
documents in the collection
● Notes on each document to identify people, events, movements, or ideas to
improve understanding of the document’s historical context
You can use some or all of the Core Documents, tailoring them to your curriculum,
schedule, and students’ needs. When you plan a lesson around a Core Document
rather than a textbook, you will start to see your students making connections that bring
the issues surrounding World War II to life.
Accessing the World War II Core Documents is easy. Just click on the link below and
find everything you need to bring the World War II Era into your classroom today!
SYNOPSIS: The World War II volume of Core Documents Collections is designed to
help teachers bring to life for students the causes, effects, and legacy of the war. Check
out this unique resource, provided by Teaching American History.