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Levittown, White Picket Paradise?
What to Know
Teaching Time
3 45-50 minute periods
Grade Level
Middle School
  • Economics
  • Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening
  • History
Historical Period
  • Post-WWII Pennsylvania - 1946-1974
Levittown, Pennsylvania was a 17,000+ home community built outside of Philadelphia in the 1950s. It was built in order to provide middle class and lower-middle class workers with a chance at the "American Dream": a home and yard in a community in which one could raise a family. Students will learn about this unique progenitor to the suburbs as we now know them. In addition, students will learn the sad reality about how not everyone was offered a "piece" of this dream. The lesson will conclude with students learning about the community's reaction to a black family moving in and will write fictional letters to then Pennsylvania Governor Leader based on the information learned and gathered throughout the lesson.


Students will be able to: 1. Analyze various primary sources. 2. Analyze secondary sources. 3. Identify and discuss cause and effect relationships. 4. Analyze advertisements to determine target consumers. 5. Use a persuasive argument in a letter.

Standards Alignment

  • Economics

    6.2.6. F. Describe how prices influence both buyers and sellers
    6.2.6. K. Explain how advertisements influence perceptions of costs and benefits of economic decisions

  • History

    8.1.6. B. Explain and analyze historical sources.
    8.1.6. C. Explain the fundamentals of historical interpretation.

  • Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening

    1.1.8. D. Identify basic facts and ideas in text using specific strategies.
    1.1.8.G. Demonstrate after reading understanding and interpretation of both fiction and nonfiction text, including public documents.
    1.4.8. B. Write multi-paragraph informational pieces.
    1.4.8. C. Write persuasive pieces.
    1.6.8. A. Listen to others.
    1.6.8. D. Contribute to discussions.
    1.6.8. E. Participate in small and large group discussions and presentations.

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