Posts Tagged ‘World War II’

The Hiding Place Summary

Wednesday, September 16th, 2015


My son wrote an interesting summary of The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom.

The Hiding Place Summary

by Bryan Evans, age 14

Once upon a time there was a Beje (don’t even ask me what that means). In it lived a family called the Ten Booms. I don’t know what’s weirder, the name of the place they lived in or their last name. There was Corrie, and Betsy, and Father (yes, that’s his first name). They sold watches (evidently you can sell watches at this thing called a Beje). Everything was just great… except that German weirdo who punched old people. But then the Germans took over Poland and ruined everything! They confiscated the radios and telephones and gave people ration cards and smashed random places and took all the stuff and arrested Jews and *gasping for air*–where was I?

The Beje turned into a hiding place for Jews who didn’t want to die (another thing you can do with a Beje), and also a hiding place for fake ration cards. The watch business actually did well because those rude German soldiers wanted their watches repaired. Suddenly they realized that everyone knew about their top secret base of operations, and sure enough, German soldiers barged in. “Where are the Jews?” “What Jews?” (Apparently Corrie had a terrible memory). “I know they’re in here!” So they tied her to the wall and searched all over the place and somewhere in the middle of it all the phone got knocked off the hook. And do you know what it said? I’ll tell you what it said!

“Corrie! You are in grave danger! Any minute now German soldiers will barge into the Beje and search everywhere! You must warn the Jewish man who’s coming at 4:30 and the Jewish mother with her baby who are coming at 6:00! You need to evacuate the Beje, Corrie! I think they’ll suspect that you’re hiding Jews in your house! You need to get rid of all the fake ration cards and hide the radio!” All this time a German soldier was writing this down.

Soon they took Corrie and a bunch of other people to a prison with tiny gray rooms, and they all went insane! Except for Corrie… You know why? She found a few ants, and they have anti-insanity properties. Don’t believe me? Ever seen an insane ant? I thought so. One day, someone gave her some colorful paper and a Bible. Reading the Bible was just about the only thing she could do, other than stare out the window with bars on it.

After a few months they were taken out of prison and shipped to a concentration camp. Apparently the Germans’ favorite color was gray. (I mean, of all the colors, they could have painted everything in sight.) None of the prisoners could leave because of a barbed wire fence. They had to sleep on fermented rotting straw full of lice. During the day, Corrie worked on relay switches. She did so well, a friendly guard broke some of them and said, “Now fix them again, slowly and inefficiently. You’ve already made your daily quota! Don’t you know German fighter planes are gonna use these? You don’t want them to work perfectly, do you?”

The Germans decided it wasn’t depressing enough, so they took all the prisoners to Ravensbruck. This was another concentration camp, one that treated its prisoners notoriously badly. To get there, they took a train that could hold 40 people. However, they stuffed 80 people in there, killing dozens of people standing in the middle for no reason. The trip was days long. They finally made it to Ravensbruck. Not only was the concentration camp gray and surrounded with barbed wire, but there were no living plants in sight. Everything was miserable. When they went to bed, not only was the fermented rotting straw they slept on full of lice, but fleas as well. Betsy was sick, but they had a small bottle of pills. Miraculously, day after day the bottle didn’t run out of pills. It got to the point where it became obvious that it was a miracle. After what must have been years, they were finally released, but not before Betsy died.

World War II Writing Assignment

Wednesday, September 9th, 2015


Each of my kids wrote a summary of World War II for their Modern History Notebooks. I told them that they needed to include the following topics:

  • Hitler
  • The Holocaust
  • The cause of World War II
  • How the U.S. entered the war
  • How World War II ended

As long as they included these major topics, they could write the report in whatever style they wanted. Here is an example:

World War II Writing Assignment

At the end of World War I, the Versailles Treaty was ridiculously hard on Germany. It asked for so much money that Germany’s government printed more money, which led to inflation. Hitler told everyone he could make things better. He said would get rid of the terrible Versailles Treaty, kill every last Jew for no reason, and take over the world!!! Muuahahahaha!!! Hitler was so evil that the entire world was appalled. Everyone hated Hitler, except Germans, who were brainwashed against the Jews anyway, and liked the sound of ruling the world.

First, Germany broke the Versailles Treaty by putting soldiers in the Rhineland. Britain protested. Then Germany took over Austria and threatened to take over Sudetenland. A big meeting took place where Hitler was told he could take over Sudetenland, but nothing else. He promised to do what they said, then promptly broke his promise and took over the rest of Czechoslovakia. Germany made a non aggression pact with Russia, then took over Poland. Britain and France finally declared war on Germany. But Germany used planes and tanks to capture Luxembourg, Norway, the Netherlands, France, and Belgium. Great Britain was the only nation left. It held its own for over a year. Then Germany attacked Russia, breaking the non aggression pact.

The Germans were always murdering Jews by bringing them to concentration camps. The weak were killed immediately, and the strong were worked to death. All this became known as the Holocaust. This was justified by the idiotic reasoning that the Germans were “a more highly evolved race” and Jews were inferior. The Japanese also taught that they were “more highly evolved” so it made sense to rule the world. So they captured a whole bunch of islands.

Then the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, infuriating all of the United States, who finally entered the war. As a result, the U.S. made so many war things, it gave a whole lot of jobs to people who desperately needed them, pulling us out of the Great Depression.

Bombing raids were when airplanes flew over a city, and they dropped bombs on it. Some bombs exploded; some bombs burst into flames. During the night, people everywhere turned off the lights so enemy bombers couldn’t see where the city was.

Operation Torch, Operation Husky, and Operation Overlord were successful invasions by the Allies. The Battle of the Bulge was a big victory. The United States used a leapfrog strategy to recapture islands from the Japanese. Then the atomic bomb was invented.

The United States told Japan to surrender, but they didn’t. So the U.S. flattened Hiroshima, which killed more than 138,000 people, including civilians. The Japanese government didn’t believe this would ever happen again, so they still wouldn’t surrender. But then the U.S. dropped another atomic bomb on Nagasaki. Then Japan finally surrendered, and the war was over.

LEGO Tanks of World War II

Monday, August 31st, 2015

LEGO-tanks-of-WWIIThis post contains affiliate links. I was compensated for my work in writing this post.

While studying World War II, my kids built some LEGO tanks! They had such a fun time looking at pictures of tanks and trying to get the correct shape. The tops of the tanks swivel, as you can see in the YouTube demonstration below. The green tank has a hatch where soldiers can enter the tank. If you have Robotic LEGOs, you can use the track for the bottom of the tank. If all you have is regular LEGOs, you can make a track like the green tank, using black LEGOs.

We are using All American History, Volume II this year for our American History studies. We also read The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom to further understand the Holocaust of World War II.


Besides LEGO tanks, you can also make other LEGO scenes from World War II. During the Blitzkrieg in London, the German planes dropped bombs on the city, demolishing the entire city and leaving it in ruins. As you can see in the YouTube video, the airplanes are 3-dimensional, coming out from the scene, dropping their bombs behind them. The white buildings have black smoke rising from them.


My son decided to make a LEGO atomic mushroom cloud out of white LEGO bricks. Just look at a photo of an atomic explosion, and you will see how to construct the mushroom cloud. There is a larger mushroom top and a smaller mushroom top about half-way down, tapering sort of like stair steps.


My daughter made a concentration camp out of a LEGO base that was gray. There was a gas chamber in one corner. A LEGO man is beating a couple of Jews, and two more men are shooting two other prisoners.

Here is the video demonstration where I show you our World War II LEGO creations:

Making scenes out of LEGO bricks will help kids to understand World War II while creating from their imaginations. The LEGO tanks were especially fun to make!