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Activity Overview

World War II saw tons of technology and innovation, further establishing the modes of modern warfare. Students will create a spider map that examines technology or an innovation that was created or used extensively during World War II. Students should choose one piece of technology or innovation to research and then use three cells to answer the following three questions. When students are completed with their work, the class can collaborate among their peers to share their work.

  1. Who invented the technology?
  2. How was the technology used in the war?
  3. Who used the technology during the war?

Possible WWII Technology or Innovations

  • New Media Outlets
  • Radar
  • Tanks (T-34/Panzer/Sherman)
  • Aircraft Innovations
  • Ballistic Missiles
  • Medicinal Advancements
  • Nuclear Weapons
  • Weapon Improvements
  • Naval Improvements and Weaponry

Extended Activity

Students will explore the concept of “Theoretical History”. The central question to explore for this activity is, “What if this technology or innovation wasn’t invented during World War II?” Students can research the impact of their technology and create a storyboard that represents how the war and world would have changed without the technology being invented.

Template and Class Instructions

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Activity", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)

Student Instructions

  1. Click "Start Assignment".
  2. In the center of the spider map, identify the innovation or technology.
  3. In each cell, answer the questions "Who invented it?", "How was it used during the war?" and "Who used it during the war?"
  4. Create an illustration for each answer, using appropriate scenes, characters, items, or photos from Photos for Class.

Lesson Plan Reference

Image Attributions
  • Sherman Tank • Thomas's Pics • License Attribution (
  • Valentine Tanks on the Assembly Line • Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums • License No known copyright restrictions (
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