Texas at War - The Home Front During WWII
Social Studies, Grades 4–7 and 9–12
Through analysis of primary source archival footage and the creation of a World War II broadside, students will demonstrate their understanding of the political, economic, and social impact of World War II on the history of the United States and Texas.
Students should have a basic understanding of the involvement of the United States in World War II.
Students are assumed to know that a newspaper broadside is a large one-page flier with content, including advertisements, and articles.
Ask students to discuss with a partner what it means for the United States to be at war (e.g. Who does war affect, what causes war, and what are its consequences?).
Have each group share their ideas & record them on the board.
Remind students that the United States is currently at war; ask them to share any changes they feel have occurred in their life as a result.
Based on their answers, have students evaluate with a partner if the experience on the home front are different from World War II. Discuss the causes and consequences of World War II with them.
Instruct students to divide a large sheet of paper into two sections. Have them start a bubble diagram in the section on the left with “Role of Texas and Texans during the War” as the main bubble. Have them start a second bubble diagram on the right with “Impact of the War on Texas” as the main bubble.
While students watch the videos (see Videos) have them add bubbles to the main bubbles which include 3-5 word phrases describing how the video addresses these two topics. For instance, “made ammunition,” “supplied beef for troops,” “increased money in economy,” etc.
When the students have watched all five videos, have them work with a partner to identify the three most important contributions of Texans to the war effort and the three most important impacts the war had on Texas.
Ask groups to share their ideas and explain their decisions, instructing students to add to their bubble diagrams any answers they did not get.
- A news story about the impact of the war on Texas politics
- A biography of a famous Texan in World War II (Audie Murphy, Jack Lummus, a WASP, a Mexican-American soldier, etc.)
- A letter to the editor
- From a family member of a soldier serving overseas describing what it is like to wait for their return
- From a family that discusses what they are doing to support the war effort
- From a war bride discussing what it is like to live in Texas
- An advertisement for the products of a company that would have economically benefitted from the war effort
- A human interest story
- Training the British Royal Air Force in Terrell, Texas
- The Mexican American role during the War
As an extension to understanding the role Texans played in World War II, TAMI also offers an additional lesson plan about the Civilian Internment of Japanese Americans in Crystal City, TX. The lesson complements the learning completed by students in this lesson and acts as an extension to understanding the role played by Texas during World War II.
- Civilian Internment (Gr 4–5)
- Civilian Internment (Gr 7-8)
- Civilian Internment (Gr 9–12)
The Lieutenant Colonel Jack Bradley Collection, Texas Archive of the Moving Image, https://texasarchive.org/2009_01486
The Audie Murphy/American Cotton Museum, https://www.cottonmuseum.com/
National WASP World War II Museum, Sweetwater, TX, https://waspmuseum.org/ “Audie Murphy: Great American Hero.” Biography. A&E Home Video, 50 minutes, 2005
Haley, James L. TEXAS: From Spindletop through World War II. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1993.
Alexander, Thomas E. The Wings of Change: The Army Air Force Experience in Texas During World War II. Abilene: State House Press, 2003.
Haynsworth, Leslie. Amelia Earhart’s Daughters: The Wild and Glorious Story of American Women Aviators from World War II to the Dawn of the Space Age. New York: Harper Paperbacks, 2000.
Rivas-Rodriguez, Maggie. Mexican Americans and World War II. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2005.
Killebrew, Tom. The Royal Air Force in Texas: Training British Pilots in Terrell during World War II. Denton: University of North Texas Press, 2009.
Weigand, Cindy. Texas Women in World War II. Plano: Republic of Texas, 2003.
Josephson, Judith Pinkerton. Growing Up in World War II: 1941 to 1945. Minneapolis: Lerner Publishing Group, 2002.