The 1920s, Jazz Age, Roaring Twenties

The 1920s are known as The Jazz Age. We will study the history of Jazz in class to begin this unit. After we've done this, lead your own jazz band with the following link. Bandleader

Use these links to study the SOL content of this topic. U.S. II 5a U.S. II 5b-1 U.S. II 5b-2 U.S. II 5c-1 U.S. II 5c-2

1920s Vocabulary:

• Prohibition Prohibition

• speakeasy Speakeasy

• bootlegger Bootlegger

• Great Migration Migration

• Jazz Age (Use the second paragraph.) Jazz Age

• Harlem Renaissance Harlem

• F. Scott Fitzgerald Fitzgerald


• Aaron Copland copland

• JacobLawrence


Langston Hughes Hughes

Mother to Son by Langston Hughes

Well, son, I'll tell you:
Life for me ain't been no crystal stair.
It's had tacks in it,
And splinters,
And boards torn up,
And places with no carpet on the floor—
But all the time
I'se been a-climbin' on,
And reachin' landin's,
And turnin' corners,
And sometimes goin' in the dark
Where there ain't been no light.
So, boy, don't you turn back.
Don't you set down on the steps.
'Cause you finds it's kinder hard.
Don't you fall now—
For I'se still goin', honey,
I'se still climbin',
And life for me ain't been no crystal stair.

• Duke Ellington Ellington


• Louis Armstrong Armstrong

louis3.gifArmstrong's Band

• Bessie Smith Smith


• Georgia O'Keeffe (What kind of paintings is she known for?) O'Keeffe


• George Gershwin Gershwin

Listen to some Gershwin music by clicking on the link. Gershwin


1920s Slang Or "Are You Hep. Cat?"
Last night my sheik took me to a ritzy speakeasy. Everyone in the place was a hepcat, and the music was the bee's knees. The band leader was so hep he sounded like Benny Goodman on the licorice stick. The canary sang some swell songs, and we danced until our dogs barked. That evening was the cat's meow!

What might these words mean?
gams/ dogs/ big cheese/ fall guy

cat's meow/ heebie-jeebies

licorice stick/ hep/ ritzy

sheik/ sheba/ jake

1920s Websearch. Number your paper as you complete these 20 questions. You can check the website for the correct answers but you need to write your answers on the page in your notebook. I've checked the links and they all work, although some of them may load slowly. 1920s Search

Readings: Read and take notes on each paragraph.
1. "The Twenties Roar" Read page 1 and page 2 of this segment. Roar

2. "All That Jazz" This segment has only 1 page. Jazz

3. "The 1920s Were Not So Glorious" This picture essay is divided into 13 sections. Write one fact from each section's discussion. Not Glorious

Great Migration:
1. Jacob Lawrence's Great Migration Series Migration
More on Lawrence's Paintings
2. Map of the Great Migration
3. Important Cities Copy the first sentence about EACH northern city of the Great Migration into your notes. The cities are: Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Harlem (New York), Washington, D.C.

Practice the 1920's SOLs, using these links:

Harlem Renaissance Harlem

Early 20th Century Early Twentieth

Prohibition/Great Migration Prohibition

New Technology Tech

Review Game/Play as a single player. Review

Early 20th Century, Again 20th

Another Early 20th More 20th

US II 5a 5a

US II 5b 5b

US II 5c 5c

Use the 1920s Venn Diagram to analyze the "Jazz Age."


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