“Making Munitions is a Woman’s Job” During World War I

by Edward Dorgan
Lewis S. Mills High School, Burlington

D1: Potential Compelling Question

What impact did the women of Connecticut have on the Great War (WWI)?

D1: POTENTIAL SUPPORTING QUESTIONS

  • What is the message of the “Every American Woman” advertisement?
  • Who is being targeted?
  • What emotional reactions does the writer seem to be looking for from readers?
  • Why do you think this broadside was published in the Bridgeport Times & Evening Farmer?

D2: TOOL KIT

Things you will need to teach this lesson:



D3: INQUIRY ACTIVITY

  1. Students will analyze the U.S. Employment Bureau’s advertisement, “Every American Woman,” and answer the supporting questions.
  2. Students will annotate the words and images in the primary source, including those linked to patriotism and making connections to earlier historical events (previously studied).

D4: COMMUNICATING CONCLUSIONS

  •  Students will create their own advertisement/poster to recruit residents of Connecticut to assist in the effort to help win the Great War (WWI).
  • Students will design a WWI monument that recognizes the war efforts of Connecticut residents on the home front.
  •  Extended Learning: Students will research other primary-source materials (see below for suggestions and links) and write an editorial for the Hartford Courant arguing the importance of the role Connecticut women played in the Great War (WWI).

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Place to GO

Most Connecticut towns have at least one war memorial, although they are sometimes “invisible,” even if in plain sight. Is there a monument to WWI veterans in your town? Visit at least one local WWI memorial and compare it to other town monuments, memorials, or historic markers.Visit your local historical society or library to discover what original materials they have from WWI. You may find posters, photographs, letters, or personal accounts.

Things To DO

Browse Digitized Issues: The Bridgeport Times and Evening Farmer (1918-1922). Library of Congress, Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers, 2010.

Read a Book: Brown, Carrie. Rosie’s Mom: Forgotten Women Workers of the First World War. Boston, MA: Northeastern University Press, 2002.

Search the Connecticut State Library’s Remembering World War I Digital Collections

Search the Library of Congress World War I Poster Collection: Try using the keywords WOMEN or FOOD

Websites to VISIT
Articles to READ

Connecticut Explored: Greenwich Women Face the Great War: Our Contributions from the Home Front by Kathleen Eagen Johnson, Winter 2014–Winter 2015

ConnecticutHistory.org: A New Source of Farm Labor Crops Up in Wartime