ALEX Learning Activity


FDR's Four Freedoms Painted by Norman Rockwell

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  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
Unpacked Content
Strand: Geography, History, Civics and Government
Course Title: United States Studies: The Industrial Revolution to the Present
Evidence Of Student Attainment:
  • Identify the causes and consequences of WWII.
  • Identify the factors that led to U.S. entry into WWII.
  • Locate on a map Allied and Axis Powers and key engagements of WWII.
  • Identify significant persons involved in WWII.
  • Describe the creation of the atomic bomb and decision to drop the atomic bomb.
  • Describe the human cost of WWII.
  • Explain the Axis Powers' surrender and the importance of this in ending WWII.
Teacher Vocabulary:
  • consequences
  • Allies
  • Axis Powers
  • World War II
  • Pearl Harbor
  • Battle of Normandy
  • Battle of Stalingrad
  • Battle of Midway
  • Battle of the Bulge
  • Atomic Bomb
  • Holocaust
Students know:
  • How to identify the causes and consequences of WWII and what led to U.S. involvement in WWII.
Students are able to:
  • Recognize relationships among people and places by locating historical events on a map.
  • Cite evidence to support historical events using primary and secondary sources.
  • Describe how world events contribute to international conflict.
  • Examine the contributions of significant individuals and/or groups, and their role in WWII.
Students understand that:
  • There were many causes and consequences of WWII and the motivations for American involvement in this war.

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.

Unpacked Content
Artistic Process: Responding
Anchor Standards:
Anchor Standard 8: Interpret intent and meaning in artistic work.
Process Components: Perceive, Analyze, Interpret
Essential Questions:
EU: People gain insights into meanings of artworks by engaging in the process of art criticism.
EQ: What is the value of engaging in the process of art criticism? How can the viewer "read" a work of art as text? How does knowing and using visual arts vocabularies help us understand and interpret works of art?
Concepts & Vocabulary:
  • Artistic ideas and work
  • Formal and conceptual vocabulary
  • Innovation
  • Investigation
  • Two-dimensional
  • Three-dimensional
  • Experimentation
  • Conservation
  • Craftsmanship
  • Linear perspective
  • Environmental responsibility
  • Prior knowledge
  • Museum
  • Gallery
  • Curator
  • Digital
  • Horizon Line
  • Brainstorming
  • Research
Skill Examples:
  • Select examples of how geographical, cultural, and historical perspectives are represented in visual artworks.
  • Compare and contrast the ways that personal aesthetic choices in visual arts influence personal choices.
  • Examine and describe the influence of art in a community.
  • Research examples of arts-related activities in communities around the world.
  • Describe what the global community would look like or be like without art.
  • Demonstrate the responding process, using, background knowledge, personal experiences, and context when examining artworks and determining personal meaning.
  • Examine and discuss how the geographical, cultural, and historical perspectives represented in visual artworks influence personal choices (economic, political, and environmental) and personal aesthetic criteria.
  • Compare attributes of artworks in the classroom, school, and community, or artworks of a specific culture, place, or time, and describe how they influence culture, ideas, and events.
  • Demonstrate the responding process, with attention to the elements and principles of design, to interpret and describe works of visual art.
  • Analyze how the uses of traditional and nontraditional mediums affect the mood of an artwork.
  • Demonstrate various presentation and responding processes for a work of art. Evaluate visual artworks by analyzing their structure and interpreting meaning using various criteria.
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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