Help kids learn what life in the 50s was like with this free printable that explores the 1950s for Kids. From Elvis Presley, jukeboxes, soda shops, sock hop, Rosa Parks, poodle skirts, and famous inventions like Mr. Potato Head, frisbees, white out, micro chips, Barbie, and more – make history for kids fun as they color, read, and learn about American History. Use this resource with pre k, kindergarten, first grade, 2nd grade, 3rd grade, 4th grade, 5th grade, and 6th grade students.
Life in the 50s
Did you ever hear your grandma say that things sure have changed from when she was little? Well, they really have changed from life in the 50s! Perhaps you were lucky enough to learn history from someone who actually lived it, but if not don’t worry. We’ve got a fun history printable for kids for you to learn what life in the 1950s was like.
1950s for Kids
There are 2 versions of the history printables for kids: the version with more text/information and a simplified version with tracer lines to trace key vocabulary. Pick the one that works best for your children and print the pages.
The pages are in black and white to save on printing costs. Now cut each page in half and stack them up in the order you like with the cover page on top. Now staple the book along the left side over the 2 black staple spots.
Hint: Feel free to read through the pages before you staple them so you can put them in the order you prefer.
I encourage you to have students decorate their books first, it helps avoid kids being distracted when you read them later. So have children colour the cute clipart and images in your 1950s book for kids using crayons, markers, colored pencils, or any other favorite art material.
When you are done, read the pages together to learn about what life was like in the 1950s.
In the 1950s the economy was soaring, families were moving out to the suburbs, there was a baby boom, and most families were watching television on 12 inch black and white TV sets. The man of the household became the sole breadwinner and women took care of the home and children; families began buying more and more ready-made goods. Times were gentler, with little violence, and milk still being delivered to the doorstep.
The history reader also includes the following:
- fashion trends – poodle skirts, loafers, hats, gloves, leather jackets
- drive in movie theatre
- popular television shows like: I Love Lucy, The Honeymooners, The Twilight Zone and Leave It To Beaver.
- Movie theatres with actors like John Wayne, James, Stuart, Charlton Heston, Marlon Brando, Grace Kelly, Jerry Lewis, Dean Martin, and Elizabeth Taylor
- What is the sock hop, jitterbug, and more
- Harry Truman & Dwight D Eisenhower presidencies
- cost of living – average cost of new home was $8,450!
- Major events like the first credit card, Korean War, role of double helix DNA, May 17, 1954 Brown vs. Board of Education , first successful living organ transplant (kidney), Disneyland opens in California, Elvis on The Ed Sullivan Show, the Soviet’s launch first artificial satellite Sputnik, and NASA founded on July 29, 1958.
- Diners to grab burgers, fries, soda
- Servers delivering food to drive in movies or drive in restaurants on roller skates
- Soda Shops where teens would grab a refreshing soda fountain drink and play Elvis Presley, Sam Cooke, Chuck Berry, Fats Domino, and Buddy Holly on the juke box while dancing to The Platters and The Drifters
- December 1, 1955, the modern civil rights movement began when Rosa Parks, an African-American woman, was arrested for refusing to give up her seat and move to the back of the bus in Montgomery, Alabama
- Inventions such as optic fiber, micro chips, Barbie, Mr. Potato Head, the frisbee, black box flight recorder, and more
American History for Kids
- Native Americans for Kids – explore various tribes as you create free printable book, make PVC tent, totem poles, Indian fry bread, husk dolls, recreate an archeological dig with arrow heads, and more!
- Colonial America for Kids takes kids on a journey back to the first settlers in America – eat Gruel, make a Wattle & Daub house, create a tin lantern, write with a quill, make simple Johnny Cakes, make you own marbles, create traditional silhouette art projects, and more.
- American Revolution for Kids. In 4 units your students will learn what events lead up to the American Revolution and famous figures will making dragon pistols, roll their own cartridges, working spy cipher, cold feet activity.
- What was the Westward Expanion? History comes alive as they learn about the Oregon trail, pony express, gold rush, transcontinental railroad, and more with printables and activities like making a covered wagon, homemade crackers, how to square dance, pan for gold, and make a railroad project.
- Civil War for Kids We have recommendations for mapping and visiting famous battle sights nearby, printable civil war board game, make an informative emergent reader, create a flip book or people students should know, and complete some free printable Civil War worksheets.
- Learn about US States for Kids – state coloring pages, president coloring pages, state report forms, states and capital printables, and so much more!
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