Mr. Donaldson's Class Visited By Mr. Donaldson

For their summer social studies reading, fifth grade students read The War That Saved My Life, a book about two children who are evacuated from London to the English countryside at the beginning of World War II. While there, the children experience rationing, cover the house in blackout curtains, and both meet and mourn the pilots who risked their lives to protect against the threat of German invasion. 
Mr. Donaldson's father was born during one of the battles portrayed in the book, in a basement hallway of a hospital in 1940. During the first five years of his life, he too experienced rationing, lived with blackout curtains, and met pilots who stayed with his family for several weeks, left to fly missions, and often never returned.
Fifth grade students noted scenes from the book they were curious about, and asked the elder Mr. Donaldson about his own experiences related to those scenes. They were shocked to learn that the only candy he had until the age of six was the chocolate the pilots shared out of their own military rations, and that the car his family ordered during the war was not delivered until 1951.
This introductory text will launch further investigation of World War II, and the history from the Industrial Revolution through World War I and the Depression that led to Hitler's fascist regime. The exploration of the war's resolution with the creation of the United Nations will serve as a springboard to an examination of the world's nation's, aspirations, and challenges.
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