Home > Learning Activity 6-B-1: WWII Maps > Group B 6-B-1 Workspace

SEA Record

Record your observations below for each stage of your primary source analysis.


8 June 1944
US & British vs. Enemy
Allies crossing water
12th Army Group Situation Map
Military map
Situation 2400 (midnight). 8 June 1944. HQ Fusag.
Scale: 1:500,000; WW1939-45, Campaign-France Normandy;
Rectangles--shaded or not; x's or dots inside; lines or x's on top; arrows show movement; some boxes have letters inside.
Sheet 3. US troops identified by clear rectangles with x inside, British troops identified by clear rectangle with dotted X inside; Enemy troops identified by shaded rectangles with X inside. (Michelle)
2400 8 June 1944
Secret is crossed out
Military map of France explaining allied attacks
Each army is given a different symbol
Battle is concentrated on riverbanks


US & British are advancing across the river
Enemy has more troops to the W
Allies have more troops to the E
Enemy is dug in
US & British need to break through the strong hold to capture the area
Map used by commanders of US Forces to plan for future strategies
More US and British troops than enemy troops
Enemy troops are south of the bomb line. Allied troops are to the north. Enemy also has more troops to the west.
U.S. & British seem to have more troops, but this could reflect that these are U.S. maps and they had full knowledge of allied troops.
This map shows the positioning of 12th army and other groups allied with them (British), as well as German troops.
It marks the bombline.
These maps were updated daily to track the position of all troops and to track the attack efforts in general. (Michelle)

US troops are to the east and British troops are to the west.
The troops are organized north to south
The bombline seems to parallel the river
There are other poetntial targets south of the initial bombing line
The allied forces outnumber the enemy forces
There is more order to the organizaation of the allied forces than the enemy forces


Area known as Ardenness
6 June 1944 Allies landed in Normandy
Map is a snapshot of where allied and Axis forces were
Map is used to follow Western allies progress in Europe
Primary source information that reflects the incomplete and inaccurate information available to the operational commander
Setting up for the Battle of the Bulge
U.S. and British are trying to move south and the Germans are in the way.
U.S. and British need to break through the German line.
This set of maps were made daily starting from the 6th of June and running until July 26. 6th of June was "D-Day."
On July 26th the Postdam Declaration was made, proclaiming defining terms for Japanese surrender.
This may have something to do with why this map series ended then, though these maps did not involve the Japanese. (Michelle)
This map is from June 8th, indicating it is early on in this particular effort.
The daily maps would mark progress and changes with the Allied forces
It is clear that there was limited information concerning the location of the enemy forces
The Germans were begining a retreat and this attack would ensure their defeat. This attack was leading up to the Battle of The Bulge in December

Discussion Area

Discuss and answer the following questions about the series of maps.

How can this series of maps be used in the classroom?
If you were teaching WW2 as a social studies teacher, this series of maps would be excellent to track the movements of the troops from day to day. When I was an English teacher, I taught a unit on the Battle of Gettysburg, both because we live nearby and also because the novel The Killer Angels, by Michael Shaara, was one of our selections for 11th grade. One of the things we did in this unit was to put up a big "battle map" and track the movements of all the troops and all the characters as the battle progressed. This really helped visual learners. The same benefits would apply to exploring the time period of WW2 or if someone was reading a novel that took place in the battle during the specific location and time period explored in this example.
It could also be used to teach map reading skills in general. (Michelle)

This series of maps would be a great tool in the high school history classroom. Using the maps would give the students an authentic look at the battle plans and help them to appreciate the skill it took to orchestrate maneuvers without the aid of computer imaging. The maps could also be used in an Art or English class when delving in to analytical skills since it is important to develop the analytical eye in several ways. ( Jenna)

The maps could be used to show how far the US has come technologically. A battle like this would never last for days or weeks now. Commanders could only rely on what others were telling him was happening. With today's satelite images the Generals in charge are actually seeing the battle as it happens. The maps therefore can be used to predict how the outcome would have been different had the Generals had current/up to the minute maps.

What prior information would be necessary for students to use these maps effectively?

Basic map reading skills
Students would probably benifet from knowing what the objective is for this series of maps. (What the allies are trying to accomplish)
Students would want to have basic map reading skills, yes.
They could also enhance their skills by working with these maps.
Students would want to have some context for the maps, if all possible, to help them make sense of what the maps are showing. (Michelle)
Students will need basic map reading skills to read the map, but to fully understand the map they would need to have the historical background to understand exactly what was being presented.

Would you use these maps in your classroom? Why or why not?

I would not have a use for WWII maps in my choir or drama classrooms.
I doubt that I would use these maps in my classroom, as the complexity level they demonstrate is far beyond the level of map reading skills we try to develop in our K-5 curriculum. We primarily focus on things like local maps or state maps, or maps of our university campus, etc., to instruct map skills. We even have students create their own maps of locations (school, campus, etc.). (Michelle)
As Michelle stated in an earlier section, these maps would be great supplementary material for a novel or short story centered in World War II in one of my English classes. The map would be suitable for my upper level students, as this series in particular would take some time to decipher ( Jenna)

Map Uses Brainstorming

  • Maps could be used in music classes to show where the classical masters were born, lived, and composed.
  • A map could be used with the 6th grade music class who was studying the Orange Blossom Special train. They could study the route that was taken.
  • Maps could be used to race the path of escaped slaves in their journey to freedom (underground railroad).
  • Maps could be used to compare how your town is laid out now compared to a time in the past.
  • Maps could be used to have students plan a vacation unit (be a travel agent). I have done this with students so that they could explore a variety of locations in an area..
  • Maps can be used to trace the journey of characters in a novel
  • Maps can be used to assess student knowledge on a specific unit of material
  • Maps can be uses to demonstrate the enormity or severity of an event in history
  • Maps can be used to show how our world has changed (as in Beowulf, show the Denmark of the Anglo-Saxon period as compared to today)
  • When Reading To Kill a Mockingbird, it's always nice to see exactly what Scout was referencing. Here is a map of her area of town:
  • http://www.swisseduc.ch/english/readinglist/lee_harper/mockingbird/maycomb.html
  • When studying areanas and stadiums, students could track a current pop star's world tour on a map.
  • Enter ideas and resources here.