Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum


What are They Thinking? The 1948 Election
Author:
Kate Sutter
Course:
US History
Time Frame:
45 minutes
Subjects:
1948 Election

Grade Levels:
9, 10, 11, 12

Classroom/Homework Activity to be performed:
  • Students will work individually or in pairs to analyze Norman Rockwell’s Family Squabble and create the written thoughts that the characters would be thinking or saying in 1948. If desired, the lesson can be extended by repeating the activity with a different election and having the students look for similarities and differences of campaigns over time. 

Rationale:
  • Students will be able to apply what they’ve learned about the 1948 (or other) election issues by creating historically relevant statements from the perspective of the time period. This promotes analysis of primary sources, historical thinking, and application of new knowledge in a more authentic way.

District, state, or national performance and knowledge standards/goals/skills met:


  • Missouri Learning Standards adopted 2016
    • 1: Continuity and Change
      • Theme 1B: Explain connections between historical context and peoples’ perspectives at the time in United States history.
    • 2: Government Systems and Principals
      • Theme 1A: Analyze laws, policies, and processes to determine how governmental systems affect individuals and groups in society in United States history c.1870-2010.

Secondary materials (book, article, video documentary, etc.) needed:
  • Any lesson materials on the 1948 election that the teacher normally uses
  • NARA’s Cartoon Analysis student worksheet.
  • Student handout (attached below)

Primary materials (book, article, video documentary, etc.) needed:

 

Full description of activity or assignment.
  • After learning about the issues of the 1948 elections, the teacher will assess understanding by having students complete the 2 handouts.
  • Students will analyze Family Squabble using the NARA Cartoon Analysis sheet.
  • Students will fill in historically accurate statements for each of the speech bubbles or thought bubbles that have been placed on the painting.

 

Name:                                                                        Block:

 

Norman Rockwell’s Family Squabble and the 1948 Election

Directions: Consider what the characters below are arguing about. In the given graphic organizer, fill in historically accurate statements about the 1948 election for the characters in the painting.

 

 

 

Name:                                                                        Block:

Norman Rockwell’s Family Squabble and the 1948 Election

 

Directions: Using the given image, create the arguments each character of the painting might be using. Your comments must show an understanding of the campaign issues in the 1948 election.

 

 

Speech or Thought

Bubble

Describe the character’s allegiance and provide evidence supporting your belief

 

Write what the character in the image might be arguing given your knowledge of the 1948 election.

 

 

 

A

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

B

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

C

 

 



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

D

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For Fun: The teddy bear

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

See Rockwell painting with speech and thought bubbles in this pdf

Full explanation of the assessment method and/or scoring guide:
  • This will be an informal assessment, so a Carousel strategy will be used. Students or groups will post their completed handouts on the wall. The class will then rotate to each image and, using post-it notes, provide feedback to their classmates about accuracy or improvements they would make. Then the teacher will lead a discussion about what the students learned to close the lesson.