The Impact of WWII on Minorities in the US Classroom Resource Lesson Plan

The Impact of WWII on Minorities in the US

The Second World War had a significant impact on minority groups in the US, with the experiences of Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, and Mexicans being particularly noteworthy. In this lesson plan, students will explore the ways in which these groups were affected by the war and the ways in which they contributed to the war effort.

Zoot Suit Riots

One key topic covered in the lesson is the Zoot Suit Riots, which occurred in 1943 in Los Angeles. These riots were a series of conflicts between Mexican American youth, known as “zoot suiters,” and US servicemen. The riots highlighted the racial tension and discrimination faced by Hispanic Americans during WWII.

Minority Groups

Another important aspect of the lesson is the role of Native Americans in the war. One particularly interesting example is the Navajo Code Talkers. The Navajo Code Talkers were a group of Navajo soldiers who developed and used a secret code based on their native language. This code was instrumental in the U.S. war effort in the Pacific Theater. It also helped to secure several key victories.

The lesson also covers the experiences of Mexican Americans during the Second World War. This includes  the Bracero Agreement. the Bracero Agreement allowed for the temporary migration of Mexican workers to the United States to fill labor shortages. This agreement had a significant impact on Mexican American communities and their relationship with the US government.

Executive Order 8802

Finally, students will learn about Executive Order 8802, issued by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1941. This Order prohibited discrimination in the defense industry. Executive Order 8802 helped to open up new opportunities for minority groups, including African Americans and women, during WWII.

Overall, this lesson plan provides a comprehensive and nuanced look at the ways in which minority groups in the Americas were affected by the Second World War. It also highlights the ways in which minority groups contributed to the war effort. It is an excellent resource for students studying the IB History Topic 3 ‘History of the Americas’ unit ‘The Second World War and the Americas’.

The Impact of WWII on Minorities in the US Lesson Plan Classroom Resource

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Resource Information

Description:Student activities focus on watching short films, note taking, class discussions and a creative activity.
Estimated lessons:1-2.
Ages14 years and up.
Format PowerPoint.

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