Lesson Plan

Hollywood Goes to War

Explore the war effort contributions of Hollywood during WWII
Michelle N.
Classroom teacher
Lebanon Senior High School
Lebanon, United States
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My Grades 10, 11, 12
My Subjects English Language Arts, Arts

Students will be able to...

  • Name and describe four genres of films made during the war years (Preparedness Pics, Patriotic Pics, Escapist Pics, Post-war Pics)
  • Describe both tangible and intangible contibutions of Hollywood during WWII
  • Explain the changing relationship between Hollywood and congress during the war years
English Language Arts
Social Studies
Grades 10 – 12
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Hook

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Introduction. Students will create a timeline that includes the following criteria. The purpose of the timeline is to build upon prior knowledge of important WWII events, in order to make a connection to the cinematic and tangible contributions to the war-effort by 1940s Hollywood. Students will be able to add to this timeline as they learn more about Hollywood's contribution to the war effort.

Timeline Criteria

  • Important Events of WWII (8)
    • Title, Date & Description (1 sentence)
  • Pre/Patriotic/Post War Films (10)
    • Title, Date & Genre
    • Include IMDB.com or poster link for extended assignment 

2 Direct Instruction

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Content Instruction. Students will develop a working knowledge of content by taking teacher-guided and individual-created notes from a variety of multi-media resources.

Content Resources.

  • Warner at War, 2008 (Special Feature)
  • Cinema Combat: Hollywood Goes to War,1998 (Special Feature)

3 Guided Practice

Activity: Reading

Guided Practice. Students will use Schoology to access a guided reading assignment that tiers questions based on information attained in the reading assignments. 

Content Resources.

4 Independent Practice

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Summative Assessment. Each student will create a padlet board that includes the following criteria and will share via Schoology.

  • Vocabulary Posts (4)
    • A description of each film genre
    • A pictorial example (such as a movie poster or visual representation) of each film genre
    • Appropriate contextual use of the vocabulary term (in your own words sentence)
  • Informational Posts (5)
    • Explanation of Hollywood's war-time contribution
  • Pictures (3)
    • Photos(s) must represent a moment of Hollywood's war-time contribution
  • Links (2)
    • Link to an article or other resource (interactive media, audio, etc.) for further investigation

5 Wrap-Up

Summarize Learning. In collaborative groups, students will create a Wordle based upon the main ideas learned about the many contributions of Hollywood to the war-effort AND how Hollywood's relationship changed with the US government from 1939 to 1945. 

  • Collins Writing (Type 3) 
    • Writing Prompt. Summarize the greatest or most important contributions Hollywood made to the war-effort (1941 - 1945), while describing how these contributions to the government was a fundamental shift from typical relations in 1939.
    • FCAs. Focused Correction Areas
      • Provides at least five (5) war-effort contributions by Hollywood and provides at least three (3) corresponding specific examples
      • Describes Hollywood's relationship with the US Gov't 1939-1941 and how the relationship changed after the attack on Pearl Harbor. 
      • A minimum of 20 sentences.