1920s America

American Literature
1920s America
As part of our study of The Great Gatsby, we will take a look at the decade of the
1920s. Because of the time frame of the novel, we will examine the cultural and
political climate of the nation during this turbulent time.
To many, WWI seemed to be a turning point in history – the real division separating
the 19th from the new 20th century. The country was in the midst of new social,
cultural, and economic forces that were to shape the lives of citizens then and lives
of their children and grandchildren. The post-WWI society and culture was a time
of change and adjustment.
Directions: Your task is to break into groups and research one of the topics listed
on the back of this handout to create a PowerPoint presentation that includes
explanations of each topic listed, various types of media (images, music, film, etc.),
and a 7-10 minute presentation to the class.
A 7-10 minute presentation
PowerPoint presentation with visual aids
Auditory aid (if applicable – will strengthen your presentation)
Student Roles: Each student will be the leader for a separate part of the
presentation. If there is a student in your group who is not fulfilling his or her role,
please come speak with us immediately. (Note: EACH STUDENT SHOULD
Research: _______________________________________________________________
Notes/Citations: _______________________________________________________
Visual aid: ______________________________________________________________
Choose one person to whom you will send all of your materials so that they are
formatted and organized on the day of your presentation: ______________________________
Turn Over 
Directions: Circle your group’s topic for the project.
1) Women
a. Changes for women in 1920s
b. 19th Amendment
c. Flappers / “The modern girl”
d. Significant individuals
2) Art and Literature
a. Jazz
b. Major literary works and their themes
c. Art Deco style
d. Harlem Renaissance
e. Significant individuals
3) Entertainment
a. New fads
b. Sports
c. Movies
d. Significant individuals
4) Economy of the 1920s
a. Stock market crash
b. Contributing factors
c. New laws governing finances
d. Results
5) Politics of the 1920s
a. Post WWI reaction
b. Red Scare / Fear of communism
c. Ku Klux Klan
d. Immigration
6) Prohibition
a. Effects on society
b. Major events associated with this period
c. Al Capone
d. Significant individuals