Title: WWII Economics



*Students will simulate a classroom rationing program resembling an environment similar to the coupon/stamp rations conducted during WWII. The simulation will last 3 days resulting in an observable outcome in relationship to the coupon rationing system.

*Students will write 3 entries in their response journals sharing reflecting on the 3 days simulation.

Materials Needed:

Bond paper for coupons

Rationing coupon suggestions: drinks of water, pencil, art paper, playground equipment, graham crackers, restroom breaks

Colored bond for coupon cover


Graham Crackers (sugar & cinnamon are the best)

*Social Studies Article, I Was There (see Appendix 1)

Guest speaker knowledgeable about WW II and the use of ration/coupon books


1. Read the social studies article I Was There. Discuss as a class why the government created a rationing system and offered the sale of war bonds.

2. Simulation. Using groups of 4-5 students, instruct them to brainstorm and generate a list of supplies (pencils, paper, desks, chairs, drinking water, restroom visits, and snacks) that would be required to maintain appropriate educational and physical needs during a 3-day time frame for their group of 4. Compile the class lists, generating a class wide consensus of needs. Divide the needs into equal rations for 3 days. Eliminate the unpractical and have each group take a specific need and create a coupon to insert into the rationing book.

3. Publish and distribute. Gather produced coupons and assemble into a booklet. Have students line up to receive their coupon books. Students must record their student name and number in order to receive their booklet. After all booklets are passed out have students come together for a question and answer period. During this time tell students that their booklet cannot be transferred to another student, and coupons are only good for the featured item.

4. Response journal. Have students respond to the feelings, attitude and happenings associated with the 3-day classroom rationing system.

5. Guest speaker. Have a guest speaker come to class on the third day as a culminating activity. Have students preview questions for the guest speaker. Instruct the students and the guest speaker to focus on WWII economics and the use of rationing books.


Have a wrap-it-up session where the class meets together sharing insights of the previous days simulation. Review supply needs, what was useful, what they needed more of and how they could make the system better. Have the students turn in their response journals with the 3 reflections entered. Make sure the students are aware this is a journal response that will be read by the teacher. See Appendix