How did WWII impact civil defense, gender roles and the economy?


                                                                                                                                                                                    Lesson Plan


Teacher Name:                       Judy Cummings                                               District: Mauston

Class / Subject / Grade:          American Studies11th                          Life in Wartime

Lesson Topic: This lesson will be taught in an integrated American History/American Literature class. The course is divided into three units. The last unit is titled “Conflict & Compromise—American in the 20th Century.” One of the driving questions we examine throughout this unit is what are the causes, nature and consequences of the wars that the U.S. has participated in during the 20th Century. This lesson will explore the impact of World War II on the home front. Allocation of Time: 1, 90 minute block. Twenty minutes of discussion/debriefing the next day.
Curriculum Content and/or Performance Standards:  (at least two)History Standards

B.12.2 Analyze primary sources related to a historical question to evaluate their relevance, make comparisons, integrate new information with prior knowledge, and come to a reasoned conclusion

B.12.4 Assess the validity of different interpretations of significant historical events

ITLS Standards

B.12.6 Interpret and use information to solve the problem or answer the question

Learning Objectives:   What students will learn…

  • Interpret primary sources.
  • Analyze the impact of World War II on homeland security, gender roles and the economy.


Step-by-step Unit Plan and Timeline:    Activities that will be used to develop understandings…Day 1:

The room will be organized into numbered learning centers. Students will work at each center for approximately 15 minutes, reviewing the photographic evidence and other primary documents and using these sources to answer the question (s) connected to that center. A bell will ring at the end of fifteen minutes and students will rotate to the next numbered center. If they did not complete a particular center, there will be time at the end of the block for them to return to that location.

Assessments**:     Formative and summative assessments that will measure understanding of each learning objective and/or activity…** Include descriptions or attach copies of all assessment instruments. 

  • Completion of the worksheet titled “Daily Life in World War II: Analyzing Documents.”
  • Unit 3 Quiz (questions will be pulled from this activity for the quiz).
Resources & Technology Tools:     

  • Oversized photographs of images from the U.S. during World War II. (Jackdaws WWII kit and self-produced images)
  • Ration books
  • Copy of The Home Front newspaper
  • Excerpts from Citizens’ Defense Manual, Rhode Island State Council of Defense
  • Article From Capital Times, December 13, 1943, “Wisconsin in First World War Faced Rationing Problems Just Like Today’s.”
  • Letter written during the month that meat rationing began, March 28, 1943.
  • Advertisement titled “WE of Allis-Chalmers.”
  • Newspaper advertisements of women’s clothing in 1943 & 1945.
Management Issues and Potential Solutions:  Some students will finish their questions before the bell rings while others will be far from done. My solution is to have something entertaining, but relevant, at the station for the quick students—pictures of World War II fashions, movie/sports trivia, slang….

Also, there isn’t time for all students to explore the material at every station. To ameliorate this problem, I will take twenty minutes or so of class the next day for students to share their analysis of different centers. That way all students will at least have seen the images/text from each center and heard some class discussion regarding these historic documents.

Differentiation Strategies:     As I do not expect all students to finish all centers, I will arrange the grouping and rotation so that my students that have trouble reading will work through the stations that have the shorter documents and more photographic data rather than the more lengthy and harder to read documents.
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