The 1940s and WWII Page Slider

1940s and World War II

Students handle authentic and reproduction artifacts and engage in a variety of hands-on activities as they learn about like on the home front during WWII. The program will examine and address the isolationist policy of the United State until the attack on Pearl Harbor. Following the attack on Pearl Harbor, the program will demonstrate how Americans rallied to support the war effort and how women entered both the workforce and the service in large numbers. Following a brief orientation presentation, the students will break into groups and move between six station where they will learn how the war affected men, women, boys, and girls. Following the program, students will compare life on the home front during WWII with life on the home front today. This highly active experience is best set up in a large activity area, gymnasium, or outside. The History to Go Van is available to visit multiple classes at your school for a half-day (3 hours) or a full day (6 hours).


Primary Objective: Through hands-on activities, students will experience some cultural practices and products of the 1940s and World War II.


Location: An Ohio History Connection representative travels to your school.


Availability: Please check with Scheduling and Reservation Office for availability.


Time Allowance: Half-Day – 3 hours
                             Full-Day – 6 hours


Cost: Half-Day -- $200.00 plus roundtrip mileage

         Full-Day -- $350.00 plus roundtrip mileage


The school is responsible for providing 6 volunteers who will help during entire program.



What will the students do? Activities may include:

Dad’s Life: Students will splash on some Old Spice and relax with the newspaper to determine whether the United State should be involved in the war. Following the attack on Pearl Harbor they will decide whether to enter the service or to serve their country on the home front by deciding whether to buy war bonds, serve in the Civil Defense Corps, or to plant s victory garden.


Mom’s Life: Student will try on period clothes, smell Postum, prepare a bag lunch, learn about rationing, and examine the variety of roles open to women during the war.


A Boy’s Life: Students will ride a homemade scooter while experiencing what life was like for young men and discover how they contributed to the war effort.


A Girl’s Life: Students will jump rope and listen to swing music while experiencing what life was like for young women and discover how they contribute to the war effort.

A Soldier’s Life: Students try on uniforms, examine period artifacts and write a letter to a soldier or write a letter home.


Documents: Students examine a scrapbook of period documents, period maps, and a period globe.




Allocate – To distribute a thing, amount, or share according to a plan or for a special purpose

Analyze – To study or find out the nature and relationship of the parts by analysis

Capital Good – A productive resource consisting of human-made materials needed to produce goods and services; capital goods include buildings, machinery, equipment, and tools

Civilian – A person who is not in the armed forces; a non-military citizen

Division of Labor – The separation of the total work required to produce a good or service into individual interrelated tasks

Home Front – The domestic side of a war

Perspective – A specific point of view in understanding or judging things or events

Productive Capacity – The maximum output that an economy can produce without big increases in inflation

Ration – A fixed portion that is allotted (especially in times of scarcity, such as in times of war)

Scarcity – The lack of sufficient resources to produce all the goods and services that people desire

Selective Service Act – A law passed by Congress stating that all men between the ages of 21 and 30 must register with the local draft board to serve in the armed forces. The age range was later changed to 18-45

Specialization – The concentration of production on fewer kinds of goods and services than were consumed

War Effort – A coordinated, civilian joining-together of resources (such as food or supplies) for the support of a military force

Academic Standards:
Fourth Grade:  SS 4.2
Eighth Grade:  SS 8.1