Subject: Social Studies
Lesson Length: 55 - 60 mins
Topic: The Interwar Years and the Events Leading to WWII
Brief Description: Students will investigate key events during the interwar years that indirectly or directly lead to World War II.
Know Before You Start:
It helps for students to have an understanding of the effects of WWI.
Remind students that the “interwar years” means the period of time between WWI and WWII.
Vocabulary e.g., League of Nations, Treaty of Versailles, Great Depression, reparations.
Ask students to remember and discuss a significant event in their lives.
Introduce the expression “hindsight is 20/20” and discuss with students how they might change the course of that event after looking back at what happened.
Lead this into a discussion of how historians view the interwar years.
Read and discuss the sample comic.
What might have prevented an evil leader such as Hitler from coming to power?
Could anything have been done during the interwar years to prevent his rise to power?
Activity: It’s time to describe historical events in a comic.
Assign each student a significant event from the interwar years (1920-1939). Events may include:
- Benito Mussolini becoming Premier.
- The Beer Hall Putsch.
- The Munich Pact.
- Stalin takes control of the Soviet government.
- The Locarno Pacts.
Using the sample comic as a guide, have them create a two-to-three-panel comic describing this event. Comics should include:
- The significance of the event and its connection to WWII.
- The date of the occurrence.
- The important people and/or places that played a role.
Have students create a class timeline using their printed comics or simply write the name of the event on a timeline on the board.
You may choose to have students present their finished comics to the class.
Students can work independently or in groups.
Display comic expectations for independent work.