Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Broadcasting World War II

Richard Johnson
Bay District Schools


Students create and perform radio broadcasts relating to events and situations that affected American society in World War II. They test their listening skills during these broadcasts. They practice by responding to tasks like those found on the FCAT.


The student demonstrates effective listening behaviors for a variety of purposes (for example, eye contact, note-making, appropriate posture).

The student summarizes main points and supporting details orally or in writing.

The student understands the impact of significant people, events, and ideas on the development of the United States after 1880 (for example, Andrew Carnegie, Martin Luther King, the Great Depression, isolationism).


-Computer, and speakers that are connected to the Internet to play radio broadcasts
-Overhead projector
-Two transparencies
-A desk microphone to simulate a broadcast booth or a portable podium with speaker system
-Paper to duplicate handouts


1. Set up an Internet connected computer with speakers for the radio broadcasts.
2. Gather all the resource materials (see Weblinks) on World War II to be used by the students to prepare their radio broadcasts.
3. Make transparencies.
4. Create a sample broadcast as suggested in the Procedures section.
5. Set up the room for the radio broadcasts. Place a table and chair with microphone or podium on the table at the front of the room. This will be the broadcast booth.


If this lesson is not part of the Beacon Learning Center unit, Announcing World War II, then the posters found in the document, Posters for Announcing World War II (see Weblinks), should be duplicated and placed on the walls of the classroom to create an appropriate atmosphere.

Day 1

1. Begin the lesson by reviewing the listening skills inventory found in Lesson 1 (see Associated Files-Lesson Document section in the Introducing World War II lesson plan) of the Announcing World War II unit.

-Next, play the Gas Rationing, 1942 and Surrender of Germany radio broadcasts from World War II (see the Weblinks section below). If these sound clips are not available due to technical restraints, then refer to the Audio Tape or CD section of the “Unit Resource Guide” found in the Announcing World War II Unit Associated Files section for a collection of broadcasts from World War II. This collection may be available from the library or can be purchased.

-Have them identify the subject and type of each broadcast.

2. Tell the students that they are going to continue to examine our society during World War II in light of the essential question: How do societies react to adversity? They are going to create radio broadcasts on selected events with content describing the event and commentary on how the event affected American society.

3. Group the students into eight groups. This can be accomplished by simply numbering the students so that groups with three or four students are formed. Another more preferred method would be to refer back to the Diagnostic Assessment used at the beginning of the unit and seed each group with a student that showed some knowledge of World War II on the K part of the KWL.

-Give each group a copy of the Working Together as a Group (see Associated Files-Lesson Documents).

-Use a transparency of the Working Together as a Group handout and show it on the overhead. Discuss the group interaction guidelines with the students.

4. Give students a copy of the Finding Information handout (see Associated Files-Lesson Documents).

-Discuss in terms of the resources available to the students for the completion of the radio broadcasts.

-If students have not had library reference skills taught to them in the past, then they may have a hard time finding information. A mini lesson on library reference skills may be required.

5. Give each student group a copy of the Broadcasting World War II Group Activity, the Group Interaction Rubric-Activity Log, and two Broadcast Script Checklists (see Associated Files-Lesson Documents). Go over the expectations and directions for each of these handouts.

-Create a sample broadcast using the subject “Financing the War-War Bonds” to model what students are being asked to do when creating their broadcasts. Follow the Broadcast Script Checklist when creating this sample broadcast. Recording this sample broadcast on audiotape and playing to students is another option for modeling the broadcasts.

-Have students start the activity.

Day 2-4

6. Informally review the progress of the students and student groups while they are preparing their broadcast scripts. Complete a Checklist of Group Dynamics (see Associated Files-Lesson Documents) for groups that do not seem to be following the Group Interaction Guidelines.

7. Take up and review their scripts using the Broadcast Script Checklist and provide feedback in time for the groups to make changes prior to their presenting the broadcasts to the class. Recheck scripts that require changes prior to the student groups’ broadcasts to verify that the scripts are accurate.

Day 5

8. Have the students refer to the Listening Skills Inventory handout from the previous lesson in this unit (see Associated Files section-Lesson Documents for the Introducing World War II lesson) or give them new copies if necessary. Reiterate the skills found on the inventory prior to the broadcast presentations.

-Have the student groups present their broadcasts to the whole class. The students should be focusing in on how the events in the broadcasts affected American society and especially in how they showed Americans’ ability to face adversity.

-Have students complete a new Listening Skills Self-Assessment after the presentations.

-Observe students during the presentation. Make note on the Listening Skills Teacher Observation Checklist (see Associated Files-Lesson Documents) of students who do not seem to be using these listening skills.

-Compare these students’ self-assessments with what you indicated on the checklist. Discuss concerns rising from this process with identified students. Provide compliments and positive reinforcement to the students displaying good listening skills.

Day 6

9. Give each student a copy of the Short- and Extended-Response Practice Exercise (see Associated Files-Lesson Documents). This formative exercise gives students an opportunity to practice a short-response writing task. They also create an outline or diagram of the elements necessary to be successful on the extended-response section of the summative assessment for the unit (see Weblinks).

-Once they have completed the exercise, take it up and provide feedback prior to the summative assessment.

-Have the students write short responses to the L (learned) part of the Diagnostic Assessment (see Weblinks) for homework.

Day 7

10. Return the Extended Response Practice Exercise with feedback.

-Go over this exercise with the whole class as a way of review prior to the summative assessment.

-If using this lesson as part of the unit, Announcing World War II, use the L part of the Diagnostic Assessment KWL (see Weblinks) for further review for the summative assessment.

-Playing a Jeopardy type game can enhance student interest in this type of review. Create short answers for the items in the L part of the Diagnostic Assessment KWL. Read the answer to an item and have the students make up a Jeopardy question that matches.

Day 8

10. Give the Summative Assessment for the Announcing World War II Unit (see Weblinks).


Assessments for this lesson are formative and focus on the students’ ability to work in groups, listen, and prepare for short and extended response tasks. Formative assessments found in this lesson consist of the following:

-Through teacher observation and a checklist of group dynamics, feedback is given to the students concerning their ability to work as cooperative learners during the group project.

-Content of the student broadcasts are formatively assessed using a script checklist prior to the presentation of the broadcasts. This gives the students time to correct any problems with their scripts.

-While the radio broadcasts are underway, the teacher completes a checklist concerning the students’ listening skills.

-When the radio broadcasts are completed, students then self-assess their own listening skills by completing a listening skills self-assessment.

-Finally, students are given an opportunity to prepare for the summative assessment by practicing a short-response task and organizing an answer to an extended response task.

-Since this is the last lesson in the unit, Announcing World War II, students are given a summative assessment that requires them to write short responses on selected events from World War II and an extended response that answers the essential question for the unit.


ESE students might be better accommodated in this lesson by creating smaller groups and giving each group a single broadcast subject.

Web Links

The Beacon Unit Plan, Announcing World War II, associated with this lesson can be viewed by clicking on this link. Scroll to the bottom of the unit plan page to find the section, “Files to be downloaded.” This section contains links to the Diagnostic and Summative Assessments, Instructional Plan Overview, the PowerPoint presentation, World War II posters, and other associated files, (if any).
Announcing World War II

This is the source for the orginal radio broadcasts used to start this lesson.
Voices of the Twentieth Century

Direct link to the Read Player version of the Surrender of Germany radio broadcast used to start this lesson.
Surrender of Germany radio broadcast

Direct link to the Read Player version of the Gas Rationing, 1942, radio broadcast used to start this lesson.
Gas Rationing, 1942

Attached Files

Lesson Documents     File Extension: pdf

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