1920s USA: Entertainment, Sports and Leisure time.

The purpose of this lesson is to enable students to gain an overview of how leisure time was spent during the 1920s through a collaborative student led task.

Hook: Students enter with information placed around the room about a famous Hollywood actress from the 1920s, students are posed with the question, why did she find it difficult to find work by 1930? (Answer she was eastern Europe and after ‘talkie’ films began native English speakers found it hard to understand her. Teacher takes feedback introduces lessons title / outcomes.

Students watch a short video clip (embedded) about 1920s entertainment, students to list as many leisure activities as they can. Teacher then introduces the main task where these identified forms of entertainment will be built upon.

Main Task:
Pupils work in teams to collect information from sources around the room. Pupils are allowed about 30 mins to gather the information to then use it to create a fact file / spider diagram on large A1 paper … Or individually on A4 paper. If they work in teams I usually then take a photo of each teams work and shrink them down to a4 to stick in books. Pupils should then have the knowledge to answer the assessment question either at the end of the lesson or the lesson after depending on how long this task takes. All explained in the PP itself. I have have included a peep sheet for further differentiation.

There is an opportunity to watch a clip from the first ever talkie film ‘The Jaz Singer’, this is a good discussion point as it also links in with racism in the 1920s USA as well.

Students use their fact film to answer an exam style explain question now (easily adaptable structure strips included for differentiation).

Students could be challenged to watch ‘The Great Gatsby’ and I have included 2 differentiated worksheets to go with the film, students to look out for varying forms of entertainment, but also other features of 1920s USA such as speakeasies, Jaz, racism, prohibition, flappers etc.

All videos are embedded.
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  • entertainment-OBS-1920S.pptx
  • sources-of-evidence-for-large-factfile.pptx
  • peepsheet-for-21920s-entertainament.docx
  • gatsby-lesson-sheet-higher.docx
  • entertainment-lesson-plan-1920s-usa.docx
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  • structure-strips.pptx
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About this resource


Created: May 19, 2019

Updated: May 23, 2019

Whole lesson

pptx, 30 MB



pptx, 2 MB



docx, 27 KB


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