World War II was a pivotal period in Tennessee history that reshaped the landscape of the state and paved the way for widespread social, economic, and political changes in the second half of the twentieth century. It also marked a high point in civic engagement as every American was called upon to support, contribute, and sacrifice for the war effort. The extraordinary impact of the war on Tennessee’s home front is the topic of this supplementary curriculum developed by the Teaching with Primary Sources program at Middle Tennessee State University (TPS—MTSU).
The curriculum is organized into four units that align with themes and topics within the Tennessee State Social Studies curriculum standards. Those units are New Deal Programs during WWII; Tennesseans at Home; Tennesseans at War; and Social, Economic, and Political Changes in Wartime and Post-War Tennessee.
Each unit includes a historical overview designed to complement content within student textbooks that typically focus on the national narrative and to provide needed context for the accompanying activities. The historical overviews also give the local and state story that is often missing from textbooks and difficult for teachers to locate in a format that is classroom-friendly.
Within each unit, primary source-driven activities incorporate inquiry along with social studies practices,
such as developing historical and geographical awareness. Activities are accompanied by suggestions
for how they can be differentiated for grade and ability levels, as each classroom environment presents
Each unit includes additional resources that provide educators with information for related historic
sites in the state; collections and supplemental materials from other archives, museums, and historical
societies; and additional resources not included in the activities from the Library of Congress.
To access the full PDF of the curriculum, click here.