There are many similarities between America in the 1950s and America in the 1920s. Both times there was a sudden expansion of industry, technology, and in building. All of the innovation that came about to help survive the war was now focused on improving the standard of living.
Towards that end, we did a fun little America in the 1950s page, because I knew if I read just the textbook the kids eyes would glaze over (here’s my simple America in the 1950s lesson plan)
America in the 1950s lesson plan
Goal of lesson: to compare the technology, dress, and lifestyle to our current time
Required materials: google serach for the images needed, paper dolls (link further in post)
I printed and shrunk to a smaller size a paper doll boy and girl for the kids to color, 1950s paper doll. It’s fun to compare how the fashions change over time, and we’ve really enjoyed making these guys. Though their coloring of the people is sometimes a little amusing.
Then came the part that really amazed them, we compared objects that became common household objects during this time then and now. I did a quick google search and pulled up my pictures to use.
They were amazed at the size of the computer, the picture didn’t really give a scale frame of reference, so I compared it to the cordenza in our dining room, which takes up an entire wall. The kids were much more amazed once they had that frame of reference.
After we’d cut, glued, and discussed they all wrote things that were similar and different. Some of their comparisons were rather inane, “we have blue cars now too.” But, some were interesting to how they think, mostly about the phone and computer.
This lesson also brought about the great “No colored pencils for writing” rule. I couldn’t read Superman’s writing in light green pencil. You couple that with the discovery it’s not erasable, and you have compelling reasons not to write in colored pencil.
For more US history ideas check out my pinterest board: