The roaring twenties Research assignment
The 1920s saw many changes in the lives of the Americans. To wrap up our study of the 1920s
culture, you will be placed in groups and be given time in the library to research an aspect of the new
American culture that was the “Roaring Twenties.” As a group, choose a topic from the list below.
Research the topic and create a display for presentation to the class. Presentations to the class should
be limited to 10-15 minutes and will only earn full credit if they are organized and thorough. PowerPoint
presentations are an acceptable form of presentation, but if your topic lends itself to something
different, please talk to me regarding your group’s method of presenting. The class should have the
opportunity to see and hear the culture of the 1920s during this activity.
POSSIBLE TOPICS: Clothing and Fashion The Cotton Club (music)
Sports & Human Achievements Organized Crime
Inventions, Innovations, and the Radio Teems in the 1920’s
Specific Element Points Earned Points Possible
The presentation successfully conveys the significance of the
assigned topic and the overall impact it had on people’s lives.
The information shared within the presentation is accurate and
thorough reflecting good research skills
Audio/Visual Supplement and Overall Presentation: 15
The presentation is supplemented with an impactful, appropriate,
and engaging visual and/or audio piece.
Organization and Time: 10
The group was well organized in presenting the information
The presentation has seamless transitions.
The presentation met the expected 8-10 minute time requirement. Time:
Professionalism and Work Ethic: 10
The group worked well together and utilized class time wisely in
order to prepare the presentation.
The group presented the information in a mature and professional
manner making it interesting and easy to follow.
Group Total / 50
Clarity of Content 5
Eye Contact 5
Pace 5 _____ / 25 I
Clothing & Fashion
DIRECTIONS: Your job is to educate the class on 1920s men’s and women’s fashion. Ideally, you
may have access to vintage 1920s clothing and will be able to put on some kind of fashion show
detailing the fashion of the day. If not you may show your fashion by any other means
necessary. Include aspects of the new urban lifestyle and where these fashions would be most
popular. You may want to include advertising for these fashions. Talk about traditional and rural
fashions and how the new urban fashions differed from them. Talk about the famous designers
of the Twenties.
VOCABULARY: Coco Chanel, Flappers, MEN’S: Zoot/Zuit Suit, overcoat, soft-crowned hat, bow
tie, knickerbockers, Panama hat, buttoned waist coat, etc; WOMEN’S: Rolled Stockings,
breeches, evening gown, Stoce-Pipe, pleated skirts, etc.
The Cotton Club (music)
DIRECTIONS: Your job is to educate the class on 1920s music and the radio. Ideally, you will
be able to download, burn, and play clips of several tracks from the 1920s from some of the
artists listed below. Undoubtedly you know of or have heard of these artists and some of their
works, even if they were important after the Twenties. Recreate the Cotton Club after you
describe the events that went on there. Include the role that alcohol played, music, and
entertainment played in the new urban landscape and especially the Cotton Club.
VOCABULARY: Cotton Club, George Gershwin, The Charleston, Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington,
Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole, Speakeasy
Sports and Human Achievements
DIRECTIONS: Your job is to educate the class on 1920s sports and great human achievements.
In the Twenties, athletic events including baseball games, boxing matches, and golf tournaments
became big entertainment. Many athletes became household names and national heroes because
of their athletic ability and feats. The Twenties was a decade of pushing the limits and seeing
how far humans can go. People attempted great feats for the sake of the accomplishment. Show
the class how important sports as entertainment and great human achievements were starting in
the 1920s. You may want to include how urban areas were vital for sports to grow. You may want
to talk about New York specifically and the New York Yankees, the 1927 Yankees which is
considered by most to be the greatest team of all time, and Yankee Stadium then and now.
VOCABULARY: Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Charles Lindbergh, Spirit of St. Louis, Gertrude Ederle,
Amelia Earhart, Bobby Jones
Inventions, Innovations, and the Radio
DIRECTIONS: The radio was arguably the greatest invention of the 1920s along with the
technological advancement and affordability of the automobile. The radio made the country
smaller because people could now share similar cultural aspects from coast to coast. Americans
listened to the same radio plays, news broadcasts, and sporting events. Briefly recreate a
variety of these. Be sure to include the importance the radio had in the popularity of sporting
events and vice versa. Briefly explain how a radio works. Also, spend significant time detailing
the many inventions of the Twenties. Some (not all) of them are listed below. Household
innovations are encouraged.
VOCABULARY: AM frequency, hair dryer, Kool-Aid, Band-Aid, Q-Tips, bread slicer, Bulldozer,
traffic light, teddy bear, crayons, Raggedy Anne Doll, the yo-yo, bubble gum, electric shaver,
washing machine, dishwasher, vacuum, telephone,
Organized Crime & Bootlegging
DIRECTIONS: Because of Prohibition and Americans’ desire to continue to consume alcohol,
socialize around alcohol, and make big money manufacturing, transporting, and selling the illegal
substance organized crime was a serious problem, a social necessity, and a big business. Briefly
overview the Prohibition movement, its successes, and its downfalls. Describe the role that
bootleggers had during Prohibition and where people could consume it. Describe the role Al
Capone had during the era of Prohibition as well as the Purple Gang and Izzy & Moe. Focus on
crime in Chicago and New York especially. Also, we often talk about Prohibition in an urban
context, but it was rural residents who often brewed and distilled their own alcohol. Talk about
moon shining, rum running,
VOCABULARY: Bootleggers, Rum runners, Al Capone, Scarface, Speakeasy, Organized Crime,
The Purple Gang, Izzy & Moe, Moonshine
Teens in the 20s
Directions: The 1920s saw the emergence of the MODERN Teenager. Prior to the 20s, many
people joined the workforce and got married by the time they were 16 or 17. Examine some of
the ways that teenagers’ lives changed in this decade. Research the new fads that adolescents
were creating. Consider the slang terminology that they used. How did they embrace the time?
Also look at how high schools operated in the 20s. Compare/contrast their lives to yours today
VOCABULAR: Flapper, bob (haircut) Slang Phrases, Courting v. Dating, The Charleston, the
IMPACT of the automobile, etc.