1. Have students color or shade in Axis conquests in both theaters of war. Students may use any available resource to learn the correct countries to shade: textbook, laptop computer, smartphone....
2. Discuss with the class how the war was going in 1941. Who was left fighting the Germans (the British and ultimately the Soviets)? Who was left fighting the Japanese (the Chinese)?
3. Refocus the conversation on the United States. Remind the students of the Lend-Lease program and America's strengthening relationship with England. Then talk about the toll that German submarine attacks were having upon American shipping, including the fact that American sailors were dying in these attacks.
4. Look at the maps of global mineral and petroleum resources. Ask students what they notice about Japan in both maps, then have them compare these maps to the conquest maps referenced in step 1. The correct conclusion is that Japan lacked the natural resources to continue to expand its economy without taking them from other countries or international trade. Explain that as Japan intensified its war efforts against both China and European possessions in Asia (such as Hong Kong and Indochina), the American government refused to allow American companies to continue trading with the Japanese. This put Japan in a difficult position: either back down from its expansion program, or attack the United States.
5. Using either classroom laptops or library computers, have students access National Geographic's site on the attack on Pearl Harbor, found at: http://www.nationalgeographic.com/pearlharbor/ax/frameset.html. Students should use the interactive timeline on the site to familiarize themselves with the events of December 7, 1941. To insure that they are working, cull more vocabulary words from the site and add them to the list that students will be assessed upon.