Lesson Plan: Overview

Social Effects of WWII on SC

Grade Level: 4th

Academic Standards

Standard 4-3:  The student will demonstrate an understanding of the conflict between the American Colonies and England.
Indicator 4-3.6: Compare the daily life and roles of diverse groups of Americans during and after the Revolutionary War, including roles taken by women and African Americans.
Indicator 4-3.7: Explain the effects of the American Revolution on African Americans and Native Americans, including how the war affected attitudes about slavery contributed to the inclusion of abolition in early state constitutions and how the Land Ordinance of 1785 and the Northwest Ordinance of 1787 that were developed by Congress influenced the Future of Native Americans.
Essential Question
“How can literature and research enhance the student’s ability to design a presentation of the social effects of WWII on South Carolina?”

Historical Background Notes

The United States had a feeling of greatness and excitement during the Roaring Twenties. The people were full of life, creating new inventions to make life even better. Until the Stock Market crash in 1929, Americans thought life could not be any better.

During the Dirty Thirties and the second Great Depression, people were living very frugal lives and hoping for old times. Living in improvised times, people looked at the beginning of World War II as a turn about toward the life they once had lived. The benefit of designing and producing weapons for a war that didn’t include us really helped the growth of many areas like Charleston, South Carolina. “The Charleston Navy Yard was directed to increase production and during 1941 launched twelve new destroyers.” (Edger, 1998).

Life on the Home Front, named for the activities being done by civilians back on American soil, was their version of helping win the war.  The Charleston Navy yard was given the orders increase production with the placement of the Lend Lease Program. It meant more jobs for Americans in South Carolina. From 1940 to 1944 more than 45 thousand people moved to the area, with more than half of those being from other states.

The advantages eventually lead to disadvantages in the area.  As the jobs crew in numbers the housing situation could not maintain the growth. The growth brought on many of the same issues that happened in New York City during the large influx on immigrants into the United States.  There were not enough housing, health issues grew from the rat infestation and septic tank leaking.  The education system could not keep up with the large number of families entering the area either.  Daycare facilities and school were not able equipped for the amount of new families coming with, especially with the working mothers. “Charleston mirrored the national trend. Few, if any, white women worked in manufacturing during the Depression. But less than a year after the nation declared war the female production force grew dramatically.” (Hamer, 2005).

Charleston being a large navy and military area, the violence did escalate, but was to work on some of the bad situations arising to help people living there. Many other areas that grew because of the war efforts by using the factories to produce the weapons did not have the advantage of the military taking care of the rise in violence and problems in the area. 
The end of the war brought much excitement to the people in Charleston. Although, employment had dropped at the Navy yard, people saving were up. The combination of not having consumer goods available and rationing taking place, some families were able to put a little money together and use it at the end of the war. Things seemed to be looking up for many in South Carolina.

Getting closer to home, Charlotte Stevenson, a social worker from Richland County traveled to Germany after World War II.  Germany was in need of women to help rebuild much of Europe after the war.  The women in South Carolina, as well as the rest of the United States had a taste of what life was like out of the house.  Many were disappointed when the men took their jobs over and wanted to continue to work outside the house. Many of the aftermath of events in Europe were expressed in letters home from the individuals that went to help rebuild after the war.

The nation made sure to not impose any heartache on the Americans and through propaganda the people in the U.S. thought events were positive and everything they did in their daily lives affected the results of the war. Posters which were geared toward most women, showed that their help in taking over jobs for the men overseas were positive, supportive, strong and colorful.  The posters that were displayed for the men still in America let them know that their efforts were also being done to help win the war. 

The Second World War was able to do for the United States what the New Deal could not do in the past. It was able to produce jobs to assist families out of the lives they had fallen into after the Stock Market Crash, through the long depression.  Many new careers were created through the war and several continued after it was over. WWII was a beginning to a new America, as well as life in South Carolina.


1. Copies of sections of Primary Sources
2.Articles for students to research through Nettrekker
3. Multiple computer workstations with Internet access with printer capabilities
4.Paper, notebooks, research skills notes and pencils
Primary Sources

325th Combat Engineers

World War II An American Scrapbook

"Victory waits on your fingers -- Keep 'em flying, Miss U.S.A.," 1941-5. Office of Emergency Management. Office of War Information. Domestic Operations Branch. Bureau of Special Services (03/09/1943-08/31/1945). Record Group 44, Records of the Office of Government, Still Picture Records LICON, Special Media Archive Services Division, College Park, MD

Stevenson, Charlotte, to family member, 19 November 1945.  Charlotte Stevenson Papers.  Manuscripts Division, South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina.

Secondary Sources

Davis, Burke. War Bird. Chapell Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1987.

Edgar, Walter. South Carolina: A History. Columbia SC: University of South Carolina Press, 1998.

Hamer, Fritz P. Charleston Reborn: A Southern City, Its Navy Yard and World War II. Charleston, SC The History Press, 2005.

General World War II and 1940’s Memorabilia

South Carolinians in WWII

Lesson Plans

1. Introduce Unit with short video clip from ETV.Streamline titled American History: World War II: Causes and Consequences: World War II (5:18)
2. As a whole group discuss the sections of the book created into a SMARTboard lesson how Charleston, SC looked and ran before World War II.  The presentation will demonstrate how the community grew, became overcrowded and rationing began to overtake the city, along with the U.S.
3. The class will discuss how the activities in the Charleston Harbor affected the people in South Carolina compared to other placed in the U.S.
4. Students will research formulated questions within their groups from the two websites listed in the sources.
5. Students will write a brief summary of their findings to be used in correlation with a Photostory presentation at the end of the unit.

Teacher Reflections

The summer of 2006, I was able to attend the Social Studies class through the Teaching American History in South Carolina program.  The main objectives in the course were American History from 1865 to Modern Times, the exact timeline I teach in my fifth grade class.  The information, events and activities tied into many of my lessons in the classroom along with the connection with South Carolina.

Being able to learn the material from a Master teacher was an incredible addition to my growing knowledge on the topics for my classroom.  The ability to listen and discuss the information with individuals that share an interest in the information was also a positive attribute to the course.

The tours and visitations of the various places added some good incite to places in South Carolina, with in driving distance from my school, for field studies in Social Studies. Being able to tour and learn the different aspects of the locations assisted with the planning of the lesson, using the information I obtained, learned and experienced during the days in the course.

I believe what has really improved my knowledge and ability to be a better teacher is the material I was able to receive during the class. I was able to have a large number of books and resources to use during the planning of my lesson and activities. I has put some great sources and information together to make researching certain topic much easier, when tying them into South Carolina. I was also able to learn how to use Primary Sources and Secondary Sources to make the lessons I teach to may students meaning and connected to real life situations from the past. Knowing there are individual with such knowledge of primary sources so near to us, will assist in future planning the lessons.

Starting out the school year a co-worker and I, that took the course with me, were very excited to use the knowledge of the Primary Sources we discovered over the summer course.  We were opening a new school that was not ready and tried to use the information we had for our first standard. Our first unit was Reconstruction and we learned of many items that were connected to South Carolina. Many of these sources were introduced and used in different lessons.   The outcome was mixed.

The feeling as a teacher I was to not satisfied with the way the lesson went the actual knowledge the students learned from it. Knowing what I know now after learning more about the different sources I was able to create much more meaningful lessons that I know the student really gained some incite to what truly happened in South Carolina during the times we studied.

The project that came out of the lesson I did with the Primary and Secondary Sources did not produce the level of quality I would have liked out of my students.  As I began to write up the lesson I intended to use I saw more I could do with it and didn’t feel I could put the feel to the lesson that it really deserved. I will rearrange the lesson for next year’s lesson to incorporate what I have learned over the past few months with what I learned this summer. 

As a result, I have rearranged my lessons to be done in the future. I feel I have learned so much since I have had the opportunity to put some quality time into creating a lesson with all the information I gained with the course. I feel the lesson I have created, along with my co-workers is a lesson that will be meaningful to the students.  Since teaching is all about student learning. I focused on what was best for the students.

The students have had the chance to work with a number of Primary Sources within the Social Studies lesson I have done their year.  That is a major change from any teaching I have done in the past.  I think they have really benefited from the knowledge I have gained in these few months.  The students also were able to learn some new presentation techniques and that will benefit the project put together for this lesson.

After the several lessons created for this unit the students will be able to use a variety of Primary Sources to create a presentation for others to use toward their learning.  The students will be able to find Primary Sources on their own, put them into Photo Story presentation and narrate it with the information they learn through the research, interview and different activities.

In the future, I intend to use the skills I have learned in this course in all my Social Studies lessons. I am very excited to teach the unit we have developed for WWII.  The students really enjoy learning about the real things that happened and having Primary Sources back up that it is real and that is what leaves a lasting affect on their lives. I also know that it really takes some planning ahead and compiling of information to present a meaningful lesson.

This course had made a great impact on my teaching and creating of meaningful lessons.  I would encourage all to take the time to learn and use what they learned to help students know about the past.

Student Assessments

  • Teacher used attached rubric.

Examples of Students Work

No examples available for this lesson plan.


Shannon Holland
Sandlapper Elementary