Teachers can use Timeline World War 2 with Robert MacNeil to supplement, or even replace, their text-based materials in a U.S. history or world history classroom. This overview of the war doesn't just focus on the United States' role in the war; it covers the roles of all of the major players, helping students gain a thorough understanding of the war. It serves not only as a good introduction to the war, but also as a key resource for inspiring and helping students find information for research projects. For example, students may use the nationality filter to find information on a particular country's involvement in the war, or the ships filter to find information about the role a particular ship played in the war. Teachers may also want to incorporate the app as part of a whole-class lesson, using the timeline to replace a slideshow in a more traditional lecture or exploring the timeline as a class during an introduction to the war.Continue reading Show less
Editor's Note: Timeline World War 2 with Robert MacNeil is no longer available to download.
Noted journalist Robert MacNeil opens Timeline World War 2 with a video introduction explaining his connection to World War 2 and the significance of the war, and a brief tutorial covering the main features of the app. Students have the option to skip the video introduction but should take the time to watch it to help orient themselves with the app. Those who don't watch the introduction may feel a bit overwhelmed when they first enter the timeline, as it can appear quite busy. The busy-ness, however, comes from the wealth of information about World War 2 that it contains.
The timeline begins in September 1939, when Britain, France, India, Australia, and New Zealand declared war on Nazi Germany. Kids can tap a notecard to reveal more information, tap photographs to get a view of what was going on, or tap a film strip to access video and audio recordings, such as a recording of British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain's declaration of war. After exploring the beginnings of the war, they can scroll through the timeline, accessing similar information for each month and year. They can filter the timeline to highlight specific people, locations, nationalities, or other important information. Also included is a map that kids can use to help them understand where key events on the timeline took place, and an "On This Day" feature that allows them to see what key events happened on the current date in history.
Using the interactive timeline, students can build their own understanding of World War 2, its key players, and some of its most important events. The timeline itself helps kids learn about the war by providing them with multiple types of resources, including videos, audio files, photographs, and informational passages. Seeing that information in relation to the map helps them better organize it in their own heads and recognize the war's global impact. A search and filter feature helps kids limit non-relevant information and focus on what they need to know for a specific activity or research assignment. Lower-level readers and English learners may struggle a bit with the content, as a lot of it is text-based. However, the timeline attempts to become a little more accessible by offering smaller headlines or summaries of information and allowing kids to tap to reveal longer passages. Photographs and videos accompanying many of the text passages also make it easier to make sense of the text.
Key Standards Supported
Reading History/Social Studies
Describe how a text presents information (e.g., sequentially, comparatively, causally).
Integrate visual information (e.g., in charts, graphs, photographs, videos, or maps) with other information in print and digital texts.
By the end of grade 8, read and comprehend history/social studies texts in the grades 6–8 text complexity band independently and proficiently.
Compare and contrast treatments of the same topic in several primary and secondary sources.
Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources, attending to such features as the date and origin of the information.
Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of how key events or ideas develop over the course of the text.
Analyze in detail a series of events described in a text; determine whether earlier events caused later ones or simply preceded them.
By the end of grade 10, read and comprehend history/social studies texts in the grades 9–10 text complexity band independently and proficiently.
Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., visually, quantitatively, as well as in words) in order to address a question or solve a problem.
Integrate information from diverse sources, both primary and secondary, into a coherent understanding of an idea or event, noting discrepancies among sources.
By the end of grade 12, read and comprehend history/social studies texts in the grades 11–CCR text complexity band independently and proficiently.
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