July 7th, 2004
Judy Garland: By Myself
Procedures for Teachers


Media Components

Computer Resources:

  • Modem: 56.6 Kbps or faster.
  • Browser: Netscape Navigator 4.0 or above or Internet Explorer 4.0 or above.
  • Personal computer (Pentium II 350 MHz or Celeron 600 MHz) running Windows® 95 or higher and at least 32 MB of RAM and/or Macintosh computer: System 8.1 or above and at least 32 MB of RAM.

Print Materials:
Prepare five pieces of chart paper for your students to use in collecting research on Judy Garland’s life. Label each piece of paper with one of the following categories:

  • Early Life
  • Adult Life
  • Movies & Songs
  • Challenges
  • Awards & Achievements

Bookmark the following sites:


Teachers will need the following supplies:

  • Television and VCR
  • Copy of American Master’s program on Judy Garland
  • Internet access
  • Chart paper
  • Post-it notes
  • Markers or colored pencils


Introductory Activity:

1. Tell the students that they are going to learn about a famous person named Judy Garland. Read the following introduction from the PBS American Masters Website at http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/database/garland_j.html
aloud to the class:

Judy Garland had one of the most photographed faces ever to come out of Hollywood – it is stamped as a virtual imprint on our imaginations, a celluloid image frozen in time. She also had one of the most frequently recorded voices of the last century. She was magic, almost mythical. She is as iconic as she is misunderstood. There were her problems, to be sure, but the proof is in the performances from The Wizard of Oz to the Palladium, and from the Oscars to the Grammies.

You may also share photographs and watch the video footage provided on this Website with your students.

2. As a class, explore the American Masters Interactive Timeline that highlights different events in Garland’s life. http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/database/garland_j.html

3. Ask the students if they have ever heard the song “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” Tell them that this is one of Judy Garland’s most famous songs. If you can obtain a recording of this song, play it for your students. If not, share the song lyrics below:

Somewhere over the rainbow, way up high
There’s a land that I heard of, once in a lullaby
Somewhere over the rainbow, skies are blue
And the dreams that you dare to dream, really do come true
Someday I’ll wish upon a star, and wake up where the clouds are far behind me
Where troubles melt like lemon drops, away above the chimney tops
That’s where you’ll find me
Somewhere over the rainbow, bluebirds fly
Birds fly over the rainbow, why then, oh why can’t I
If happy little bluebirds fly beyond the rainbow, why, oh why can’t I?
Source: http://www.elyrics.net/go/j/Judy_Garland/Over_The_Rainbow/

Ask the students to respond in writing to the following prompt:

  • Describe what you imagine is “over the rainbow.”

Learning Activities:

Activity One
1. Tell the students that they are going to create an “Over the Rainbow” fact collection based on what they learn about Judy Garland’s life by visiting a variety of Websites.

Divide the class into five groups and give each group a piece of the chart paper you labeled with the following categories:

  • Early Life
  • Adult Life
  • Movies & Songs
  • Challenges
  • Awards & Achievements

Ask the students to draw a large rainbow on their chart paper, and to color a light background on each part of the rainbow. Tell the students that they will be using these charts to record information about Judy Garland.

2. Collect the five different charts from the groups and hang them around the classroom. Tell the students that they are going to conduct Internet research on Judy Garland’s life. Provide each group with twenty post-it notes. Tell the students that each group is responsible for collecting twenty facts about Judy Garland. Have the students record one fact on each post-it note. Provide the students with the following Websites to use for their research:

3. After the students have collected their twenty facts, ask them to review them and decide which of the five category charts each fact belongs on. Tell the students to place each of the twenty post-it notes on the appropriate chart paper.

4. After all the facts are posted, as a class, review each chart.

5. Tell students that each group is going to write a brief newspaper article using facts from all five charts. Model how to do this for your class before the groups begin this assignment.

6. After the students are finished, have each group present its article to the entire class.

Activity Two

1. Divide the class into small groups. Ask each group to create a media campaign showing both the impact drugs had on Judy Garland, and the impact drugs have on today’s youth.

Have the students select one of the following ideas:

  • A television commercial
  • A radio program
  • A music video
  • A billboard
  • A rap song
  • A poem
  • A multimedia slide presentation
  • A poster

2. After the students are finished, ask them to present their work to the entire class.

Critical Thinking Questions/Assessment:

Activity One

1. Ask students to respond in writing to the following prompts:

  • What strategies did I use to organize the information I collected from the different Websites?
  • How effective was our group paragraph that synthesized information from the different “Over the Rainbow” category charts?
  • What did I learn from this activity?

Activity Two

1. Lead a class discussion focusing on each group’s presentation. Use the following questions as a guide:

  • Was the message of the media campaign clear?
  • What was the most powerful part of the campaign?
  • What was the least compelling element of the campaign?
  • What did I like most about the presentation?
  • How could the presentation have been improved?

Extension Activities:

Ask your students to choose a chapter from the “Wonderful Wizard of Oz” and create a brief skit. Tell the class that they may use the resource below that provides chapter outlines: http://serv.ul.cs.cmu.edu/ulib/data/cmu_classics/f5e/d78/0b1/73c/870/6/.

Inside This Lesson


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