Bootleg Murder

Bootleg Murder, Moonshine and the Lawless Years of Prohibition
Unit Lesson Plans
Denyse Eagleson
Grade Level/Subject:
Freshman, Sophomore, or Junior English Classes or American History
Materials Necessary:
Classroom sets of the novel Bootleg, Murder, Moonshine and the Lawless Years of Prohibition by Karen
Blumenthal ($12.81 from Amazon)
Computer and internet access
Supplemental books and information from bibliographer and archivist list
Time Frame: 2- 3 weeks, depending on activities included in the unit and the size of the class. (These
plans were also created for the block schedule which would be a class period of approximately 85
minutes per day)
Goals: Students will be assigned to a group with each being responsible for presenting information
from an assigned chapter of this novel. Each group will present to the class a power point presentation
summary of their assigned chapter, highlighting and focusing on the main events, people, and groups.
Students will complete a variety of activities, projects, and research in which they will present to the
class information from each of the 9 chapters of the book, with the final activities being individual and
group assessment.
The individual students will be accountable for learning, knowing and understanding the information
presented by the 9 groups, with the teacher monitoring the content the students provide, the manner
of the presentations, the assessment processes, as well as the final seminar activity.
Objectives: At the completion of this lesson the students will1. The students will understand the motivation of those in support of prohibition.
2. The students will identify from the novel significant people and groups who played a role in
supporting/opposing prohibition.
3. The students will be aware of historical events preceding prohibition and the significance of
these events in shaping this era.
4. The students will comprehend the impact the prohibition years had on the shaping of the
United States in the years following this era.
5. Students will appreciate the expansive effect of prohibition and the events from this era on
all levels of society.
6. Gain knowledge of unfamiliar vocabulary and terms from the era.
Common Core Standards: At the completion of this lesson, the following common core standards
will have been met through the activities and assignments.
RL.9-10.1. Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly
as well as inference drawn from the text.
RL.9-10.4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in the text….
RL.9-10.2 Determine a theme or central idea of text and analyze in detail its development over the
course of the text…
W.9-10.6 Use technology, including the internet, to produce, publish, and updated individual or shared
writing products…
W.9-10.8 Gather relevant information from multiple authoritative print and digital sources, using
advanced searches effectively;
Speaking and Listening
SL.9-10.1. Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions with diverse
partners on grades 9-10 topics, text and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own
clearly and persuasively.
SL.9-10.4 Present information, findings and supporting evidence clearly, concisely and logically such
that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, substance, and style
are appropriate to purpose, audience, and task
Student Requirements:
Students will be assigned to a group. They are to read, summarize and prepare for presentation
one chapter from the assigned novel. Also included should be a presentation to the class of
terms and vocabulary pertinent to their assigned chapter.
2. In preparation for their presentation, students will read together or on their own one chapter
from the novel and then summarize in outline format.
3. Each group will prepare a power point presentation to the class. Each presentation should
contain approximately 5-7 slides summarizing the main information from each chapter and
handouts of the slides will be prepared and be presented to each student. Each student in the
group will be responsible for presenting to the class an equal portion of the slides. The librarian
will assist with the creation of the slides, helping to ensure the information being presented is
appropriate and relevant.
4. Also included in the presentation will be one example of textual evidence relevant to
their chapter. For example: moonshine recipe, example of a home distillery, map, newspaper
article or cartoon, or possibly a temperance pledge. (These are to be different examples than
what is provided in the book.) The librarian will facilitate the research of the textual evidence.
5. The students will prepare an assessment quiz covering their information, which will be turned in
to the teacher, from which he/she will prepared a unit test.
6. Students will participate in seminar, answering questions prepared by librarian and teacher. The
groups will be combined for this assessment, with 3 groups working together, for an
approximate total of 6-8 people.
7. Final test prepared by teacher
Daily Outline:
Day 1-2 Introduction Lesson
This lesson will include an overall introduction to the period and era. This can be done through a variety
of means. Segments can be used from the following link.
The teacher may also read to the class portions of any of the books from compiled list from the
bibliographer, (i.e. The Great Gatsby)and other videos deemed ideal from the archivists list for
introductory information.
Day 3-4 – Students read novel and prepare summary of their assigned chapter.
Day 4-5 (6?)– Research, and prepare power points
Day 6-8 – Begin presentations by groups
Day 9-10 Group Assessment – seminars
Day 11 Final Test