Teaching the Roaring Twenties in Upper Elementary
  • Michelle McDonald

Teaching the Roaring Twenties in Upper Elementary



Are you gearing up to teach the Roaring Twenties? Check out these easy to implement, low prep resources that are sure to keep your students engaged. If you are looking to go beyond the textbook, the following lesson plan ideas incorporate primary sources and activities to get your student out of their seats.


Just Starting Out?

If you aren't sure where to start, beginning with a general overview of the Roaring Twenties is a great idea. This 4 page magazine style article will not only allow your students to practice reading with non-fiction text features, but is high interest and well-rounded.

This article is set up similar to a magazine with 4 pages of reading that contain text features (ex. headings, fact boxes). I like to staple the article to form a booklet. Comprehension questions and answer keys are included!


The article covers the following content:

-What were the Roaring Twenties?

-Aftermath of WWI

-Henry Ford’s Model T

-Electricity

-Hair & Fashion

-Prohibition & Speakeasies

-Movie Theatres

-Jazz Music

-Harlem Renaissance

-Radio & Sports

-Slang Terms

-End of Roaring Twenties


Comprehension Questions include 3 Forms:

-Vocabulary: students use context clues to write the definition of key terms

-Multiple Choice/True/False: students answer questions based on the reading

-Short Answer: students provide written evidence to support the answer to the question

ANSWER KEYS INCLUDED



Learn about 1920's Fashion!

In this activity, students analyze 4 categories of fashion from the 1920's by rotating through stations. Students view primary source images and record their findings in a Flip Book. Next, students use their data to draw conclusions by answering a number of wrap-up questions.

This resource includes:

- Teacher Lesson Plan

- Men’s Fashion: 7 images

- Women’s Fashion: 7 images

- Flappers: 8 images

- Working Class: 8 images

- Flip Book: students record their findings

- Wrap Up Questions: final culminating questions

- Station Labels

Roaring Twenties Gallery Walk: City vs. Rural America

Your students will come away with an understanding that the Roaring Twenties was not exactly “roaring” for everyone. This gallery walk is set up for your students to visit three stations. They will view images to analyze city life for the upper/middle class, life for immigrants & life in Harlem, and life in rural America.

Pictures are worth a thousand words, and this is a great way for your students to analyze primary source images!

This resource includes:

- Life in the City: 7 images

- Life for Minority Groups: 9 images

- Life in Rural America: 11 images

- Student Packet: Just print & staple!

- Exit Ticket: True/False


Gallery Walk: Students silently move through three stations to view images. They do not have to be viewed in order but they should be grouped by category. You can transform your room into a gallery walk where images are placed on the wall to create a museum effect. Or for a more simple station set up, place the photos on tables for your students to view and rotate tables.


Student Packet: A student packet is included that is set up to print & go! Students will answer analysis questions based on the viewing of the images at each station.


Overarching Question: After students have viewed all the images and have written their findings in their packet, they will complete the overarching question. They will compare and contrast life in the city and life in rural America. Students will come away with an understanding that life varied in the city for upper/middle class, the immigrant and African American, and the life of a farmer or small town American.


Include a Look at Prohibition & The 18th Amendment

Students analyze 6 primary sources (photos, document, political cartoons) to better understand the temperance movement and the problems with Prohibition during the 1920's.

Students move through 6 stations and record responses to analysis questions in their student booklet. This activity also works well as a daily entry task. This resource is engaging and interesting, and serves as a wonderful supplement to any study on the 18th amendment.


This resource includes:

- Teacher Lesson Plan

- Student booklet (just print and staple!) with analysis questions

- 6 fascinating primary sources (photos, document, political cartoons)

- Answer Keys


Consumerism Reading Passage & WebQuest

In this lesson, students learn about consumerism during the Roaring Twenties. This is a great supplement to a 1920’s or Stock Market Crash unit.



This resource includes a 2 page reading passage with comprehension questions, as well as a WebQuest activity. Students will find images that depict consumerism in the 1920’s and today. The WebQuest is Google Compatible. Link is provided. This WebQuest interactive foldable is perfect for your student's interactive notebooks.


What’s included:

- Consumerism Reading Passage (2 pages)

- Comprehension Questions (answer key included)

- WebQuest Interactive Flaps & Instructions (Google Compatible)

- WebQuest Wrap Up Questions

- Teacher Lesson Plan (examples included)


Check out these resources and see additional images here:

The Roaring Twenties: Gallery Walk (City vs. Rural Life)

The Roaring Twenties: Introductory Article (Informational Text)

The Roaring Twenties: Fashion Analysis (Stations & Flip Book)

The Roaring Twenties: Prohibition Primary Source Analysis (Stations)

The Roaring Twenties: Consumerism Reading Passage & WebQuest

The Roaring Twenties: Great Migration & Harlem Renaissance WebQuest

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