Teacher Resources

This module uses excerpts from four presidential speeches delivered during World War ll as a means to instruct students about finding the central idea and supporting evidence in primary source documents. This self-paced module is aligned to Maryland College and Career Ready Standards for Literacy in Social Studies/ History Frameworks.

This module contains several interactive features. Watch the Learn How to Use this Module tutorial to familiarize yourself with these features.

Please review the Accessibility page for all of your students.

Module Information

  • Grade band: 9 - 10
  • Readability level: Lexile Level 1190 - 1290
  • Focus Standard:
    RH.9-10.1 - Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources, attending to such features as the date and origin of the information.
    RH. 9-10.2 - 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.
  • Topic: American History 1877-Present
  • Completion Time: 10 – 20 minutes
  • Vocabulary: Visit the Glossary page or click on words highlighted within the module for a narrated definition

Student Resources for this Module

The documents students will read include excerpts from the following:

  • President Franklin Roosevelt's "Annual Message to Congress (Four Freedoms),"1941
  • President Franklin Roosevelt's Joint Address to Congress Leading to a Declaration of War Against Japan, (A Day that will Live in Infamy) 1941
  • President Harry Truman " Announcing the Surrender of Germany" 1945
  • President Harry Truman radio address informing the American public that an atomic weapon has been dropped on Japan, August, 1945

In this module, students are provided with links to external websites. The sites have been chosen for their content and grade-level appropriateness. Efforts are made to minimize linking to websites that contain advertisements or comments, but some of these websites may contain these features. Teachers should preview all websites before introducing the activities to students and adhere to their school system's policy for Internet use. In addition, multimedia on these externally linked sites may not be accessible to all users, such as those individuals requiring a screen reader or using a tablet.

The following websites are linked to from this module:

Harry S. Truman Library & Museum, Press Release, August 6, 1945 Opens a new window

National Archives Opens a new window

FDR Presidential Library and Museum Opens a new window

Using This Site

This lesson is built for use on classroom computers and tablets. If you have access to a desktop computer, laptop, tablet or an interactive whiteboard in your classroom, you may complete the lesson in your classroom. Otherwise, you will need to schedule time to use your school's computer lab. For technical specifications, see below.

Some activities on this site may include videos and narration, so you may want to have headphones available for students working at individual stations. For best results in viewing the videos and interactives, you should have a high-speed, stable Internet connection.

This lesson may contain PDFs for students to complete. They can print the PDFs and fill them out by hand, or download the files and fill them out on the computer. Most or all portions can be filled out online. Please check with your Instructional Technology Specialist for instructions on downloading the PDF. (Note that to complete the PDFs on the computer, you will need a viewer, such as Adobe Reader, that supports forms.)


This site is an Internet-based activity, and it was built to run on the following computer operating systems and browsers:

  • Windows 7 or Newer: IE 8, 9, 10, 11; Current version of Chrome; Current version of Firefox
  • Mac OS 10.7 or Newer: Current version of Safari
  • iPad2/iOS6 or Newer: Current version of Safari
  • Android 4.0 or Newer: Current version of Android browser
  • Chromebook: Current version of Chrome

Users running Internet Explorer 8 will not be able to use the highlighter tool. Instead, teachers should consider partnering students for a brief discussion.

Visit the Accessibility page for detailed information on the site's accessibility features.