Grade Level Kindergarten

Rationing, Recycling, and Victory Gardens

Background:

The millions of servicemen who were drafted or joined the armed forces were not the only ones affected by the war. Soldiers left behind parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, friends, wives, fiancées, girlfriends, and sometimes children. Some of the soldiers married their girlfriends before shipping out overseas while others purposely did not marry their girlfriends so as not to make them widows should they be killed in action. Families would make and place blue star flags in their windows with each star representing a son they had in the service. Sadly, if their son were killed, they changed the blue star to a gold star.

Back at home, families were asked to do their part in the war effort. The purpose of this activity is to help the kindergartner understand what was meant by the “home front” and how rationing, recycling, and victory gardens were part of the home front effort. This activity requires the help and assistance of parents or adults in helping the kindergartner understand the above terms and in giving guidance to completing on of the assigned activities.

The following websites and posters will be helpful as background information for rationing, recycling, and victory gardens.

https://www.nationalww2museum.org/students-teachers/student-resources/research-starters/take-closer-look-ration-books

https://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/departments/publicworks/recycling/theresource/world-war-ii-recycling-and-patriotism

https://livinghistoryfarm.org/farminginthe40s/crops_02.html


Objectives: 1) students will understand what is meant by the “home front” that everyone was involved in helping to win WWII 2) students will understand how rationing, recycling, and victory gardens were part of the WWII home front 3) students will complete a recycling activity or plant a victory garden

Directions: It would be helpful to begin by talking about your 10th family member and their role during the war or time of service. This would be a great time just to talk about the soldier, his/her connection to the 10th Mtn. Div. and any other fond memories or recollections.

Next, talk about the “home front” and what it meant that everyone played a part in winning WWII. Then, utilizing the above web sites for reference, try to convey to the student what and how ration books were used, why recycling was important, why gardens were called victory gardens and how they were helpful. Try to incorporate family memories or experiences. This could easily take an evening or two and, hopefully, will generate meaningful questions from the kindergartner. Then tell the student that to complete this activity they are to do one of the following; do a recycling project or plant a victory garden.

Recycling Project

If they choose to do the recycling project, they will be saving aluminum cans and plastic items. These will substitute for tin and rubber that was collected during WWII.

The student is to collect both items for one month in separate garbage bags. At the end of one month have the student either take a picture of the two garbage bags or have a picture taken with the student next to the garbage bags. We would like to include this photo in the next edition of the Blizzard but will need your permission if the photo includes the student.

Victory Garden

This is a fun activity as kids love to see the results of planting a garden. With your guidance, help the student select the vegetables and then help them in planting a winter or summer garden. At some point after planting take a picture of the garden, either by itself or with the student near the garden. If the student is planting seeds, then wait until there is some visible growth before taking the picture. We would like to include this photo in the next edition of the Blizzard but will need your permission if the photo includes the student.

Once completed email the photo of the recycling or victory garden to Val Rios at vrios913@aol.com. Please also include the name and mailing address of the family to whom you wish the Certificate of Completion and award is to be sent. Or, if you prefer, you may mail the photo to:

Val Rios

6816 S. Maple Ave

Fresno, CA 93725

As mentioned above, we would like to include the picture of the student and completed art work in the next edition of the Blizzard but will need your permission. Please indicate your approval with submission of the photo.

We hope you and the student enjoyed this activity and would welcome any comments or suggestions.