The Women of World War II.
Students will listen to the song “Rosie the Riveter” by Kay Kyser. (Audio recording at https://archive.org/details/RosieTheRiveter) and read oral histories from The Women’s War Memorial Website.
Student’s will look at and discuss three of the most well-known Rosie the Riveter images. They will make observations among J. Howard Miller’s in-house Westinghouse Rosie poster, Norman Rockwell’s Saturday Evening Post Rosie and the more widely circulated Rosie war poster “Do the job he left behind. Apply U.S. Employment Service.” For each of the posters, students should go through the Describe-Analyze-Interpret-Judge exercise.
How are colors being used in the two posters? How are the three works organized in terms of composition? Does one poster make a more effective use of typography combined with the visual image?
What do the women look like? Do they look like they are wearing make-up? Do they look like they’ve been working in a factory all day?
How does Norman Rockwell make use of the red, white and blue color scheme? Do you notice any objects that are symbolic of Nazi Germany in Rockwell’s Rosie illustration, where are they placed?
Which of the posters makes a more effective use of color and composition to attract the viewer’s attention? Support your argument with examples.
Norman Rockwell’s Rosie is more masculine than the other two Rosies. Rockwell’s model was actually a very petite woman. Why do you think he did this? What do you think he is trying to convey. Explain and support your answers.
Students will be shown other posters from the time period that were used to recruit women. These are a few of the posters that can be found in google images.
Victory Waits on Your Fingers - Keep ‘Em Flying, Miss U.S.A.
The Girl He Left Behind is Still Behind Him She’s a W.O.W!
I’m Proud my Husband Wants Me to do My Part
I’m Making Bombs and Buying Bonds. Buy Victory Bonds!
Good work sister! We never thought you could do a man-size job!
West Texas A&M University also has a number of links to WWII posters and resources: http://www.wtamu.edu/library/documents/posters.shtml The National Archives also has a large number of posters on their website http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/powers_of_persuasion/its_a_womans_war_too/its_a_womans_war_too.html
Students will decide on an approach to their advertising. The bandwagon approach and the fear approach were often used in advertising during WWII. Students will choose a color palette for their poster. Most WWII posters tend to use basic color palettes with broad flat colors. Students will choose their typefaces (no more than two). Typeface combinations could include one serif and one sans serif typeface or a script typeface and a sans serif type face. These were most often used in posters from the time period.
Students will design a World War II poster, aimed at women, in the style of WWII. They will need to pay close attention to the style of illustration from that time period as well as the use of colors and typography.
For this project students will work by hand, with cameras and electronically. Students will have access to computers (Photoshop and Illustrator) as well as cameras and Wacom Tablets (electronic drawing tablets). With cameras students can set up other students as models (photos taken below eye-level achieve a heroic look) and then bring the photo into Photoshop or Illustrator. Wacom tablets will allow students to work over the photos in Photoshop or Illustrator to create an illustrated (Vector based art) look. If students have a theater department in their school they can make use of wigs and props.
In lieu of computers, Photoshop and Wacom tablets, students may work by hand. They can photograph their models and print the photos. An illustration can be created by using marker paper over the photo. This works best when using a light table or by taping the photo and marker paper to a window. Students can then work over the image using Prismacolor markers to achieve a similar effect.
When students have finished with their posters, they will hang the posters around the room for a classroom critique and discussion. For each of the posters, students should go through the Describe-Analyze-Interpret-Judge exercise.
Does any one poster stand out more than the others? Why - is it because of color, composition, use of typography or all of these?
Did the designers and illustrators make good use of models and props?
Do the women in your posters look like they are from that time period?
Which approach was used the most in the student posters bandwagon or fear?
Was one approach more effect than the other? How? Why?
Be All That You Can Be, the first women soldiers.
They will also read oral histories from The Women’s War Memorial Website and the Army’s website about the first women cadets at WestPoint.
Students will then view commercials for Be All That You Can Be. These commercials can easily be found on on-line, they mainly target minorities and women.
Students will answer the following questions.
The Be All You Can Be campaign took place during a time of peace. Do you think it was ok for Army to promote personal development and educational opportunities to get people to join? Why or Why not?
Do you think the ad campaign would have worked as well if the Army had shown clips of soldiers in combat situations?
Compare the women’s personal accounts to the commercials. Do you think the commercials give enough realistic information about the Army?
Is this advertising better than the posters of WWII?
With the advent of women entering the Army as soldiers the 1980s and 1990s saw a number of movies featuring women in the Army. Students will view and discuss clips from the movies GI Jane (1997) and Top Gun (1986), additionally clips from the comedy Private Benjamin could be used as well. GI Jane deals with a woman attempting to become the first female Navy Seal. Kelly McGillis’ character in Top Gun is Charlotte “Charlie” Blackwood. This character was based on Christine Fox. Fox recently became the highest-ever ranking woman at the Pentagon, she is the acting deputy defense secretary. During the filming of Top Gun Fox spent time with the cast and crew of the film to advise them on factual accuracy. Fox was never a pilot, like character Charlie Blackwood, but she is an expert in air and maritime defense. Students will apply what they have learned in the unit by listing observations about how the images in the film clips correspond to the values of the decade of each film clip.
As of June 29, 2015 there are three women who are currently approved for Army Ranger training. Students will create a movie poster for a new movie (of their creation) about the three women soldiers who are attempting to become Rangers. They will use the same techniques mentioned in Activity Four. Posters should resemble the images from the Be All That You Can Be campaign. Photos of the women soldiers in training are available on the Army’s website.
When students have finished with their posters.They will hang the posters around the room for a classroom critique and discussion. Questions to think about:
Did anyone choose to make the women look heroic? Why?
Which posters make the most effective use of composition, color and typography?
How do these women soldiers compare to the women of WWII?
Did anyone create a comedy or a satire? Why?
Army Strong is the Army’s first multi-media campaign to target women soldiers.
Students will have the opportunity to explore the Army Strong website. The website has personal accounts from men and women soldiers. The website also allows for interaction with soldiers in the field. In the section dedicated to women soldiers. Students will read at least three accounts and answer the questions below. Commercials are also available on-line. Students should, once again, go through the Describe-Analyze-Interpret-Judge exercise.
Did you find any accounts of women in actual combat situations in other countries?
Do you think the Army should have more accounts of actual combat situations?
How do these stories differ from the stories of the women of WWII or the first women cadets from West Point? Are the women’s accounts of Army life better than the West Point cadets’ accounts? Do you think women soldiers are as accepted as male soldiers?
Students will divide off into groups to explore the website and video game (America’s Army 3) and answer the following questions.
Was it easy to navigate the website and find the information you were looking for?
Did you get a sense that this website is a military website when you first saw it? What visual images made it seem like an Army Website?
What color palettes did the web designers use?
Does the women’s section of the website use colors that are traditionally thought of as female colors? Like the Be All That You Can Be poster that features a woman in Army gear on a lavender background?
Do you think the video game is a more effective recruiting tool? Do you think the video game gives an accurate picture of combat situations? Why or why not?
Who do you think they are targeting with the video game? Are they targeting men more than women or vice versa? Explain your answer.
How does the video game compare to games you’ve played? Are the graphics comparable? Explain your answer.
Students will create an animated web banner and landing page.
Students will incorporate their knowledge of the Army Strong campaign into a design for an animated web banner and a landing page (the landing page can contain animation as well). Photoshop allows for basic animation (in the form of cell animation). The target market for the web banner and landing page should be women. The banner should lead its audience into the landing page. The landing page should be an ad for Army Strong.
Most landing pages are 995 pixels wide and 600 pixels tall. For the purpose of this assignment students will use Leaderboard banner 728 pixels wide x 90 pixels tall. This larger banner will give them more room for advertising. The desktop landing page will be 1024 pixels by 768 pixels. For the purpose of this assignment students will not be limited to a certain number of kilobytes. Important colors should be locked down when creating an animated gif. This will keep the colors from changing drastically from computer to computer and browser to browser. The Army websites are good resources for photos (any Army image used in a national campaign is copyright free.)
When students have finished with their banners and landing pages.They will view them on-screen for a critique and discussion. Questions to think about:
Did anyone choose to make the women or the men look heroic? Why?
Which banners make the most effective use of composition, color and typography?
Which landing pages make the most effective use of composition, color and type?
Are the banners effective in getting viewers to on click them?
Did anyone use the America’s Army game to get viewers to the landing page?
Do any of the landing pages show combat photos?