ALEX Learning Activity


1920s Radio Lesson

A Learning Activity is a strategy a teacher chooses to actively engage students in learning a concept or skill using a digital tool/resource.

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  This learning activity provided by:  
Author: Asia Hester
System:Huntsville City
School:Academy For Academics & Arts
  General Activity Information  
Activity ID: 1672
1920s Radio Lesson
Digital Tool/Resource:
Online Voice Recorder
Web Address – URL:

In this lesson, students will learn about the radio's impact on society in the 1920s. Students will plan, develop, and execute a radio broadcast that discusses a notable person of the time period using the digital tool Online Voice Recorder. Online Voice Recorder is a simple online tool that allows you to record your voice and save it as an MP3 file. 

This activity was created as a result of the Arts COS Resource Development Summit.

  Associated Standards and Objectives  
Content Standard(s):
Social Studies
SS2010 (2010)
Grade: 6
United States Studies: The Industrial Revolution to the Present
4 ) Identify cultural and economic developments in the United States from 1900 through the 1930s.

•  Describing the impact of various writers, musicians, and artists on American culture during the Harlem Renaissance and the Jazz Age
Examples: Langston Hughes, Louis Armstrong, Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Andrew Wyeth, Frederic Remington, W. C. Handy, Erskine Hawkins, George Gershwin, Zora Neale Hurston (Alabama)

•  Identifying contributions of turn-of-the-century inventors
Examples: George Washington Carver, Henry Ford, Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Alva Edison, Wilbur and Orville Wright (Alabama)

•  Describing the emergence of the modern woman during the early 1900s
Examples: Amelia Earhart, Zelda Fitzgerald, Helen Keller, Susan B. Anthony, Margaret Washington, suffragettes, suffragists, flappers (Alabama)

•  Identifying notable persons of the early 1900s
Examples: Babe Ruth, Charles A. Lindbergh, W. E. B. Du Bois, John T. Scopes (Alabama)

•  Comparing results of the economic policies of the Warren G. Harding, Calvin Coolidge, and Herbert Hoover Administrations
Examples: higher wages, increase in consumer goods, collapse of farm economy, extension of personal credit, stock market crash, Immigration Act of 1924

Unpacked Content
Strand: Economics, History, Civics and Government
Course Title: United States Studies: The Industrial Revolution to the Present
Evidence Of Student Attainment:
  • Identify cultural developments in the US from 1900 through the 1930s by describing the impact of various writers, musicians, and artists on American culture during the Harlem Renaissance and the Jazz Age.
  • Identify contributions of turn-of-the century inventors.
  • Describe the emergence of the modern woman.
  • Identifying notable persons of the early 1900s.
  • Compare results of various administrative economic policies of Harding, Coolidge, and Hoover.
Teacher Vocabulary:
  • Harlem Renaissance
  • Jazz Age
  • suffragettes
  • suffragists
  • flappers
  • personal credit
  • stock market crash
  • Immigration Act of 1924
Students know:
  • The cultural and economic developments of the early 1900s.
Students are able to:
  • Characterize the impact of notable people and events that shape our world.
  • Compare multiple points of view to explain economic policies.
Students understand that:
  • Major cultural and economic changes took place in the US during the early 1900's.
Alabama Archives Resources:
Click below to access all Alabama Archives resources aligned to this standard.

Alabama Alternate Achievement Standards
AAS Standard:
SS.AAS.6.4- Identify at least one or more inventions and inventors of the late 1800s and early 1900s, including Thomas Edison (practical light bulb), Alexander Graham Bell (telephone), George Washington Carver (uses for the peanut), Wright Brothers (airplane), and Henry Ford (affordable car); illustrate the cultural changes of the early 1900s presented by at least one or more individuals including, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Zora Neale Hurston, Helen Keller, Babe Ruth, W. C. Handy, and Charles Lindbergh.

Arts Education
ARTS (2017)
Grade: 6
Media Arts
3) Experiment with multiple approaches to produce content and components for specific purpose and meaning in media arts productions, utilizing a range of associated principles.

a. Modify point of view and/or perspective.

Example: Record a scene about a bully on the playground. The points of view can reflect the bully, the victim, and the observer.

Unpacked Content
Artistic Process: Creating
Anchor Standards:
Anchor Standard 3: Refine and complete artistic work.
Process Components: Construct
Essential Questions:
EU: The forming, integration, and refinement of aesthetic components, principles and processes creates purpose, meaning and artistic quality in media artwork.
EQ: What is required to produce a media artwork that conveys purpose, meaning, and artistic quality? How do media artists improve/refine their work?
Concepts & Vocabulary:
  • brainstorm
  • research
  • investigate
  • film
  • video
  • audio
  • digital storyboard
  • Systematize ideas
  • Customize process
    • who is this product for?
  • move scenes or sound clips
  • rearrange images
  • change characters
  • tell the story from various character view points
  • Evaluate the quality of each part of the work.
  • customize for who is viewing/ listening
Skill Examples:
  • Brainstorm with and list many, varied, and unusual ideas for a class media arts project. Upon choosing a process for creating the product, list many, varied, and unusual ways to work within the limitations of equipment and resources in the classroom.
  • In a group and after brainstorming choose one idea and create proposal for a media arts production that meets the groups artistic goals. Evaluate the proposal with given criteria for purpose and intent.
  • After researching choose many and varied images and sound for a media arts production that convey a specific purpose. Modify the perspective of the images and sounds to communicate one's own meaning.
  • Assess a classmate's media arts product that modified elements and components of another product to communicate his/her own purpose and to a different audience. Use a provided rubric.
Learning Objectives:

  • Students will experiment with multiple approaches to produce content for a specific purpose.
  • Students will use a voice recording tool to create a radio broadcast. 
  • Students will identify a notable person in the early 1900s.  
  Strategies, Preparations and Variations  

The teacher will group the students into pairs or small groups. Each group will plan, develop, and execute a radio broadcast that discusses a notable person from the 1920s. 

Each group should choose a notable person and research that person and their contributions to society.

Each group should develop a plan for how they want to set up their radio show (interview, talk show, news broadcast, etc.). The groups should incorporate different viewpoints about their notable person in their radio broadcast. For example, a radio broadcast on George Washington Carver might include his parents telling his story growing up as a boy, his college professor describing his studies, and a farmer describing how Carver's inventions and discoveries had impacted his farming practices.

Once the group has planned and rehearsed their broadcast, the group should use the digital tool, Online Voice Recorder, to record their radio show. The digital tool allows the recording to be saved as an MP3 file for students to submit work. 

Assessment Strategies:

Assess students recorded broadcast using a rubric. 

Example Rubric

Advanced Preparation:

Students should have prior background knowledge of the events and culture of the 1920s from previous lessons. The teacher may want to find clips of radio broadcasts from the 1920s on YouTube to play for the class in correlation with the lesson. The teacher should be sure students have access to a computer with internet access to use when recording their news broadcast. 

Variation Tips (optional):

This lesson can be used with other time periods and other forms of media. 

Notes or Recommendations (optional):
  Keywords and Search Tags  
Keywords and Search Tags: