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The Greatest Generation Voice Thread

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Keywords: Greatest Generation, World War 2, Voice Thread, Technology, Group work, research, Social Studies
Subject(s): Social Studies, Video, Technology, History, Speech and Language
Grades 6 through 8
NETS-S Standard:
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Communication and Collaboration
  • Research and Information Fluency
  • Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making
  • Technology Operations and Concepts
View Full Text of Standards
School: Forest Park School, Crystal Falls, MI
Planned By: Kurt Anderson
Original Author: Kurt Anderson, Crystal Falls
Begin by having students research some basics about the Greatest Generation. They should find out:
1. Who makes up the greatest generation?
2. Where the term comes from.
3. What contributions people of the era made to earn this title.

In addition to the above questions, once you locate and contact guest speakers from the Greatest Generation find out some background information about where they're from, branch of service, or other areas of the WWII effort they were involved in to have students research background information on. For example, if your speaker was stationed at Pearl Harbor have students research the bombing. Students should jot down potential questions they might want to ask the speaker.

Schedule your guest speaker(s) and have students take brief notes. Follow up the speakers by having a discussion to recap important facts, and interesting details. Be sure to lead students into the discussion of how the speakers' contributions qualify them for the Greatest Generation.

Introduce Voice Threads by showing a quick intro/how to video. By searching this on YouTube, there are several to choose from. Preview a couple and show one you like.

Give students the following criteria to complete their Voice Thread on your guest speakers:

Greatest Generation Voice Threads

We just had 2 guest speakers that lived through an important time in American history. Opportunities to listen to and ask questions of people from this generation will be all but gone in a very short time. Their entire generation came together in order to defeat a real threat to our country and way of life. This project will reflect on the history of the time and their contributions to it. You will sum it up by presenting why _____ (speaker 1) and _______(speaker 2)fit into the “Greatest Generation.”

Your Voice Thread Presentation will consist of:
(1-2 slides): What got America into World War II?
(2-4 slides): America’s military involvement. Where did we fight? What branches of service? Who did we fight with and against?
(2-4 slides): What was the ‘war effort’ on the homefront? How was nearly every American citizen affected? How did they come together and all contribute? What sacrifices did they make?
(1-2 slides): Where did the term “Greatest Generation” come from? What does it refer to?
(4-6 slides): How do ______ and _______ epitomize the “Greatest Generation?” Discuss their individual efforts towards the war.

Each slide will consist of a picture and a voice over narration. You and your partner should write down your script for each individual slide so as to explain the pictures and answer the guiding questions from above. Be detailed and well spoken. Rehearse and re-record when necessary. Think about ____ and ______ watching these when you’re done. This project, if well done can be a great way of saying ‘thank you’ to two members of our Greatest Generation!

Allow students a minimum of 5 class periods for extra research and designing of the Voice Thread. If it is their first time, they may need longer. If they're already familiar, they may not need that much. Be flexible and let their creativity shine through!
Materials: Short Throw Projectors, Digital Voice Recorders, Keyboards, Web Page, Student Resources