Two Regimes: Witness to War
The purpose of this lesson is to understand the role that the State of Florida played in World War II.
All support materials for this lesson can be found at this Google Link:
Support Materials which are included in the above link are listed below.
NOTE: Be sure to preview all materials before using with your students
- Historical Overview for Two Regimes by Dr. Jonathan Grant
- Historical Overview of the Holocaust by Dr. Michael Berenbaum
- Teodora Verbitskaya Biographical Information
- Nadia Werbitzky Biographical Information
- 4th Grade Two Regimes Witness to War Exhibition PDF
- Image – Woman Listening with Child painting by Nadia Werbitzky
- Image – Threshold painting by Nadia Werbitzky
- Partial list of Military Bases in Florida during World War II
- Blank Florida Outline Map
- Additional Languages in YouTube videos of Two Regimes Witness to War
- Holocaust Hyperlinked Resource Material
- Holodomor 1932-1933 – At a Glance
- Holocaust 1933-1945 – At a Glance
- Paintings described for the non-sighted students
- 4th Grade Two Regimes Witness to War video in easy to understand American English https://youtu.be/78y5d5XnJpg
- Map of Florida Counties, Free Printable Map of Florida Counties, FL DMV Resources, DMVflorida.org, Department of Motor Vehicles, State of Florida http://www.dmvflorida.org/florida-county-map.shtml
- Florida in World War II Online Exhibit from State Library & Archives of Florida https://www.floridamemory.com/exhibits/wwii/
- Florida Memory a Division of Library and Information Services http://www.floridamemory.com
- Florida Department of State, Museum of Florida History http://museumoffloridahistory.com
- Nazi Camps, Holocaust Encyclopedia, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington DC https://encyclopedia.ushmm.org/content/en/article/nazi-camps
Florida: Next Generation Sunshine State Standards
- SS.4.A.7.3 Identify Florida’s role in World War II
- SS.4.A.1.1 Analyze primary and secondary resources to identify significant individuals and events throughout Florida history
- SS.4.A.1.2 Synthesize information related to Florida history through print and electronic media
- FS 1003.42 Required Holocaust Education Mandate Public School Instruction
Amy Burch, Sylvia Myers and Kelly Bowen
NOTE: Be sure to preview all materials before using with your students.
- The teacher will assess students’ ability to locate Florida Military Bases during World War II using an outline map of Florida and a list of Florida military bases containing the city and county of each.
- Students will actively participate in think-pair-share discussions to compare/contrast life in Europe during WWII with life in Florida at the same time period.
- Students will verbally identify examples and non-examples of primary sources from: Florida in World War II Online Exhibit from State Library & Archives of Florida Link: https://www.floridamemory.com/exhibits/wwii/
Feedback to Students
- Students will receive written feedback on the final labeled map of Florida Military Bases.
- Students will receive verbal feedback on the Think-Pair-Share discussion activity to compare/contrast life in Europe during WWII with life in Florida at the same time period.
- Students will receive verbal feedback on the accuracy of their examples and non-examples of primary and secondary resources.
Summative Assessment Task:
Students will write a letter to a Florida military member who might have served overseas during World War II. The letter should reflect their understanding of Florida’s role in World War II and how the lives of those living in Europe and the United States were impacted by the war.
Student letters should include the following facts:
- Florida fought against the Axis Powers during World War II.
- Florida’s economy grew during WW II due to Federal government money spent to support military installations and war-related industries.
- There were over 170 military installations in Florida during WW II.
- Florida’s population grew since many military men stationed in Florida during WW II returned with their families after the war.
- Describe at least one of the many ways in which many were mistreated in Europe during WW II.
- Analyze primary and secondary resources to identify significant individuals and events in Florida history.
- Synthesize information related to Florida history through personal memoirs and artwork.
Students will understand the role that Florida played in World War II:
- One quarter million Floridians joined in the fight against the Axis Powers.
- Florida’s economy grew due to millions of Federal dollars provided to support military installations and war-related industries.
- Due to its warm climate and variety of terrain, Florida was a prime location for military training sites. Florida was host to over 170 military installations during WWII.
- Florida’s population grew as servicemen came to Florida military bases during WWII. Many liked Florida so much that they later returned with their families.
- What is a primary source? What are some examples?
- When did World War II take place?
- What were the reasons for the war?
- Who were the major players in the conflict?
- What was the Holocaust?
- Who was targeted?
- Why were they targeted?
- How might it feel to be treated this way?
- How might it have felt to live in Europe during WW II?
- How might it have felt to live in Florida during WW II?
- How does the Holocaust impact us today?
- How does World War II impact us today?
- Students should be able to identify continents and major countries on a World map.
- Students should be able to identify Florida and its unique geographic features on a United States map.
- Students should be able to explain that wars are conflicts that arise as a result of one or more factors.
USSR: Union of Soviet Republic
Primary Source: original documents and objects that were created at the time or told by someone who experienced the event or time period first hand
Secondary Source: accounts or interpretations of events created by someone without firsthand experience
Artifact: an object made by humans, typically of cultural or historical interest
Ask students if they have ever found something that was valuable to them. Allow discussion about why the object was important to them. Define and discuss the term: artifact. Ask if their found object would be considered an artifact and why. Give examples such as arrowheads and pottery found in Florida made and left behind by Native Americans.
Explain that in this lesson we will be interacting with other artifacts found in Florida. Explain that these artifacts were found in north Florida after many years of being hidden and lost.
Explain that these paintings by Nadia Werbitzky are primary source artifacts that give first person accounts of life during World War II and were found in north Florida along with the journal writings of her mother, Teodora Verbitskaya.
Display the painting Woman Listening with Child by Nadia Werbitzky (found in Support Materials).
Allow students to observe painting for 1-2 minutes silently. Then display and allow time for observation of the painting Threshold by Nadia Werbitzky (found in Support Materials).
Have students work in think-pair-share discussion groups to compare/contrast the two paintings.
Next, ask students to describe what they saw in the paintings and what emotions were felt when viewing the paintings.
Explain the biographic information about Teodora Verbitskaya and Nadia Werbitzky (See Support Materials)
Present Nazi Camps, Online Article by United States Holocaust Memorial Museum– (Introduction, Early Camps and Forced-Labor & Prisoner-of-War Camps Section Only)
After discussing what was learned about the impact that WWII had on the lives of people in Europe and what the writings and artwork of Teodora Verbitskaya and Nadia Werbitzky tell about how their lives were impacted, ask students how Floridians might have been impacted by the war.
Have students participate in think-pair-share discussion to compare/contrast life in Europe during WWII with life in Florida at the same time period.
Introduce students to how Florida was impacted by World War II by sharing Florida Memory website: Exhibit entitled Florida in World War II. (See Support Materials)
Students will be provided:
Map of Florida Counties (displayed for entire class or individual copies): http://www.dmvflorida.org/florida-county-map.shtml
Partial list of Florida Military Bases during World War II
Blank Outline map of Florida
(Also listed in Support Materials)
Students will use the Map of Florida Counties to locate and label Military Bases in Florida during World War II.
Students will take turns sharing their letters by reading them aloud to peers. The letters will then be displayed on classroom bulletin board entitled Florida during World War II.
Students may seek assistance in marking locations on map if physically unable.
Students with visual or hearing difficulties may be seated close to audio/visual equipment.
Teacher will stop the video as necessary for clarification and discussion.
Students who are non-sighted will be provided with a description of each painting (listed in Support Materials)
Students who are unable to work in pairs may choose to compare/contrast in writing.
Students who struggle with motor skills may use word processor or dictate the summative assessment task.
- Students may interview or write a letter to a United State military service member who participated in the liberation of people from Nazi Camps.
- Students may choose a WWII military base in Florida about which they are interested in learning more to research and share information in the format of their choice (multimedia presentation, essay, poster, other).
They may work alone, in pairs, or in small groups to research and learn about the role of that specific base. Students will create a written project or multimedia project to share what they learned.
To further extend this lesson, students may interview or write a letter to a United States military veteran who participated in the liberation of people from Nazi Camps.
Teacher must determine if the paintings in the exhibition are appropriate for the class. Listen to the narrative in advance so that you can help students better understand what the narrator is saying. Narrations (YouTube videos) are available in English with an accent and in easy to understand American English.
Artifacts (memoir and paintings by Ukrainian mother and daughter who survived WWII) discovered in north Florida provide a valuable glimpse into life in Europe during World War II. These primary sources also allow an opportunity to bring Holocaust and World War II closer to home to Florida students.
Florida’s warm year-round weather and variety of types of terrain (both land and water) made Florida a prime location for military bases during World War II. Due to this, between 1941 and 1945, Florida became home to more than 170 military installations.
The memoirs of Teodora Verbitskaya and paintings of her daughter, Nadia Werbitzky allow students to personally identify with the thoughts and emotions felt by those who lived through horrific events during WW II and gain a better understanding of the importance of Florida’s role in the war.
Sponsored in part by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, the Florida Council on Arts and Culture and the Foundation for Leon County Schools.