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Were the Fifties "fabulous"? That is the guiding question of this lesson on Post World War II American Culture. The lesson begins with a split notes listening activity. Students hear a passage about the changes in American culture after WWII two times. The first time they take notes on the main ideas of the passage. The second time they listen to the passage they add details. The purpose of this activity is for students to gain some basic background knowledge of cultural changes in America after the war.
Students then participate in a station activity in which they learn about these changes in greater depth. The categories of changes in this lesson are:
5. G.I. Bill of Rights
7. Baby boom
**8. Television ** This station requires the use of either a lap top, desk top computer or iPad. In this station, students watch clips from three popular TV shows at the time: I Love Lucy, American Bandstand and Leave it to Beaver.
At the conclusion of the station activity, students write a persuasive essay in which they share their answer to the question "Were the Fifties 'Fabulous'?" They must use text-based evidence from the station activity
There are so many ways to jazz up learning about this time period. I personally love to use music no matter what time period I am teaching, but this lesson in particular has some really fun music. I make a playlist of some popular songs of the 1950's and have the music playing as students come into the classroom. Depending on how much time I have, I will sometimes give students the opportunity to play with some 1950's-era toys like legos, hula hoops and yo-yo's. We all need a break from the everyday sometimes, right? Hope you enjoy this lesson as much as I do.