ALEX Learning Activity

FDR's Four Freedoms Painted by Norman Rockwell

A Learning Activity is a strategy a teacher chooses to actively engage students in learning a concept or skill using a digital tool/resource.

  This learning activity provided by:  
Author: Asia Hester
System:Huntsville City
School:Academy For Academics & Arts
  General Activity Information  
Activity ID: 2080
FDR's Four Freedoms Painted by Norman Rockwell
Digital Tool/Resource:
The National Archives Powers of Persuasion Poster Art from WWII Four Freedoms
Web Address – URL:

Students will analyze Norman Rockwell's Four Freedoms Posters from FDR's famous speech to Congress using the digital resource and will make connections to the United States' preparation to enter World War II.

This activity was created as a result of the Arts COS Resource Development Summit.

  Associated Standards and Objectives  
Content Standard(s):
Social Studies
SS2010 (2010)
Grade: 6
United States Studies: The Industrial Revolution to the Present
6 ) Identify causes and consequences of World War II and reasons for the United States' entry into the war.

•  Locating on a map Allied countries and Axis Powers
•  Locating on a map key engagements of World War II, including Pearl Harbor; the battles of Normandy, Stalingrad, and Midway; and the Battle of the Bulge
•  Identifying key figures of World War II, including Franklin D. Roosevelt, Sir Winston Churchill, Harry S. Truman, Joseph Stalin, Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, Michinomiya Hirohito, and Hideki Tōjō
•  Describing the development of and the decision to use the atomic bomb
•  Describing human costs associated with World War II
Examples: the Holocaust, civilian and military casualties

•  Explaining the importance of the surrender of the Axis Powers ending World War II

Alabama Alternate Achievement Standards
AAS Standard:
SS.AAS.6.6- Identify the broad causes and participants of World War II; locate major World War II countries on a map and label Axis and Allied countries; identify at least one major individual involved in World War II including FDR, Adolf Hitler, Winston Churchill, and Joseph Stalin; identify at least one major event of World War II, including the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Holocaust, and the bombing Hiroshima.

Arts Education
ARTS (2017)
Grade: 6
Visual Arts
12) Interpret art by discerning contextual information and visual qualities to identify ideas and meaning.

Example: Students answer questions such as "Why are they leaving and where are they going?" in response to One Way Ticket in Jacob Lawrence's Great Migration Series.

Learning Objectives:

  • Students will interpret the meaning of artwork from a specific time period.
  • Students will make connections to the United States' preparation to enter WWII using artwork from the time period. 
  Strategies, Preparations and Variations  

The students will use the digital resource to analyze the artwork from Norman Rockwell's Four Freedoms Posters. Have students browse the entire collection to determine an overall theme or mood of the collection. Then, have students choose or assign the students one piece, in particular, to analyze more closely. Students will use a graphic organizer to record their analysis.

See, Think, Wonder Graphic Organizer

Using the digital resource, students should listen to the clip of FDR's Four Freedoms speech and read about how the posters were used in a war bonds campaign. Students should use this information to write a concluding statement about the artwork that they analyzed and its connection to the United States' preparation to enter WWII.

Assessment Strategies:

Students will write a concluding statement about the artwork that they analyzed and its connection to the United States' preparation to enter WWII on the See, Think, Wonder Graphic Organizer.

Advanced Preparation:

The teacher should be familiar with WWII and ways in which the United States prepared to enter the war before Pearl Harbor. 

The teacher should make sure students have access to a computer and test the internet connection before the lesson to make sure students will be able to access the digital resource. 

The teacher should make copies of the See, Think, Wonder Graphic Organizer before the lesson.

Variation Tips (optional):

You may want to show the students the images from the posters without the words for the See, Think, Wonder portion and then let the students listen to the excerpt from FDR's speech and guess which poster goes with which freedom before they complete their concluding statements.

Notes or Recommendations (optional):

Clip of FDR's Four Freedoms Speech given to Congress in January of 1941

  Keywords and Search Tags  
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