1950’s Pop Culture Activity: Design Your Own Drive-In!!! Introduction

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1950’s Pop Culture Activity: Design Your Own Drive-In!!!

So far, with the exception of the economy and the successes of the civil rights movement, for the most part, we’ve focused on the negative aspects of the post-WWII era: the Red Scare, the fear of nuclear weapons, the Cold War, and the stifling conformity and repression of American society.
However, the 1950s was a complex decade of contradictions. At the same time that the United States faced the dangers of the Soviet Union and nuclear war, the majority of the American people enjoyed a time of prosperity, happiness, and unprecedented comfort.
Through this activity, we will explore the more lighthearted side of the 1950s. Despite all of the problems and anxieties, it was indeed a great time for millions of Americans who entered the middle class for the first time and enjoyed the fruits of our “consumer society.” Many Americans remember this time period fondly; it was truly the “good old days” for millions of people- but not everyone.

  1. Select several people to work with, assembling a group of no more then 5.

  1. Select several pop culture topics from Mr. Co. You must use these topics in your project but also other to fill in the rest of the information for your Drive In. You will not do well if you do not extend to more topics then the ones you pick.

  1. Conduct extensive research about your topics, finding out as much information as possible about these items in the context of the 1950s only. You’ll find that each item, no matter how trivial, reveals important truths about life in 1950s America. Put together a list of the most interesting facts and ideas about the popularity and impact of the cultural item you chose in the context of the 1950s only. Include important names, dates, places, events, etc. How did it develop? Where did it come from? What fascinating facts and trivia did you find? Do NOT just copy and paste from the suggested websites. You need to put things into your own words.

  1. Using PowerPoint or Keynote, each group will be assigned topics dealing with the 1950’s. Your group presentation needs to be able to discuss what took place, how the topic represented a change in America, and what impact did it have on the decade. Each topic needs to be covered in detail so when you present your final product the class will have a better understanding of the issues in the 1950’s. Your presentation needs to have a song or song clip from the decade. Use YouTube here.

  1. You are going to design your own Drive-In movie theater. Your Drive-In needs to have:

    • 1950’s Advertisement

    • An image of what your Drive-In looks like

    • A playlist of three songs to play during intermission

    • Gather a list of photos of products and decoration from the 1950’s

    • Three TV shows from the 1950’s

    • Three Automobiles from the 1950’s

    • Two fads or crazes from the 1950’s

    • At least 3 celebrities that attend your Drive-In (Athlete, Musician, Actor, Writer)

Use the PowerPoint template from our schoolwires page to help you out.
Time Frame:

  • You will have class time today to begin your research of your topics.

  • Friday we will be looking at what you were able to come up with as a class. We will give you a few minutes to clean up any last minute needs you might have but the majority of your presentation should be completed and ready to go.

  • On Friday, you will upload your presentation to Schoology.

Grading standards:
Content: _____/30

  • A multitude of interesting facts and details

  • Research is accurate and relevant

  • The research is limited strictly to the 1950s (if the show or person went on beyond the 50s, or existed before, these aspects are ignored)

  • Your final presentation is uploaded to our class schoology page.

Creativity: _____/10

  • Presentation is shaped with resourcefulness

  • Contains well chosen photos to represent the topics

Suggested Websites:

  • http://go.galegroup.com/ps/eToc.do?source=&etocId=GALE|CX3425199001&inPS=true&prodId=GVRL&userGroupName=mont42806&tabID=&action=DO_BROWSE_ETOC&searchId=&searchType=BasicSearchForm&docId=GALE|9780787692902&contentSegment=9780787692902&isDownLoadOptionDisab

  • http://popculture.abc-clio.com/Topics/Display/1474042

  • http://www.fiftiesweb.com/ This one has a lot of information for this project.

  • http://www.ushistory.org/us/53.asp

  • http://www.magnetplace.com/RETRO/

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