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A Land of Opportunity

How To

Classroom Setup

Teachers will have students work in groups of three to four. Student will need access to the internet and large poster paper. In addition, students will be taking notes and writing reflections in their journals.


Part 1: Have students view three short videos about the economy in post war America:

The Wonderful World of Capitalism

USA Economy in the 1950's

The US Post World War II Boom

Have students identify the factors responsible for the growing economy. Their answers can be shared with the class in anchor charts. Some factors include the rise of disposable income, more production, influence of marketing and TV.

  • What opportunities were there for workers?
  • What role did consumers play in this economy?
  • What was the role of women, as illustrated in these three videos?

Part 2: Now have students watch these videos about Margaret Rudkin's Connecticut company, Pepperidge Farm:

Women in the Kitchen: It's Strictly Business (Watch to the 24:15 mark)

Margaret Rudkin's Founding of Pepperidge Farm, produced by Pepprridge Farm

  • How did Margaret Rudkin's role as businesswoman and CEO differ from the image portrayed in the first three videos?
  • How did Rudkin leverage her bread-making skills to build the company and grow her consumer base?