K-12 Teaching and Learning From the UNC School of Education

Important Announcement about Online Courses and LEARN NC.

Important Message about LEARN NC

LEARN NC is evaluating its role in the current online education environment as it relates directly to the mission of UNC-Chapel Hill School of Education (UNC-CH SOE). We plan to look at our ability to facilitate the transmission of the best research coming out of UNC-CH SOE and other campus partners to support classroom teachers across North Carolina. We will begin by evaluating our existing faculty and student involvement with various NC public schools to determine what might be useful to share with you.

Don’t worry! The lesson plans, articles, and textbooks you use and love aren’t going away. They are simply being moved into the new LEARN NC Digital Archive. While we are moving away from a focus on publishing, we know it’s important that educators have access to these kinds of resources. These resources will be preserved on our website for the foreseeable future. That said, we’re directing our resources into our newest efforts, so we won’t be adding to the archive or updating its contents. This means that as the North Carolina Standard Course of Study changes in the future, we won’t be re-aligning resources. Our full-text and tag searches should make it possible for you to find exactly what you need, regardless of standards alignment.

  Europe and North Africa The Pacific In the U.S. Media
1931 Spain becomes a republic. The Japanese invade Manchuria, in northeast Asia, and occupy it until the end of World War II.   map of the Far East and Pacific Ocean

Manchuria, today part of China and Russia. About the map

1932 The Nazis win the most seats of any party in the Reichstag (German legislature).   Franklin Roosevelt is elected President. President Franklin D. Roosevelt and his wife, Eleanor, ride in an open vehicle in his inauguration parade.

Franklin Roosevelt’s inauguration, March 4, 1933. About the photograph


Adolf Hitler is apppointed Chancellor of Germany. Through a combination of legal means and violence, his government makes the Nazi Party the only legal political party in Germany and establishes a dictatorship.

Germany begins legal discrimination against Jews.

    Adolph Hitler speaks to a crowd from a second-story window.

A German crowd cheers Hitler’s appointment as Chancellor. About the photograph

1934 German President Paul von Hindenburg dies. Rather than holding new elections, Hitler assumes the role of Führer und Reichskanzler (leader and chancellor). German soldiers and sailors are forced to swear personal loyalty to Hitler.      

German Jews are stripped of citizenship and civil rights.

Italy invades Ethiopia.

  Most Americans remain strongly isolationist, opposed to U.S. intervention in foreign wars. The Neutrality Act of 1935 allows the President to impose an embargo (cut off exports) on all parties in a war. Roosevelt announces an embargo of both Italy and Ethiopia.  

Germany and Italy declare an Axis, or alliance.

Germany reoccupies the Rhineland, on the border with France, in violation of the Treaty of Versailles that ended World War I.

Spanish nationalists under General Francisco Franco attack the Republican army, beginning the Spanish Civil War. The war will last for three years. Franco is supported by Germany and Italy, while the Republican government receives support from the USSR. U.S. companies supply Franco’s army with trucks and oil.

Italian forces capture the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa. Italian dictator Benito Mussolini proclaims an Italian Empire, and Ethiopia becomes part of Italian East Africa.

  Franklin Roosevelt is re-elected President. map of Italian Empire, 1939

Mussolini’s "Italian Empire" included territory in southeastern Europe and north and northeast Africa. About the map


Japan invades China, beginning the Second Sino-Japanese War, which will become part of World War II. Germany provides financial support to the Chinese Republic.

After the fall of Nanking, the capital of the Chinese Republic, Japanese troops kill hundreds of thousands of civilians and systematically rape some 20,000 women and girls. The incident becomes known as the "Rape of Nanking."

Roosevelt, supporting the Chinese resistance to Japan, declines to enforce the Neutrality Act and does not declare an embargo. The decision allows U.S. sales of arms and supplies to China on credit. map of Japanese occupation of China, 1940

By 1940, Japan controlled most of northeastern China. About the map

Japanese soldiers enter the walls of Nanking, China

Japanese soldiers entering Nanking, China. About the photograph

map of the Far East and Pacific, 1941

Areas of the Pacific Rim under the control of various imperial powers, including Japan and the United States, in 1941. About the map


Austria is pressured into union with Germany (the "Anschluss").

Hitler threatens war with Czechoslovakia to annex the German-speaking district of the Sudetenland. British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, desperate to avoid war with Germany, agrees to permit the annexation.

On Kristallnacht (the "night of broken glass"), November 7, more than 7,000 Jewish shops and 1,600 synagogues are damaged or destroyed.

Hitler withdraws support from China, seeking an alliance with Japan against the USSR. The USSR now supports the Chinese Republic against Japan, ending China’s cooperation with Germany and beginning a series of skirmishes between Japanese and Soviet forces. China also receives military support from the U.S., Britain, and France.   map of German expansion in 1930s

German aggression and expansion, 1936–39. About the map

Broken glass windows of a storefront after Kristallnacht.

The broken windows of a shop vandalized on Kristallnacht. About the photograph