Teaching Students About The Axis Powers
As a history teacher, one of the most important lessons to impart upon students is the events surrounding World War II and the roles the Axis Powers played. It is essential to teach students about the Axis Powers because their actions and ideologies have had a significant impact on contemporary history.
What were the Axis Powers?
The Axis Powers were a coalition of countries led by Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, and the Empire of Japan. They were united by their common goal of gaining territorial expansion and dominance over the world, which they believed would improve the well-being of their respective countries.
It is therefore crucial to teach students about the Axis Powers to understand the causes of World War II and the atrocities committed on behalf of these regimes. Beyond historical context and significance, understanding these can also provide a better grounding in moral and ethical considerations and decision-making.
Activities to Teach About Axis Powers
There are several activities teachers can employ to teach students about the Axis Powers. These activities cater to different learning styles and allow for an immersive experience in the content.
1. Role-playing: Divide the class into three groups, and each group represents one of the Axis Powers. Encourage them to construct their manifestos and present their goals to the class. This activity challenges students to understand the motivations behind the Axis Powers and the ideologies that have led to war.
2. Documentary study: Students can watch documentaries about the Axis Powers. Students should be expected to take notes and respond to a series of context-related questions, such as the diplomatic or military ties between the Axis Powers.
3. Storytelling: Students can write creative narratives, from the perspective of an Axis soldier or a civilian living in an Axis country. This activity allows students to develop empathy towards those who lived through the war, and a better understanding of colonialism, nationalism, and racism.
4. Group Discussion: With a sensitive but informed facilitator, students can part-take in group discussions that help them question the motivations and ideology of the Axis Powers. To encourage a reflective approach, discussion questions might include: “What is necessary for a person or group to become a tyrant?”; “What are the long-lasting effects of colonialism that can still be found in your community?”