Synopsis

Lesson Snapshot

1. Engage:  Students will watch the opening of the play/musical movie Thoroughly Modern Millie and read the lyrics to the eponymous song in order to identify some of the cultural changes of the 1920s and develop an understanding of the terms modern and traditional.

2. Explore: Students will conduct a “gallery walk” or “stations” activity, rotating around the room to examine and analyze different document sets on cultural expression in the 1920s to explore the tension between modern and traditional values.

3. Explain: Students will discuss the document sets and their implications for the 1920s as a decade of modernism or conservatism.

4. Extend/Expand: Students will participate in a 4-Corners activity in which they discuss if the 1920s were a decade defined by modernism or conservatism.

5. Evaluate: Students will write argumentative essays on the 1920s as a decade of modernism or traditionalism, using primary source evidence from the document sets. Alternatively, students could assume the role of 1920s reporters and write op-eds on one particular cultural issue.