This lesson seeks to explore how the industrial revolution changed perceptions of gender roles during the Victorian era. This lesson also seeks to have students observe changes and continuities over time in regards to gender roles in the United States.
Students will engage in quote analysis, photo analysis, letter reading, and collaborative group discussions to answer the inquiry question, understanding the role that cross-dressing played in various soldier camps during World War I.
While the battles of World War I primarily took part in Europe, the effects of the war reached around the world. Men, women, and children experienced the consequences of the conflict. Men volunteered or were conscripted into the military to fight on the battlefields. The success of each side’s military required not only manpower, but weapons, food, and supplies. These materials had to be produced at home or in the colonies, which required women to take on duties that were not considered feminine roles, such as working in factories and farming. Because entire societies were mobilized to support the war effort, World War I is considered a total war.