Course syllabus

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World War II Studies

Teacher: Mr. Kuss

Phone: 480-472-8158/

Contact Time: I am available by appointment. Please call.
Textbook: “The Story of World War II” by Donald L. Miller, “The Second World: A World In Flames” by Sir Max Hastings, and “World War II A Short History” by Michael J. Lyons


Cell Phones, Hats, Electronic Devices, Gang Wear, MP3 Players, I Pods, CD Players, Sagging Pants, Swearing, Food, or other items labeled in your student passport!

This course will cover the events that led up to WWII and how it shaped a generation. It will cover the rise of the dictators in Europe, the effect of the Great Depression and its effects on all nations involved in World War II. The course will focus on the social, political, and economic areas, and how they were affected. Emphasis will be put on the events that drew the Unites States into the conflict and the effect on the nation. Both theaters of war will be covered, the Pacific and the European. The important role that women and minorities played, and the effect of the war on the home front. Major battles will be discussed and studied.
After completion of this course students will know: The origins of World War II, including the rise of Fascism and Nazism, militarism and imperialism in Japan, aggression and appeasement. Impact of the Great Depression. Political & Military Leaders. Describe how the U.S. moved from a policy of neutrality to one of involvement in the war. World War II on the American home front, including economic changes and effects, social changes. The role of women & minorities.. Internment of Japanese Americans. The Holocaust (brief history). Describe U.S. military strategy in Europe and Asia. Major Offensives/The Air War & War at Sea. Decision to use the Atomic Bomb & its effect. Planning for postwar international cooperation and peace. How World War II shaped the world today and lasting impacts.
State Standards:

S1C8-PO2, S4C1-PO2, S4C1-PO3

Priority Performance Objectives

S1C7-PO3, S1C8-PO2 & S1C9-PO1

Students should know and be able to….
• Analyze the impact of the Treaty of Versailles had on European nations, with

emphasis on Germany

• Assess the impact of the rise of dictators with emphasis on the rise of Hitler

and Nazism

• Describe the reasons for Japanese imperialism and militarism

• Analyze the causes and effects of German militarism and territorial gains

• Analyze the consequences of the Munich Conference and appeasement

• Describe the United States movement away from isolationism

• Analyze the impact of the Non-Aggression Pact

• Examine the Germany’s invasion of Poland and the start of WWII

• Examine the European Theater from 1939-1941, with emphasis on strategy,

major battles and military and political leaders

• Analyze Japan’s strategy and decision to attack Pearl Harbor

• Assess Japan’s territorial gains after Pearl Harbor

• Examine the U.S. entry into the war

• Examine the Nazi’s Final Solution and the Holocaust

• Analyze the economic and social impact of WW II on the home front, with

emphasis on women and minorities, and the use of propaganda

• Determine the cause and effects of Japanese Internment

• Examine the European Theater from 1942-1943, emphasis on strategy, major

battles, as well as military and political leaders

• Examine the Pacific Theater from 1942-1943, with emphasis on strategy,

major battles, as well as military and political leaders

• Assess the impact of the Manhattan Project

• Examine the European Theater from 1944-1945 with emphasis on strategy,

major battles, as well as military and political leaders

• Examine the Pacific Theater from 1944-1945 with emphasis on strategy, major

battles, as well as military and political leaders

• Analyze the final battles of the European & Pacific Theater, and the decision

to use the atom bomb

• Assess the cost of WWII: financially, socially and geographically for all nations

• Examine the United States & Soviet philosophy in Europe, the beginning of the

Cold War including the Marshall Plan, Berlin Airlift and the United Nations

World War II Studies Tentative Timeline (subject to change)
• Review WWI, Treaty of Versailles: 1 week

• Rise of Dictators: 2 weeks

• Militarism and Imperialism Germany, Japan and Italy: 2 weeks

• German War Machine/Munich Conference: 1 week

• Non-Aggression Pact/Start of WWII/U.S. Isolation: 3 days

• European Theater 1939-1941: 1 week

• Japanese Strategy/Pearl Harbor/U.S. entry: 1 week

• Pacific Theater 1941-1942/U.S. mobilization: 1 week

• Manhattan Project: 2 days

• European Theater 1942-1943: 1 week

• Final Solution & Japanese Interment: 1 week

• War on the Home Front/Propaganda: 1 week

• European Theater 1944-1945: 1 week

• Pacific Theater 1944-1945: 1 week

• Final battles European Theater: 2 days

• Finals battles/decision to use the atom bomb: 3 days

• Costs of WWII & beginnings of Cold War: 1 week
Linking Performance Objective

Interpret maps & images (political, thematic & geographic)


Use appropriate maps & geographic representations to analyze geographical problems and change


This course requires daily classwork. Students planning to excel in the class spend a minimum of five-seven hours per week studying. It is up to the student to learn the material. There will be quizzes each week on the week’s chapter reading. The bonus to the student is that they can plan their own study time to more easily match their schedule. All assignments are given in advance to allow students to organize their time. Every effort will be made to strictly adhere to the syllabus.

It is advised that students NOT THROW ANYTHING AWAY. Inadequate and poor planning on the student’s part does not constitute an emergency on my part. In short, if you see you are behind and NEED an “A”, plan better and study harder.

10% Final Exam

40% Classwork/Homework (homework less than 10%)

30% Test

20% Final Project Paper


90% - 100% = A

80% - 89.9% = B

70% - 79.9% = C

60% - 69.9% = D

< 59.9% = F

All assignments must be completed on time and turned in on the date listed. It is your responsibility to see me immediately. Any late work will receive a 50% reduction. Test are to be made up within one day’s time of absence . Being ill or away before the test does not excuse you from taking the test when scheduled. Only verifiable reasons for missing an exam will be accepted (i.e., field trip, all-day illness phoned in by parent, etc.) Under those circumstances a make-up test will be allowed. Make-up tests will not be from the same prompt as the one given on the testing day. Extenuating circumstances will be handled on an individual basis.


May appear at anytime to insure textbook is being read!


If you are having problems, it is your duty and responsibility to come and see me. I am generally available during 2nd lunch and 7th Hour Prep in room 603P.


There will be strict adherence to RMHS attendance and ID card policies.

  • We are all supposed to behave as adults, so we should respect the views expressed by everyone. As this is a history class, there may come a time when opinions are presented. One must be mindful of how one presents one’s views in class. Being a college level class, college level primary source material will be presented; you will need to handle it in an adult manner. Childish behavior will NOT be tolerated.


  • Remember, I don’t give you grades, YOU EARN THEM.

  • Take good Cornell Notes!!!!!!


  1. Social and cultural developments and reforms.

  2. Political developments of the unit to include institutions, policy, and diplomatic relations.

  3. Economic trends, policy and impact.


Each week a minimum of 2 primary sources and/or secondary sources will be assigned in addition to each week’s textbook reading. You the student must read each of the assigned textbook readings prior to that week to ensure constant and meaningful classroom discussions. Each week also utilizes discussions of, and writing about related historiography: how interpretations of events have changed over time, how the issues of one time period have had an impact on the experiences and decisions of subsequent generations, and how such reevaluations of the past continue to shape the way historians see the world today.

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