While learning about the 1950's game shows. With the advent of televisions suddenly entering the home, life pretty much stopped for America. Suddenly schedules and commitments were worked around one's favorite bit of tv time. Television consumed dinner time (hence tv trays), family time, reading time, all kinds of time! In addition, a mass of game shows were suddenly created in great plethora to consume the American psyche.
We watched the movie Quiz Show, which told the story of the 1950's game show, Twenty-One, and the scandal regarding cheating, which we can turn into a great lesson on morals for our kids and ourselves, regarding integrity.
Here is PBS's take on quiz shows and the scandals.
The American Experience (PBS) has a great piece on the history of quiz shows, dating back to the days of radio where the time was filled with vaudevillian like activity. Featuring the story of how quiz shows grew in popularity, despite a halt during WWII, the scandals of the 1950's are also covered.
Of course we had to have our own quiz show as the centerpiece of our 1950's history presentation. Although Jeopardy was not created until 1964, I like to use it's format, and of course no cheaing is allowed! On a side note, I happened to have Wheel of Fortune on tv the other night and after the final round was played, host Pat Sajak gently proved to everyone that the big money the contestant won a chance to spin for, a million dollars I believe, had indeed been placed on the wheel. He opened up the specific card to show everyone. I remember even in years past Sajak always showed the prize in the final winning card, even if the contestant did not win, to prove what was available, and if indeed perchance the contestant had spun for a top prize, there it was. Surely this is born out of the 1950's, where today's game shows try to cover their bases.
While forming the game jeopardy, I used information that we had learned in school during our studies. Then I tried to come up with clever titles like the actual game show does. We never had buzzers, but if you are doing this for a co-op. buzzers are available for purchase. I had no idea they were so inexpensive until now. How my family would have loved them. They might have stolen the show! Therefore, this would be a great purchase for families too!
Here's our quiz show when my kids were in 8th and 10th grades:
Here's our game show from this past summer. My son was a graduating senior and my daughter was already in college. You can read about it here.