The Roaring 20's: A Prelude to The Great Gatsby


It is time to travel 100 years into the past!  In history class you may have glossed briefly over this decade, but it was truly a time that had everything from mobsters bootlegging illegal alcohol to the rise and fall of the entire United States economy!  Our next novel, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald is set against the backdrop of this decade and the characters, much like the life of the actual author of the novel, embody everything about this crazy time in American History!  Buckle up!


So what now...

Take careful note of the content in the various areas and various topics as you navigate through the decade known as The Roaring 20's!  Your overall goal throughout this WebQuest process is to compile as much important information as you can from the various sources you will be encountering in order for your group to put together a 10 minute presentation on "The Roaring 20s."  That presentation will then be given to the other group and they will present their findings on "The Great Gatsby" to you!  

Take a look at your task for further info!


Task:  You may notice that the class has been split into two large groups.  While the other group will be becoming experts on the author of our next novel, your group's job is to become experts on the decade in which the novel takes place: The Roaring 20's!


As a group, your goal is to navigate through the following webquest compiling all necessary information in order to become an expert on The Roaring 20's -- At the end of the webquest, your goal is to create a slideshow that you will present to the other group showing your findings so that they may become experts as well.  Because this is an honors level course, I expect you to be able to take notes on important information, and leave out details that may not be as important to the overall theme of your presentation.


You will be expected to follow the Process section of the Webquest, diving deep into various categories I have selected for you and websites where you will go to find your information.  You are a team, and you are to work as such.  Below are the guidelines and necessary components needed to get full credit on your group slideshow at the end of the webquest.

Slideshow Necessities:

  1. Have every person in your group speak at least once 

  2. Create a slideshow of at least 15 slides documenting all important factors of the roaring 20s that you learned by completing the webquest.

  3. The lesson (slideshow and activity) must be between 10-15 minutes long

  4. You must include an activity in addition to the presentation (this can be anything from a kahoot to a group activity like roaring 20s bingo – anything that helps measure learning)

  5. Be Creative!  To get full points, your presentation must engage and interest the audience, while providing them with important information.


Remember, as a team, you are to take a look into the following topics, visit all resources/websites and compile diligent notes on each topic that you will use for your eventual slideshow.



Topic One: New Amendments


A) The 18th Amendment,18th%20Amen….


Something to Consider: Although this occurs before the beginning of the Roaring 20s, read through the specifics and take notes -- This has a profound aspect on the decade and you will revisit this in topic #3.


B) The 19th Amendment….


Something to Consider: Slavery is abolished in 1865, and the 14th amendment is passed soon after saying that all American Citizens are equal.  YET, Women do not receive the right to vote until 1920.  Document the process and why this might be such a monumental achievement for Women everywhere.



Topic Two: Women in the 1920's


A)  Flappers and The New Independent Woman….


Something to Consider:  How might have the 19th Amendment played a part in this -- Do you think this is a long time coming for Women and Women's rights?


B) Famous Trailblazing Women of 20's

Something to Consider:  Choose one woman from the list and implement them into your slideshow.






Topic Three:  Prohibition and Speakeasies


A) Prohibition


Something to Consider: How does this new law go over with the citizens?  Why doe you think that is?


B) Speakeasies


Something to consider:  How do the police and the mob factor into this?  What do you think about all of this as it relates to corruption?






Topic Four: The Jazz Age


A) New Music!


Something to consider:  With everything happening in this decade, why might a change in music to something far less conservative seem to make sense?




Something to Consider: Choose one jazz great and include them in your slideshow





Topic Five:  The Stock Market Collapse


A) The Wall Street Crash of 1929


Something to Consider: Almost poetically, the decade of excess, fun, illegal drinking, corruption, and consumerism ends with a bang -- What are some things that led to this collapse?


B) The Aftermath of the Crash


Something to Consider:  Although this all occurs in the decade after the 1920s, you should include the information to show how bad this truly was for Americans.








  4 Points (Excellent) 3 Points (Good) 2 Points (Emerging) 1 Point (Needs Improvement
Slideshow Information  Slideshow contains excellent overview of the 1920s.  Information is thorough and selected incredibly well. Slideshow contains good overview but missing some key components.  Information leaves some to be desired  Slideshow missing much of the pertinent info of the roaring 20s.  Group left out information they should have kept in Slideshow contains almost no information in the 1920s
Slideshow Participation Individual Participated and was an expert on what they were speaking to Individual participated but seemed somewhat unsure on what they spoke to Individual barely participated but knew nothing of their topic Individual did not participate
Slideshow Aesthetic Slideshow engages the audience and contains pictures and aesthetically pleasing material. Slideshow mostly engages audience but lacks aesthetics in some way Slideshow does not engage audience, has no pictures or interesting pieces Slideshow is too short and does not engage audience
Group Activity Activity is well thought out and engaging to audience.  It helps reinforce information about the roaring 20s Activity is good but does not focus solely on important info of the decade Activity is heavily lacking engagement and needs more information Activity does not engage audience at all and/or does not have a focus on the material



Congratulations!  You are all now experts on The Roaring 20's!


By now, you have a plethora of information to create your slideshow and present!  Things you are now an expert on involving the decade:


1) New Amendments that completely reshape our nation

2) Women having more independence than ever before

3) How prohibition and speakeasies changed the landscape of the mob, police, and every day life in the 1920s

4) How jazz music and a break from conservative thought permeated the decade

5) How the decade came crashing down with the wall street economic collapse of 1929 and how it affected the decade that followed

Teacher Page

See your teacher any addition info or help you may need!