Sunday, March 2, 2014

Rosie the Riveter -- Women's contributions during World War II (ages 9-14)

Women played an essential role on America's home front during World War II. As men joined or were drafted to the military, there was an especially great need to fill manufacturing jobs -- especially with the rapid increase in the production of ships.

The federal government encouraged the creation of motivational posters during the Second World War. One of the most popular featured "Rosie the Riveter." See the site Awesome Stories for more on the story behind Rosie the Riveter.

Video resources can really engage students, both as an introduction to a topic and a way to deepen their thinking. I think they'd be very interested in this video, with a song about Rosie the Riveter and clips showing women in different manufacturing jobs during WWII.

Read more about this video on the Awesome Stories website, a great source of information for kids, ages 8-14. They write about this video:
"Not long after J. Howard Miller - the artist at Westinghouse who created the "We Can Do It!" poster - released his work, "Rosie the Riveter" was born. Personifying American women, who produced war materials on factory assembly lines, "Rosie" became part of popular culture. In 1943, Redd Evans and John Jacob Loeb wrote a song about her."
For students and families interested in learning more about women's role on the Home Front during WWII, check out the National Historical Park dedicated to Rosie the Riveter and life on the home front. The park is located in Richmond, CA, site of many shipyards during the 1940s. They also have many primary resources on their website, including photos, artifacts and stories.

NPS Rosie the Riveter Online Resources
I'm curious whether any friends can think of historical fiction that's connected to women's experiences working in factories during World War II. Our students really enjoyed reading Duke, by Kirby Larson, which shows how children lent their dogs to the War Effort. And there are books that show women pilots during the war. But I can't think of historical fiction about working in factories... if you know of one, please let me know!

©2014 Mary Ann Scheuer, Great Kid Books

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