Robert Goldberg Unit plan

10th Grade Global History based on NY State requirements

Big Ideas-Enduring Understandings For The Year

1) History is based on facts but also on stories told from one person or groups perspective.

2) Events that happened in the past influenced the present and shaped the world we live in.

3) Do not follow society. Do what you think is right.


Essential Questions For The Year

1) If there are so many perspectives of events why are we only given one side in a textbook?

2) How is peace just a break between conflicts?

3) How do you help a cause you believe is just within the confines of the law?


When one considers all of the vacation time for students, including days such as superintendents conference day, they have approximately eight months of schooling and in general five days a week.


10th grade Global History based on NY state requirements

September: State of the world in 1750

October : General overview of the world 1750 to 1848

November: Causes and consequences of the industrial revolution in europe as well as a basic look at idology.

December: European and Japanese Imperialism

January:  WWII, ideology, interwar period,

February:  WWII, war crimes perpetrated during the war

March : Aftermath of  WWII, Cold War

April: Cold War, discussing independence movements in the 1900’s as well as modern.

May :Cultural and social developments throughout the world in the late 1800’s to late 1900’s

June: Modern times


I placed the units in chronological order in the months with the exceptions of April and May. I believe it is important for students to understand the context of the historical times when these movements were taking place, which is why I placed the unit towards the end of the year. I believe the same principles apply to the unit in May as well.


The unit I am selecting to focus on is February's unit on WWII, War Crimes perpetrated during the war.


Big Ideas for the Unit:

  1. People thought history have sacrificed their life for a cause.

  2. Any person can commit the worst crimes imaginable given the right circumstances.

  3. The clash of beliefs has often caused war.


Essential Questions for the Unit:

  1. Why is war between countries so costly?

  2. Why do people commit war crimes?

  3. Why did nations slaughter civilians by the millions?


Break down of what will be taught in the unit by day

2018 calendar

February first will be a recap of the previous unit which covered events leading to World War II

February will be a small mini quiz to find out what they know about this topic already.  This will not be graded but used as a reference when deciding how much time to allocate to topics within this unit.

February 5th-8th will address German involvement on the western front as well as  Italy's efforts in the war.

February 9th will address The Sino-Japanese conflict.

February 12th will address the Soviet German front.

February 13th will focus on the battle of Stalingrad as well as review what has been learned so far in the unit.

February 14th-15th will cover the French and British efforts in the war

February 16th and 19th will cover American efforts in the war

February 20th  Will cover what is a war crime is and mention things such as the Genova conventions. (note this will cover topics past this time period but I believe it is necessary to address this issue with treaties and events that occurred after WWII in order to better understand what is a war crime.)

February 21st  will cover Japanese war crimes

February 22nd will cover German/Polish war crimes (note if I said that in Poland I would be in jail for 3 years!!)

February 23rd Extra day in case we have a snow day and things need to be pushed back. If no snow day review but since the unit will be taught in February in NY there will most likely be at least one snow day.

February 26th Performance tasks assigned due date late match will give exact date in march.

February 27th review although if there are two snow days this will also be a catch up day.

February 28th Test


Performance Task One:

Write a 2-4 page report on why conflicts during WWII, especially in the Asian/Soviet theater, were so bloody and what motivated the soldiers to fight in these deadly environments. The assignment will be due 2 weeks after being given.


  1. Address why nations targeted civilian populations.

     2) Explain why battles turned into bloodbaths, such as in the case of the battle of Stalingrad or the battle for Berlin.

       3) Explain potential motivators for a soldier to fight in these conflicts, in regards to what nation they came from. Two to three of the following nations are acceptable Soviet, German, Chinese, British, Japanese, French.

4) Address the goals of the nations fighting this war. You must use at least 3 nations from the following list Soviet, German, Chinese, British, Japanese, French.


Students will be graded using the following scale

  • How developed an explanation they give for the first requirement 15%

  • How developed an explanation they give for the second requirement 15%

  • How developed an explanation they give for the third requirement 15%

  • How developed an explanation they give for the fourth requirement 15%

  • Essay is written in a way that is both grammatically and thematically correct 20%.

  • Essay is factually correct, all students get 20% for free on this if there are no mistakes and for each incorrect fact they will lose a percent based off how inaccurate the mistake was. Here is some example. Saying an event happened in May when it happened in April will cause you to lose 2% while saying something far off such as WWII was a small war with very little casualties will result in you losing 10%.

  • UNEXCUSED late work will lose 10% the first day and 8% each day after, although I don't expect this to be a problem with a class as great as you guys!

  • This assignment covers the reasons behind nations’ goals for fighting in the war. It also covers how a nation’s goals can connect with the motivations for soldiers to fight and life for civilians during this type of situation. Completing this assignment will demonstrate to me that a student has a firm grasp of not just WWII but the impact ideology has on people and how much they are willing to give up for a cause they believe in.


Performance Task Two:

For students who may be more artistically or technologically inclined freet not as you could also make a work of art! The piece must depict some kind of conflict in WWII. An example could be the battle of Stalingrad. You could present what a battle was like or show the devastation for civilians and or soldiers, during this time period.


  • The piece can be done on a computer or on a physical canvas of some sort.

  • That said you will need to present this to the class individually and be able to answer questions on the piece and the time period.

  • The varying components of the piece and the context surrounding them must be explained in a small typed or written note attached to the online piece or physical painting.

  • An example would be in an urban combat setting. One part of the piece would have a woman with a hammer and sickle fighting off a Nazi soldier. This would symbolically be a reference to the Soviet Union, where woman also had direct combat roles, fighting off the Nazis.


Grade rubric

  • Clarity of the piece, as well as the themes behind the features present, either the reasonings behind atrocities committed and the motivations of the people that committed them or the reasonings behind why the nations of this time fought this war, as well as what was it like for civilians. 30%

  • How developed and detailed the piece is 20%

  • How developed are the written context notes 30%

  • Presentation is factual and is able to answer questions regarding the piece 20%

    UNEXCUSED late work will lose 10% the first day and 8% each day after, although I don't expect this to be a problem with a class as great as you guys!


This task requires the student to understand the time period and events that were occurring during WWII, in order to accurately convey themes such as cruelty, sacrifice, greed, madness etc. This will be much more abstract then the report, and therefore may not be as detailed in terms of facts. However, this task does a much better job in making the student think critically about why people or nations commit all of their being and do anything in order to achieve their goals.


What you should know by the end of this unit in terms of content.

  1. It is expected the students know about the war crimes perpetrated by both the axis and allies.

  2. Students should know about the countries fighting in the war as well as what alliance they are in (axis or allies)

  3. Students should know about the battle of Stalingrad

  4. Students should know about major events that happened in the war such as the use of nuclear weapons by the USA on Japan.


    • Brianna Iliceto
      Brianna Iliceto


      I really liked how you displayed a monthly layout in the beginning and logically placed the units either chronologically or where you thought they belonged. 

      I also think you did a really nice job laying out your assignments in detail. They are thoughtful and the rubric is fair. It is good that you have a very detailed rubric saying where points are coming from. 

      I would definitely add a list of what the students should gain knowledge of during this unit. Also, how will you know that they are comfortable with the material? One last thing.. are they going to be quizzed or tested at any point? 

      • Jaclyn Dellisanti
        Jaclyn Dellisanti

        Hi Robert,

        I think you have very god essential questions to stimulate interest in the topic. I noticed you had very abstract ideas for the topics of you tasks. How will you be certain you students are taking away that message from you lessons? Most students learn the facts of history. You also seem very strict with what you are looking for. It is good you added the drawing to let the kids be a little creative. Consider putting in late consequences to make you tasks whole. Otherwise, good detail and explanations.  

        • Taylor Bolger
          Taylor Bolger

          I really like how you mapped out the whole year before getting right into the unit itself as it gives us an idea of what you've already done in your classroom, what knowledge your students have to work with, and what will then be expected of the students in this unit. Additionally I like that you're not sugar coating the topics for discussion in your essential questions and big ideas, even though it is often a hard concept to swallow, students should be able to understand, be appalled/disgusted, and associate atrocities at a "human" level. I assume in your lessons you would go above and beyond to make sure that students do not only take away statistics but, a better understanding of right and wrong as well as the impact anyone individual can have in a world changing event for better or worse.

          Be careful with that 20% free section in the first grading section: you never know if some kids is gonna go 110% wikipedia and yahoo answers for their paper. If you try to deduct the grade because of this you could very well end up with a student willing to contest your choice based on the wording from your rubric. Remember the level of desperation you would sink to during vital projects that were crucial to your passing. If you would fight tooth and nail for that grade chances are you'll encounter plenty of students willing to do the same.

          As for the second task I'd say not to label it as a "painting" per say. Chances are throughout your teaching career you're going to have a plethora of artistically inclined students but, they may all specialize in different kinds of art: sketching, drawing, painting, ect. and to only specify painting would be very limiting to these students who may want to take a more physically artistic approach than with the technology.

          • Olivia Difusco
            Olivia Difusco

            Hi Robert,

                I like how you planned out this unit. Especially the fact that your performance tasks are very detailed as far as how the grading goes. However, I'd encourage you to focus on how you would teach this in a timely fashion.. For example, on certain weeks what would you teach and how many days will each subtopic from the unit take up..

            • Jamie Soldinger
              Jamie Soldinger

              Hi Robert,

              I really enjoy your big ideas and essential questions.  I think they are very strong for this unit.  I also like how you planned out your lessons day by day.  I also did this and I think it made it a lot easier to see it all planned out.  I like how you incorporate both a test and a more creative piece to the assessment portion of the unit.  I think this will appeal to all students.  I think you have a solid foundation for moving forward on the unit planning.  I think it could be beneficial to look over the requirements section and be a little more clear on what exactly you want from the students.  I also think it might be helpful to add in a "what happens when work is handed in late" section.  

              • Courtney Pabst
                Courtney Pabst


                I really enjoyed reading through your unit plan. I thought it was very organized and very nicely done. Your essential questions and big ideas are both in a question format, so you might want to consider revising that. However, the one that states "What is more important than one's own life?" really jumped out at me, and would really get your students looking at the bigger picture while you're teaching this unit.

                • Nicholas Neuner
                  Nicholas Neuner


                  The extensive detail you have provide for us as the reader, and the student, almost alleviates any stress created from the unknown. I know that being a student can be extremely stressful, especially when not certain what is going on, or when something is going to happen. You have done just in that regards. I do have some questions, your schedule is very firm in its development and dates. How would this change if there is a missed day, ie: snow day in February in NY? With that maybe consider a lesson plan that establishes what a war crime is, explaining the ideas of things like the Geneva Convention and how some things came of WWII such as that. Overall i thoroughly enjoyed your  UPD.

                  • Duffy Brennan
                    Duffy Brennan

                     I think that this is really good and I like how you were able to outline what you were teaching to the day. I'm not sure if that's right or wrong but I thought it was good and made it very organized. I am confused about the essential questions and the big ideas though. I think that the big ideas shouldn't be in question format.

                    • Gerald Ardito
                      Gerald Ardito


                      This is a good, solid job.

                      I agree with some of the others that you work is very thorough and thoughtful.

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