TITLE: Eisenhower’s Message to the Troops
Topic: World War Two
Grade Level: 11th
Time frame: 1 day
ABSTRACT: Students will be able to analyze Allied wartime strategy by participating in a close reading and answering text-dependent questions of Eisenhower’s Message to the Troops.
Big Idea: General Eisenhower’s Message to the Troops describes Allied wartime strategy and inspires Allied troops to risk their lives for the cause of eliminating the Nazi regime with the invasion of Germany.
Focus question: 1) How does Eisenhower’s Message to the Troops prepare Allied soldiers for the invasion of Germany? Cite 2 + specific examples to support.
2) How does Eisenhower’s Message to the Troops describe Allied wartime strategy at the battle of Normandy? Cite 2 + specific examples to support.
Rationale for lesson: The rationale of this lesson is for students to closely read a primary document of Eisenhower’s Message to the Troops by first annotating the text, then answering text-dependent questions to support understanding of the focus questions.
Content Standards: 11.7 Students analyze America’s participation in World War II.
2. Explain U.S. and Allied wartime strategy, including the major battles of Midway, Normandy, Iwo Jima, Okinawa, and the Battle of the Bulge.
Historical Thinking Standards:
STANDARD II – HISTORICAL COMPREHENSION
Reconstruct the literal meaning of an historical passage.
STANDARD III – HISTORICAL ANALYSIS AND INTERPRETATION
Analyze cause – and – effect relationships and multiple causation, including the importance of the individual, the influence of ideas, and the role of chance.
Common Core Standards: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.11-12.1
Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources, connecting insights gained from specific details to an understanding of the text as a whole.
Eisenhower’s Message to the Troops
June 6, 1944
Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Force!
You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you. In company with our brave Allies and brothers-in-arms on other Fronts, you will bring about the destruction of the German war machine, the elimination of Nazi tyranny over the oppressed peoples of Europe, and security for ourselves in a free world. Your task will not be an easy one. Your enemy is well trained, well equipped and battle hardened. He will fight savagely. But this is the year 1944! Much has happened since the Nazi triumphs of 1940-41. The United Nations have inflicted upon the Germans great defeats, in open battle, man-to-man. Our air offensive has seriously reduced their strength in the air and their capacity to wage war on the ground. Our Home Fronts have given us an overwhelming superiority in weapons and munitions of war, and placed at our disposal great reserves of trained fighting men. The tide has turned! The free men of the world are marching together to Victory! I have full confidence in your courage and devotion to duty and skill in battle. We will accept nothing less than full Victory! Good luck! And let us beseech the blessing of Almighty God upon this great and noble undertaking.
SIGNED: Dwight D. Eisenhower
Other sources: N/A
Into the lesson plan
Background: 11.7.1 Origins of American involvement in World War Two, chronology of events that led to the attack on Pearl Harbor
Engagement: Picture analysis of General Eisenhower’s Message to the Troops (general observations, and questions for interpretation: What does the image reveal about General Eisenhower and his relationship with the Allied troops? How might Eisenhower and the Allied troops be feeling prior to the battle of Normandy? What message would be most effective in preparing the Allied troops for battle?
Vocabulary: Allied Powers, Axis Powers, Normandy, Eisenhower, Nazi,
Through the content:
1. Warm – Up / Anticipatory Set: Picture analysis of General Eisenhower’s Message to the Troops
2. Introduce lesson objective and focus questions
How does Eisenhower’s Message to the Troops prepare Allied soldiers for the invasion of Germany?
How does Eisenhower’s Message to the Troops describe Allied wartime strategy at the battle of Normandy?
3. Response to Text: Eisenhower’s Message to the Troops
1st Read: Students read silently and circle unfamiliar words
2nd Read: Teacher reads aloud; students underline key details
4. Guided Instruction
A. Goals: What is the author’s purpose of the text?
B. Evidence: What kids of details does the author include to make his point?
C. Impact: Predict the outcome and effects; What do you think this text will
inspire people to do?
5. Student Collaboration
Text – Dependent Questions
What words and phrases does General Eisenhower use to inspire the troops on D-Day? Explain the significance of your choices.
What events occurred prior to the anticipated Allied invasion of Normandy?
Eisenhower states that this invasion will “bring about the destruction of the German war machine… eliminate tyranny… and create security throughout the world.” What does that sentence reveal about him as both a person and a leader?
Eisenhower’s message to the troops acknowledges the difficulty of the mission, but assures them that they will be triumphant. In what ways does he accomplish this task?
6. Independent Practice
Introduce Writing Rubric. Students will respond to the focus questions.
Assessment: Students will be provided teacher feedback on their writing assessment, and will peer edit responses.
Connections: Relate to wartime speeches from similar or other eras.