Are you gearing up to teach the 1920s? The reality is that the Roaring Twenties wasn't exactly "roaring" for everyone. It's important that our students have an opportunity to learn about the Roaring Twenties from multiple perspectives. So, if you are looking for activities that get students out of their seats, and provide a look at primary sources, keep reading.
Roaring Twenties Introductory Reading: Magazine Article
If you aren't sure where to start, beginning with a general overview of the Roaring Twenties is a great idea. I created a 4-page introductory article that is set up like a magazine with titles, sections, and keywords. If you are looking for a way to weave in social studies to your literacy block, this article will not only allow your students to practice reading with non-fiction text features but is high interest and well-rounded. I like to staple the article to form a booklet. Comprehension questions and answer keys are included too.
Let's Talk about Fashion
When we think of the 1920's we probably think of the fashion trends to come out of this period. I've put together a primary source fashion activity that's been a huge hit with students! Students rotate through 4 stations to analyze 1920's fashion for different groups of people.
- Women's Fashion
- Men's Fashion
- Working Class
As students rotate through the stations, they will complete analysis questions that are set up in a flip book. This is just a different way to organize information and can also be a great study tool for students later on. If you teach with interactive notebooks, this flip book can be glued into composition or spiral notebooks, but it can simply be stapled together and used as a stand-alone booklet.
Analyzing Life in the City and Rural America During the 1920s
While movies and tv shows often depict a glamorous city life, it is important to remember that life was different for different groups of people during the Roaring Twenties. Using historical images is a great way for students to better understand how life in the city and rural America varied.
I put together a gallery walk activity that analyzes the life for different groups of people during the 1920s. This gallery walk is set up for students to visit three stations. They will view historical images to analyze city life for the upper and middle class, life for immigrants, life in Harlem, and life in rural America. If you are new to gallery walks, I've shared some of my best tips for an effective gallery walk on my blog.
Learning about Prohibition & The 18th Amendment
Let's not forget about the temperance movement and the 18th Amendment. From 1920 to 1933 it was illegal to manufacture, transport, or sell alcohol in the United States. To help my students better understand this period, historical images are worth a thousand words. I created a Prohibition stations activity where students analyze 6 primary sources including historical photos, as well as political cartoons, and documents.
I really don't like to assemble a bazillion things, so I designed all of the activities that I've shared on this post to be as low prep as possible. All of the student materials are easy to print and staple, and the station materials are straight line cuts. You could glue the station images onto colored cardstock for durability or even laminate if you plan to use the activity again, but this isn't necessary.
You can find all of the Roaring Twenties Materials Here: