Wessels Living History Farm - York Nebraska Learner Resources for the 1940s
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Online Lesson Plans
For Farming in the 1940s

  Students in Texas  
One of the key features of this Wessels Living History Farm Web site is the section devoted to education. "Learner Resources" for the 1940s section are full lesson plans tied to Nebraska's educational standards. Lessons in Social Studies and Art are still to come.

Each online lesson listed at the left includes a suggested grade level, the standards that are addressed, objectives, a detailed plan with resources and advice, concluding activities, and suggested assessments.

Reading.
In this set of lessons, several different media are used to support reading development.

  • Uncle Sam Wants You! Men and women joined the war effort for many different reasons. This lesson helps students research some of those attitudes, discuss them with their peers and write a fictional narrative based on what they've learned.
  • GI's, Gals & Gardens introduces students to the power of propaganda and asks them to produce their own campaign to support aspects of the war effort.
  • Listening is Not Hearing uses the oral history interviews on this site to train students in listening comprehension.
  • Picturing Text explores how visual information and graphs can support reading comprehension.

Science & Math.
Right around 1940, the productivity of the average American farmer more than doubled, and innovations in applied math and science was one of the major causes. These lessons explore the science of these agricultural innovations in depth.

  • Fertilizers & Grass Growth is a lab experiment designed to allow students to complete their own scientific research.
  • Household Chemicals & the Environment show students how common "contaminants" from their own environment can effect other species, specifically plants. This lesson is designed for higher grades than the fertilizer lesson above.
  • It's All About the Roots! explores the effects of nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus, sulfur and oxygen on root growth.
  • "Finding" Horsepower shows students how to figure out horsepower as a unit of power and how to chart the horsepower of various tractors.
  • A Model Aquifer will help students observe how water percolates to groundwater layers, how an irrigation well works and how contaminants migrate through the system.
  • Nature Notes invites students to experience and record nature through an out of classroom event.

Music.
Music was a crucial element in maintaining feelings of hope during the war. Through the study of the music of the time, students can get a palpable sense of what it was like to live through the time.

  • Patriotic Music was the most popular genre of music during the war. This lesson helps students identify what elements made a song patriotic and helps them compare songs from the 1940s to those from today.
  • I've got the Blues! takes students through the 12-bar blues form, helps them compose their own 12-bar blues lyrics and to compare the problems of the 1940s to problems of today.
  • Listen Up! Swinging with Some Big Bands helps students analyze the instrumentation, formal structure and stylistic characteristics of the most popular music in the 40s – jazz.
  • Swing Your Partner, It's a Virtual Square Dance. While jazz was the most popular form of music, there were growing audiences for country music and western swing. This lesson allows students to design a virtual square dance.

So, choose a subject matter that appeals to your interests from the navigation list at the left, or simply click the Next Arrow below and browse through the lesson plans.

Submit your Lesson Plan

Would you like to be published here? You can also submit your own lesson plans to us for possible inclusion in the Web site. This lesson submission form can be used for lessons on the 1930s and the 1920s section, as well.

 

Next – Uncle Sam Wants You!


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