3 Learning Extension Activities for Teaching WWII

Anna Starecheski

I'll just say it: I love this play! With every issue, I put together a list of learning extensions for a selected piece from the magazine. This issue, it was a no-brainer: I selected When Girls Ruled Baseball by Lauren Tarshis. Our goal is to open doors of curiosity in your students' minds, and I think this play will do just that. There's something to explore for most every kid: World War II for those who are obsessed with "I Survived the Nazi Invasion," baseball for the sports-lovers, read-aloud play fun for the budding actors, PLUS strong female characters and a fascinating story. Here are a few ideas for how to keep the learning going on these subjects. Feel free to share your own ideas for this play or any other content in Storyworks Jr. Email us at StoryworksJr@scholastic.com or comment below!


TO WATCH: a fun, informative animated video about Title IX

TO DO: Have a class discussion

This video from TED-Ed sums up Title IX for your students. (Heads up that there is some difficult language, but the video spells it out pretty well.)

LEARNING TASK: After watching the video, bring students together for a class discussion about gender in sports. We predict the discussion will be fascinating! Kick it off by asking the boys and girls whether they're interested in sports and whether they've been encouraged to play sports by parents, teachers, and coaches. You can also ask about famous male and female athletes and what it's like for women today to be in sports today.

TO READ: an immersive book for kids about World War II

TO DO: A small-group enrichment project

This book by Richard Panchyk covers many aspects of World War II in a way that kids can understand. It also features plenty of hands-on activities! This book will really appeal to the history- or World War II-obsessed in your class.

LEARNING TASK: For students who are really interested in World War II, give them this book and have them pick out one activity to do as a group.

TO WATCH: An educational video featuring an actual girls' league player

TO DO: A creative writing exercise

This video from BBC is a real gem: It features Mary Pratt, who played on the Rockford Peaches during World War II. She talks vividly about her experiences playing baseball, from the songs they sang to the injuries they sustained.

LEARNING TASK: After hearing Mary's story, have students write a short essay from the point of view of Georgia from our play at age 90.

If you like this post, be sure to check out the "Can't-Miss Teaching Extras" on the Storyworks Jr. website. For most articles, plays, and stories, we offer a curated list of tips, extensions, fun facts, and more on the righthand side of the story page. We've got some great ones for When Girls Ruled Baseballincluding a video about Rosie the Riveter, a biography of Joe DiMaggio, a blog post by me about my grandmother's World War II experience, and more!

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