1950s Activities & Ideas

Written by rebecca schlofner
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  • Introduction

    1950s Activities & Ideas

    Education bloomed and entertainment boomed in the 1950s. The economy grew, and military conflicts were quashed. Scientific and medical advances were a part of this decade as well. With so much happening between 1950 and 1959, the activities that characterised the era and the ideas generated during the decade were almost limitless.

    A 1950s-style decor. (Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

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    Many people in the years since have thrown 1950s-themed parties. At a 1950s party, you can choose to dress as they did in poodle skirts and ponytails or maybe bobby socks and saddle shoes. Leather jackets and slicked-back hair were prevalent among the bad boys in the crowd. Dances included the Jitterbug, Stroll and Twist. Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry and Little Richard were at the top of the charts. Soda fountains offered root beer floats, cheeseburgers and fries.

    The 1950s garb included poodle skirts. (Hemera Technologies/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images)

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    For Younger Children

    Younger children in the first few grades would love colouring pages. You can hand them some pages for some of the rock 'n' roll stars such as Elvis, the Everly Brothers, Chuck Berry and Nat King Cole and the like. To combine it into a lesson plan, you could also play music from each icon and discuss their contributions to the music world.

    With a portrait such as this Elvis impersonator, you can form lesson plans around some of Rock's greatest. (Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images)

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    Car History for the Classroom or Home Schooling

    The Golden Age of the Automobile occurred in the 1950s. You could introduce some of the auto greats to students through lesson plans. The cars of this era began to include A/C, seat belts, remote control mirrors as well as many other features that have now become standard in a vehicle. Some lesson plans include "My Dream Car," "Propaganda: Name-Calling" or "A 1950s Kind of Day" from the Michigan Historical Museum with an option to go to the museum for further study.

    This car park of cars (location unknown) from the 1950s shows a variety of vehicles from the era. (George Marks/Retrofile/Getty Images)

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    A Decade of Invention

    Crafts centring around some of the inventions of the decade can be done at home, during a party or at school. The Federal Highway Act in 1956 began work on the interstate system. The United State's first satellite, the Explorer I, went into orbit in 1958. Transcontinental television broadcasts were first offered as a speech from President Harry Truman in 1951. Dr. Jonas Salk gave the first polio vaccine in 1955.

    This portrays a 1950s couple watching television. The first transcontinental broadcast was in 1951. (Stockbyte/Retrofile/Getty Images)

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    Books to Read

    Reading is a lovely pastime that requires minimal supervision and self-control. Authors of the era included Norman Vincent Peale, David Riesman, Ayn Rand and Lawrence Ferlinghetti. Poets included Tennessee Williams and Carl Sandberg. Any of these writers may be enjoyed on your own, in a book club setting with friends or as classroom projects.

    Book Clubs could read authors from the 1950s. (Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

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