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WWII on the Homefront:
The American “Look”
            During the time the United States became involved in fighting W.W.II, patriotic feelings ran wild.  Americans took great pride in the bravery and endurance their armed forces exhibited in fighting the oppressive powers abroad.  Although there was such a large national focus on ending the suffering of those held under the Axis powers in Europe and the Pacific, the American homefront was far from being a level playing field for minorities such as African Americans, Asian Americans and many others.  Also, women were still limited to narrow career choices, and their “proper” place was still thought to be in the home.
            In many ways, World War II served to initiate some important changes in American society.  Minorities joined the armed forces and took on roles they had previously been denied, but not without a struggle.  Women took on jobs that were left empty by men who went off to fight in the war.  Despite these major changes, prejudice and hostility towards minorities still continued to a large extent, especially in the cases of the Japanese Americans who were forced to live in internment camps.
            This web quest is designed to help you to find out about the real American “look” and national identity during WWII, one that includes all people living in the USA.  As you explore what happened in our country during World War II, put yourself in the 1940s.  Pretend you are experiencing the same changes and hardships.  Try and put yourself in the shoes of those people you learn about, and connect their identity to the overall “look” or identity of America at the time.
The Task:
            You will visit five web sites and gather information.  Once you go to the web site, follow the directions on your guide sheet.  Read the articles and find the specific information required.  In many cases, you will give your reaction to photographs and posters.  You will write down your reactions and the information you find on your response sheet.  Be sure to write down all of the information required.
The Process:
SITE #1 – African Americans in WWII
1.  Scroll down the page to the section where it says, “World War II,
Segregation at Home and Abroad
2.  Choose two of the nine passages listed on the page about African American involvement in WWII to respond to.
                        3.  Write the title of each passage in the section provided on your
                        response sheet.
                        4.  Respond to the questions on your response sheet for each
                        passage you listed.              
SITE #2 -- The Role of Women in WWII
                        1.  Read all the information on the page.
                        2.  Respond to the questions for SITE #2 on your response sheet.
                        3.  Find the “key words” section at the bottom of the web page
                        and write down the definition for “stereotype” and “propaganda” on
                        the space provided on your response sheet.
SITE #3 – Japanese American Internment
1.  Read the article “Prewar Discrimination” and look at the picture
of the Japanese man and woman on the right.
2.  Respond to the questions for SITE # 3 on your response sheet.
SITE #4 – Powers of Persuasion
1.  Browse through the collections of propaganda posters in Part 1
and Part 2 of the online gallery.
                        2.  Choose four posters to respond to and write the title of each
                        poster in the space provided on your response sheet.
                        3.  Respond to the questions for SITE #4 on your response sheet
                        for each of the five posters.