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McREL Standards Activity


Reporting on the 1920’s


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 III [Grade 7-8]
   Benchmark 3. Understands changes in the social and cultural life of American society in the 1920s (e.g., art and literature from the social realists to the "Lost Generation," how cultural trends were introduced into mainstream society, reasons for increased leisure time in the 1920s)
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 III [Grade 7-8]
   Benchmark 1. Understands the various social conflicts that took place in the early 1920s (e.g., state and federal government reactions to the growth of radical political movements, rising racial tensions and the resurgence of the Ku Klux Klan, the Garvey Movement, the clash between traditional moral values and changing ideas as exemplified in the Scopes trial and Prohibition, how the restriction of European immigration affected Mexican American immigration)
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 III [Grade 7-8]
   Benchmark 4. Understands events that shaped the political structure of America in the 1920s (e.g., changes in Progressivism during the Harding and Coolidge administrations; foreign policy of the Republican administrations of Harding, Coolidge and Hoover; U.S. territories and spheres of influence in the 1920s; the extent of support for an Equal Rights Amendment)
Student Product:A TV newscast featuring stories on a variety of topics
Material & Resources:Outside research sources are optional for this activity.
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 up to the discretion of the teacher. 2. You may want to provide the students with a list of possible topics for their newscasts. 3. You may want to have each group of students produce its newscast on a different topic or period of U.S. history. This would serve as an excellent review for each period studied. 4. Rather than a TV newscast, alternatives include having students write a period newspaper or creating a radio broadcast.
Activity
After studying the era of the 1920s in United States history, 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 a TV news program. Student newscasts should include feature stories that demonstrate understanding of (1) one major social conflict, (2) one change that occurred in social and/or cultural life, and (3) how one event helped to shape the political structure of American society in the 1920’s. Additional stories might cover one or more of the following topics: sports, entertainment, biographies of important people, commentaries, and political cartoons. Student "newscasters" should clearly convey the political, economic, or social significance of any additional stories that are included in the newscast. Each group member should write and present 1-2 stories for the class. Students may need to refer to sources other than the class textbook to gather information for the newscast (e.g., reference books, historical news clippings, Internet). Presentations may include visual materials such as overhead projections, pictures, charts, diagrams, graphs, or any other props that might enhance the presentation. The complete newscast should last approximately 20 minutes.