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Roaring Twenties Teacher Resources
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Students are immersed in the following goals of learning: The importance of consumerism in the 1920's. Also have learners recognize the connections between commodities and culture in the American past and present. Finally the ability for one to interpret original historical documents and images.
Learners research an aspect of the 1920s and present a 5-minute presentation on their topic using PowerPoint as a tool to deliver the speech. An option available once the speeches are delivered is to assign an essay where Students recap the information they acquired from listening to the speeches.
Before beginning F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, create a historical context of the Roaring 20s with this lesson. Set up a gallery walk with the provided PowerPoint, which features 10 topics related to the 1920s. Then begin a multi-genre research project (from Tom Romero's Writing With Passion), which asks writers to include in their project poetry, drama, interviews, letters, articles, or any other genre of writing.
Eleventh graders research entertainment and recreation in the early 20th century using the American Memory collections and From the Hidewood: Memories of a Dakota Neighborhood, a book by Robert Amerson reflecting life in Deuel County, South Dakota, during the late 1920s and 1930s. Students then compare the rural experience for this time period to the national experience and to their own experience. .
To grasp what life was like in the 1920's, middle schoolers research and role-play. Intended as a follow-up activity to a lecture on the 1920's, learners will journal, view a PowerPoint, role-play, and reflect on what they've learned. Use this activity in a history activity or before starting a novel unit.
Make text-to-world connections between 1920s American history and The Great Gatsby. Upper graders share facts they researched about the 1920s the evening prior, view two video clips about F. Scott Fitzgerald, and then choose a book to read in literature circles. The suggested readings for the literature circle are Time Capsule, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian, Patron Saint of Butterflies, and Walking Up a Rainbow.
Use this roaring 1920s history lesson to have young writers research primary and secondary sources. They use their research to examine the events or famous public figures of the time period. Next, they imagine they're in the 1920s and design and deliver historically accurate newscast presentations.
Eleventh graders research and examine the significant individuals of the 1920s and their impact on American society. They identify characteristics of people who make a difference, and in pairs conduct research on two people with differing points of view from the 1920s. Each pair presents a dialogue performed as the two people researched.
Analyze the many causes of major political, economic, and social developments during the 1920s and 1930s, with emphasis on the Great Depression. Read photographs from the 1920's and the 1930's, then write a brief explanation of what you believe are the two most important reasons behind the changed conditions shown in the photographs.
Probably one of the most transitional times in American history, the 1920's brought the advent of the radio, social reform, a shift in culture, and industrialization. Your class uses research to create radio advertisements in 1920's slang, and to compose an essay comparing various advertising media of the time. Additional web resources are included.