Education Outreach: April Week 1

Primary Source driven Social Studies Activities for Families Learning at Home

Parents and caregivers, are you looking for activities for students learning at home? Through April 24th, the Tennessee State Library and Archives will be posting primary sources from our collection here and on our Facebook page. These posts will include inquiry questions and activities to help your students engage with social studies content while studying at home. 

April 1st

Telegram to Gov. Thomas C. Rye from John E. McMillan, Mayor of Knoxville, written on April 3, 1917 during World War I.

Questions for students:

1) What do you think the word "volunteer" means to these boy scouts?

2) Why might the scouts have talked to their mayor?


Put yourself in the place of one of the Knox County Boy Scouts. As a young person, how might you help your community during a time of national need? Write down and prepare a list of points and examples to present in a meeting with the Mayor of your town or city.

April 2nd

Photograph of a group of women from Martin College in Pulaski sometime in the 1910s. These women are participating in the temperance movement.

Questions for your students:

1) Why could these women want boys to choose between the two things on their poster?

2) Why are they dressed exactly the same?

3) Is there a significance to their white dresses?

An activity for your student: At the time Prohibition was ratified most women in the US could not vote. To get their political opinions known, they organized and lobbied political leaders. Temperance (a social movement against the sale and drinking of alcohol) was a popular movement of the time. Think about a cause you might want your political leaders to know about. Write a letter or email to your local official with an argument stating your opinions, and back it up with facts.

April 3rd

Poster from World War II created in 1943 by the Office of Price Administration.

Questions for your students:

1) What are three differences between the picture at the top and the picture at the bottom?

2) What does “ration” mean?

3) Why is it important to ration?

An activity for your student: Write down the following list of items that were rationed during World War II: gas, shoes, butter, meat, sugar. Next to each item on your list write down a problem you would have with rationing these items. When you are finished with that, write down your solutions to these problems.