1) The teacher will break the class into groups of four. Mixed ability groups may be a good idea for this process. Tell each group they represent a family.
2) The teacher will then ask the students to take out all their pencils pens and other writing utensils and place them on their workspace.
3) The teacher will then explain that there is an imaginary war, and that the government needs all available writing instruments for the war effort. (Be creative as to your reasons, perhaps they are going to be turned into ammunition, or used to take notes on spy missions, etc.) All these except one pencil per group will then be collected by the teacher and stored in the zip lock bags.
4) The teacher will then tell each “family” that their refrigerator is broken and that they need to purchase a new one. However, in order to do so they must fill out a request form and state their reasons for needing a new refrigerator. Explain that they will have a better chance of receiving one if each family member fills out a form. Distribute the Application for Authorization to Purchase New Domestic Mechanical Refrigerators form to each student. This is an actual document. You may want to discuss it.
5) Now the students will realize that the four of them only have one pencil between them to fill out these 4 forms. Allow a little problem solving to occur. After about five minutes tell them you have a way for them to get more pencils. Distribute some pencil coupons an allow them to use them to purchase up to two more pencils.
6) Have the students try to fill out the forms. They will not be able to complete the forms, but have them focus on Box 4 – Justification for Application. Discuss some of their responses.
7) Debrief this exercise and explain that they will now learn about a program that existed during the Second World War.
8) The teacher will distribute the list of rationed goods (word doc.) to the students. The class will discuss the meaning of the word rationing and construct a consensus definition. The discussion will then focus on the items on the list. The teacher will want to facilitate discussion on the following points:
· What are the categories that these items were placed in? Define each category.
· What specific purpose could the Military have for each of the items on the list?
· What do the students think would be a good method for the government to ration these items? How would the process work?
9) The students will then go to the Rationing on the Home front website to further investigate the rationing process. Class discussion will follow.
10) The teacher will then have the students read the article from the website, World War II Rationing. Following this the class will answer the following questions: (this may be done on paper or in a discussion)
a. Describe in general how the government rationed various items.
b. What was one serious side effect of rationing? Explain your answer.
1) One possible extension to the lesson is to have a speaker who lived through rationing during the War come to the room and speak to the students about his/her experiences.
2) Another possible extension is to have students compare the rationing program of the WWII era to today’s environmental “green” movement.