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Roaring Twenties Project Homepage

Topic 1: The Newsreel

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Directions: You may work in a group of three or four for the following project. Your group will create a project which covers the information explained in one of the five sections of this website. Each group will have four days in the library to do research on your topic and work on creating a finished product. The group project is due on Friday January 14th at the beginning of class. The individual webquest answers are due Friday January 7th at the beginning of class. The project will count as a test grade for the group. The webquest answers will count as a test grade as well.

Significant societal changes happened in America between World War I and The Great Depression. This time period is referred to as the Roaring Twenties. After World War I, Americans were no longer focused strictly on world affairs. Instead they turned their attention to problems on the homefront.

The nation witnessed a failed "nobel experiment" along with the creation of an amendment providing more rights to women. Along with Constitutional change, Americans gained individual freedom and independence thanks to Henry Ford and mass production of the automobile. However, this rapid social change created fear in many Americans. The results were a national trial about teaching evolution in schools and racial conflict due to the Great Migration.

Please follow this link and read background information about the decade.

The Task

You will create an authentic newsreel about different topics from the 1920's.

The Process - Phase 1:

First you must learn about newsreels. Follow the link to find out about a newsreel. History of the newsreel (type the word "newsreel" as one word in the search box and find the newsreel link and read about the history of the newsreel).

The Process - Phase 2:

You will need to know information about several topics in order to have content to put into your newsreel. Follow the links in the process to find out information about each topic. Answer each question using the link provided.
  • Prohibition
    1. Why did Prohibition begin? Volstead Act
    2. What Constitutional change resulted from Prohibition? (Name the amendment.) What did the amendment set out to do for the culture? Prohibition
    3. Instead of eliminating alcohol from American culture, what did Prohibition stimulate? Prohibition
    4. Examine a prohibition party political cartoon. Explain the main idea the cartoon. Give details.
  • Lives of Women Link
    1. What Amendment changed the lives of women in 1920? 
    2. Name one female activists who worked for the passage of the Equal Right Amendment.
    3. What kinds of things did women do once the political landscape changed in their favor?
  • Impact of the Automobile
    1. What were the benefits of the assembly line? Mass production
    2. How did the rise of the automobile change society? The history of the Automobile
    3. How did the automobile and the assembly line change the American economy? The impact of the Automobile
  • The Scopes Trial
    1. Describe the background for the Scopes Trial. Use this link to help with all the questions in this section.
    2. Who were the key individuals during the trial? Explain their roles during the trial. Scopes Trial
    3. Clarence Darrow represents the modern urban Americans and William Jennings Bryan represents the traditional rural Americans (fundamentalists). How did the trial pit modern urban Americans against traditional rural Americans?
  • Racial Conflict
    1. What opportunites did African Americans gain after returning home from the Great War? (Research the Great Migration by logging into ABC-CLIO through the virtual reference collection)
    2. What was the Great Migration? Urbanization in the 1920's
    3. Describe the role of Marcus Garvey during the Great Migration? (Research Marcus Garvey by logging into ABC-CLIO through the virtual reference collection)
    4. How did the social tensions of the 1920s lead to the growth of the Ku Klux Klan? Use this link about the rise of the KKK.


The Process - Phase 3:

View the embed newreel above. Use this as a reference when designing your group project.


Complete each question for this WebQuest using Microsoft Word. Your font must be Times New Roman size 12. Include the questions and your answers. Each answer must be the length of a short paragraph (5-6 sentences) and must contain facts and details.Turn in the answers for your individual grade by Friday January 7th. This will count as a test grade. You will now produce as a group a newsreel on three out of the five topics. The information about each topic must last 60 seconds; therefore, your newsreel will be a total of three minutes in length.

Library Reference Collection

American Decades: 1920-1929.

Boom Times, Hard Times: 1921-1940.

Hakim, Joy. War, Peace, and All That Jazz.

Gregory, Ross. Modern America: 1914-1945.

UXL American Decades: 1920-1929 .

Library General Collection

Bankston, John. Henry Ford and the Assembly Line.

Connolly, Sean. The Industrial Revolution.

Dumbeck, Kristina. Leaders of Women’s Suffrage.

Hanson, Erica. Through the Decades: The 1920s.

Haskins, James and Kathleen Benson. Out of the Darkness: The Story of Blacks Moving North.

Horn, Geoffrey. The Constitution.

Kraft, Betsy Harvey. Sensational Trials of the 20 th Century.

Lawler, Mary. Marcus Garvey: Black Nationalist Leader .

Lieurance, Suzanne. The Prohibition Era.

Marcovitz, Hal. The Constitution.

McCarthy, Pat. Henry Ford: Building Cars for Everyone.

Nash, Carol Rust. The Fight for Women’s Right to Vote.

Olson, Steven P. The Trial of John T. Scopes.

Pietrusza, David. The Roaring Twenties.

Hossell, Karen Price. The Nineteenth Amendment: Women Get the Vote.

Rebman, Renee C. Prohibition.

Stearman, Karen. Women’s Rights: Changing Attitudes 1900-2000.

Sullivan, George. The Day the Women Got the Vote.

Woog, Adam. Prohibition: Banning Alcohol.

Wukovits, John F. (Ed.) The 1920s



This project is based on the original work from copyright 2004 all rights reserved. Latest update 11/20/12