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Grade 8 Engligh Curriculum 

THE 1940's: A DECADE OF CHANGE

Introduction
This unit looks at the historical events and social issues of the 1940's through the literature of the decade, including novels, short stories, poetry, essays, letters, and newspapers. Numerous opportunities for reading, writing, listening and speaking are incorporated into the unit. Each student is required to pose a hypothesis and conduct research concerning some issue of significance that arises out of the literature that is studied. Students make both a written and oral presentation of their research.

Rationale and Purpose
The decade of the 1940s is often studied as the years of the Second World War and the then incipient Cold War. Beyond the battles and generals in the European and Pacific theaters and the horrors of the Holocaust and Hiroshima, students know little else about the developments that were taking place in every sphere of society in countries all over the world. The lives of ordinary people were changing even as the events of the war were unfolding.

The 1940s: A Decade of Change attempts to give a more balanced perspective of the decade. Through the study of the literature of the period, students will learn about the changes that were happening in the world in general and America in particular. The literature will give them a feel for important societal issues of the times and provide a basis for exploration of these issues in the present.

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