Lesson Plan

Cultural Climate of the 1920s and 30s

In this lesson, students will explore the cultural positives and negatives relating to the early twentieth century by participating in a digital learning stream.
Stacie T.
Technology Integrator
Hanover County Public Schools
Ashland, VA
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My Grades Pre-K, K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
My Subjects English Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, Arts, World Languages, English Language Learning, Health & Wellness
Objectives

The student will demonstrate knowledge of the social, economic, and technological changes of the early twentieth century by

  • explaining how developments in factory and labor productivity, transportation (including the use of the automobile), communication, and rural electrification changed American life and standard of living.
  • describing the social and economic changes that took place, including prohibition and the Great Migration north and west.
  • examining art, literature, and music from the 1920s and 1930s, with emphasis on Langston Hughes, Duke Ellington, Georgia O’Keeffe, and the Harlem Renaissance.
Subjects
Social Studies
Grades 6 - 8
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Hook/Attention Getter

  1. Prior to the start of this unit, post the following quote as a question with directions to your Google Classroom:  "It was the best of times. It was the worst of times." We are about to dive in deep to what life was like during the early twentieth century. While this quote is from another decade, it certainly describes this time period to a T. Think about what we've learned up to this point and brainstorm some questions you have as you anticipate what we will be learning. As you add a question, feel free to respond and answer others questions throughout this unit as we learn more about these early decades.
  • Allow students time to post questions they have relating to this quote and the early twentieth century.  This could be done as an activity to complete following the final assessment of the unit prior to this one.  It could be assigned as homework or done in class the day you begin this unit.
  • Allow time to discuss commonalities between the questions posted and any information students already know or think they know.
Student Instructions

"It was the best of times. It was the worst of times." We are about to dive in deep to what life was like during the early twentieth century. While this quote is from another decade, it certainly describes this time period to a T. Think about what we've learned up to this point and brainstorm some questions you have as you anticipate what we will be learning. As you add a question, feel free to respond and answer others questions throughout this unit as we learn more about these early decades.

2 Guided Practice

  • Create an assignment in Google Classroom and attach the following "Learning Stream" titled Cultural Climate of the 1920s (Google Slides presentation).  Make sure to change the student permissions to "make a copy for each student."
  • Explain to students that they will be exploring the Cultural Climate of the 1920s by participating in a learning stream. 
  • Take time to explain what a learning stream is, the different parts of Google Slides where information can be located as well as tech tips on how to highlight, underline, drag and drop, add comments, use the research tool etc.
  • Purpose of a Learning StreamA learning stream is an individualized experience that puts students in control of their own learning.  Teachers take a step back while students explore content rich with multimedia and interactives at their own pace. Student voice and choice is a foundational component to learning streams along with built-in feedback and formative assessment allowing for corrections to be made at the point of mistake. Learning streams are perfect for blended learning and student centers.  
  • Benefits to a Learning Stream: Engaging with student work is one of the most powerful features of a learning stream.  After students have accessed their own copy of it, you’ll be able to click on each student’s file by going to your Classroom folder in Drive.  As students complete activities, you can use the commenting feature to provide feedback in real time.  Help correct mistakes, ask leading questions, engage in conversations around certain topics, and get students back on track without anyone else ever knowing.
  • Instead of providing students direct instruction on the topic, you will take the back seat and monitor and engage in digital conversations as students work at their own pace.  This is crucial.  It's not a time for you to sit at your computer and catch up on emails or grade papers.  

  • By the end of each class period, students need to make sure they revisit slide three to summarize their learning

  • Because this learning stream will take multiple days to complete, make sure to leave time during class and at the end of each class period, to come back together as a whole class to discuss the latest findings and new learnings.  Revisit the initial questions posted by students and have them either discuss orally or digitally.

3 Independent Practice

  • The Learning Stream is separated into 6 sections (Cultural Climate Change, Transportation, The Great Migration, Harlem Renaissance, Entertainment Changes, and Women's Lifestyle Changes)
  • Divide the class into 6 groups and allow them to get into the group based on what they underlined in slide 35 of the learning stream.  Adjustments may need to be made to make groups as equal as possible.
  • Explain to students that they will collaboratively put together a Google Drawing that represents how "it was the best of times; it was the worst of times" as it relates to their one topic by inserting images, shapes, and text
  • Allow for time to create the group Google Drawings.

4 Wrap Up

  • When all drawings are complete, ask students to post the final drawing to Google Classroom  to further discuss which one contributes the most to making it the most memorable decade.
  • Options include inserting the drawings they create into another app like WeVideo that allows students to add narration.  This also allows for all drawings to be in one spot and easily shared by one link.  Another option includes sharing this finished product with a more global audience asking them to weigh in on which topic contributes the most to making it the most memorable decade.