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McREL Standards Activity


Live from Channel 22


Purpose:As a result of this activity, students will produce a newscast featuring stories that accurately report on different events, people, and features of the United States in the 1920’s.
Related Standard & Benchmarks:
United States History
 Standard 22.Understands how the United States changed between the post-World War I years and the eve of the Great Depression
   Level IV [Grade 9-12]
   Benchmark 1. Understands the major social issues of 1920s America (e.g., the emergence of the "New Woman" and challenges to Victorian values, the purpose and goals of the "New Klan," the causes and outcome of Prohibition, the ethnic composition of immigrants and fears these changes represented, the "Red Scare," the Sacco and Vanzetti trial)
United States History
 Standard 22.Understands how the United States changed between the post-World War I years and the eve of the Great Depression
   Level IV [Grade 9-12]
   Benchmark 3. Understands influences on urban life in America during the 1920s (e.g., new downtown business areas, suburbs, transportation, architecture, the idea of the "civic center")
United States History
 Standard 22.Understands how the United States changed between the post-World War I years and the eve of the Great Depression
   Level IV [Grade 9-12]
   Benchmark 4. Understands the impact of new cultural movements on American society in the 1920s (e.g., the extension of secondary education to new segments of American society, the emergence of artists in the postwar period, the origins and development of jazz, how the creation of national parks affected Native American culture)
Student Product:A radio newscast featuring stories on a variety of topics
Material & Resources:Outside research sources are optional for this activity. Teachers may want to give students examples of historic radio broadcasts. Many examples may be found on the internet. Another possible source of radio broadcasts is Joe Garner, Bill Kurtis, and Walter Cronkite, "We Interrupt This Broadcast: The Events that Shaped Our Lives...From the Hindenburg to the Death of John F. Kennedy Jr." which includes cd’s of the events and photos. Local libraries and historical societies also sometimes have broadcasts on records.
Teacher's Note:1. This activity is designed to occur at the end of a unit. Students should use information from classes and textbooks as the subject matter for their newscasts. Use of outside sources is optional. 2. It is recommended that the teacher provide a list of possible topics for the students’ newscasts. 3. Teachers may want to have each group of students produce their newscast on a different topic or area of U.S. history. This would serve as an excellent review for each period studied. 4. Instead of a radio newscast, the teacher may ask students to write a period newspaper instead.
Activity
After studying the period of the 1920’s United States, ask students to create a newscast focusing on the events, issues, and public figures of this decade. Divide students into groups of 3-4 and ask them to create newscasts following the format of 1920’s-30’s radio news programs. Student newscasts should include feature stories that demonstrate understanding of one major social issue, one influence on urban life, and one cultural movement of the 1920’s. Additional stories might cover one or more of the following topics: weather, sports, entertainment, biographies of important people, traffic, commentaries, and political cartoons. Each group member should write and present 1-2 stories for the class. Presentations may include authentic sound effects (e.g., slide-whistles, wood blocks, dramatic music), and live on-site reports (a common feature of radio broadcasts in the period). The complete newscast should last approximately 20 minutes.