History students are familiar with the concept of post-World War II economic affluence. This lesson allows students to dig deeper into elements of the postwar economic boom through the mid-1960s to see that a growing economy occurs at all levels and affects people in different ways. First, students familiarize themselves with basic economic concepts such as gross domestic product (GDP) as measured by an index and per capita. Next, using FRED (Federal Reserve Economic Data), students analyze and create their own arguments as to which economic forces contributed most directly to the overall growing economy. Finally, students evaluate the historical interpretations of the impact of postwar economic affluence on the United States by responding to two secondary source descriptions of the era.
This lesson is designed for grades 10, 11, and 12.