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Instructional Design

Title:     Sacrifice: Support on the Home Front


 You Can’t Always Get What You Want…but the government hopes you can get what you need! This lesson is intended for 6-8 grade students as a supplement to studying World War II in the Social Studies curriculum, focusing on the efforts of all citizens to support the war through rationing.


The purpose of this lesson is to examine government-induced rationing during World War II. I want the students to understand the process and how it affected the lives of normal citizens as well as appreciate the attitudes of the public and their willingness to support the troops.  Students can compare/contrast those attitudes with the attitudes today toward our military efforts and their own willingness to sacrifice.


At the end of this lesson, students will be able to identify items that were rationed and explain the purpose for each, compare and contrast lifestyles at that time and in the present and the effects of rationing on that lifestyle, and reflect on the impact that rationing has had on our society.

Investigative Question(s):

·         Why was rationing imposed?

·         How did it help the war effort?

·         Why were people willing to help?

·         What benefits occurred as a result of rationing?

Time Required: 2 class periods, 45-minute class sessions

Recommended Grade Range:  6-8 grade

Subject:  Social Studies

Standards:  Include 14C3a, 14D3a, 15D3a, 15E3b, 16A3b

Credits:  Cheryl L. O’Brien

Materials: (Please open all by using download arrow, NOT icons)

Ø  Sacrifice: Support on the Home Front PowerPoint

Ø  Primary Source Picture Set

Ø  Picture analysis tool (see attached)

Ø  Graphic organizer (see attached)

Ø  Video clip  http://www.smithsonianeducation.org/idealabs/wwii/fullmovie.html

Ø  Article, “If You Don’t Need It, DON’T BUY IT” (see attached)

Ø  Ration coupons (see attached)

Ø  Reflection sheet (see attached)

Ø  Rubric (graphic organizer, reflection response) (see below)


Resources:  Video clip  http://www.smithsonianeducation.org/idealabs/wwii/fullmovie.html

                             Sites              http://www.u-s-history.com/pages/h1674.html 







                                    Degn, Amber. “If You Don’t Need It, DON”T BUY IT”. Connecticut Explored.

                                    Library of Congress


1.     Introduce the concept of rationing using the Sacrifice: Support for the Home Front                 PowerPoint. (ppt)

            2.    Given Primary Source pictures, pairs of students will analyze them in order to determine                      what is happening and make predictions about who, when, where, and why. (LOC                                      pictures/analysis tool) Students will share ideas with class and make conjectures about the                  process; teacher will then clarify the significance of the pictures.

           3.    Based on the pictures given, students will be assigned one of five major groups of rationing                  items to investigate: sugar, meat/dairy, gas/tires, processed foods, or shoes/clothing.

          4.    In a computer lab, students will use websites to investigate rationing in their assigned area in              order to fill in the following required information on a graphic organizer: Items included/Type              of coupon/How it helps the war effort/Effect if rationed today. (web sites, graphic                             organizer)

        5.    Class will debrief; students in similar groups will compare their findings. The whole class will                 view video clip on rationing. (video clip)

        6.    Read article “If You Don’t Need It, DON’T BUY IT”. Students will discuss and share which                 items would be most difficult to give up if rationed today.

        7.    Students will be given a sheet of “ration coupons” for that night; they will need to reflect on              their feelings about having to sacrifice. (ration coupons, reflection sheet)

 Inquiry Cycle:

            Connect: Students will gain insight through the powerpoint and websites (step 1--see Resources)

            Wonder: Students will predict how the rationing process worked and what it would be like to                             have to ration (LOC pictures, Ration coupon Activity)

            Investigate: Students will investigate what and how rationing worked through the websites

            Construct:  From their experiences in the lesson, students will understand the purpose of                                 rationing and why it worked (article, graphic organizer)

            Express: Students will experience understanding of rationing through their own rationing                                 experience (Ration coupon Activity)

            Reflect: Students will reflect on the benefits and problems in rationing and what                                             impact rationing might have on their own lives.


            Create a wordle or word puzzle using rationed goods (list of 20 min.)

            Create a timeline with graphics/drawings 1941-1946

            View posters and create a poster to encourage support of our current war against terror

            Listen to interviews (LOC) and interview someone about September 11; compare and                            contrast attitudes about patriotism then and now

            Read/listen to interviews of citizens on the home front during WWII


Students will be formatively assessed based on their response to the pictures and powerpoint. The summative assessment will based on the completeness and accuracy of the graphic organizer and the post-ration reflection.



Cheryl O'Brien,
Jun 14, 2012, 7:55 AM
Cheryl O'Brien,
Jun 13, 2012, 6:28 AM
Cheryl O'Brien,
Jun 13, 2012, 6:43 AM
Cheryl O'Brien,
Jun 13, 2012, 6:43 AM
Cheryl O'Brien,
Jun 13, 2012, 6:44 AM
Cheryl O'Brien,
Jun 14, 2012, 8:21 AM
Cheryl O'Brien,
Jun 15, 2012, 8:27 AM
Cheryl O'Brien,
Jun 14, 2012, 8:38 AM