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Jazz Age Journals

American Life in the 1920s

Driving Questions
How did America change from 1919-1928?
How is The Great Gatsby a response to the changing American cultural/political landscape?

The Great Gatsby - The First Time We See Gatsby Scene

e Great Gatsby: Historical/Cultural

In groups, you will work as a team of writers and editors to
publish a magazine which highlights various aspects of the
1920s in America and synthesizes elements from Fitzgerald's
The Great Gatsby to historical and cultural events from the
Jazz Age. Please focus on the years 1918-1928. Students will individually write two articles
(one letter to the editor, another feature article) and create one graphic/textual supplement
for the magazine.

Individual Responsibilities:

Letter to/from the Editor

Feature Article
Group Responsibilities:

Selection of Title
Selection of Topic
Creation of Magazine Cover
Table of Contents
Ensuring a Variety of Feature Articles/Supplements
Graphic/Textual Supplement
Selection of Vintage Advertisements
Creation of Works Cited Page
Overall Layout of Magazine
Creation of Digital Draft
Manufacture of Hard Copy

The Roaring 20's: Crash Course US History #32

Step 1 Letters to/from the Editor

Each member needs to complete a polished letter to the editor (1 group member will write
a letter to the audience) that incorporates information from your history class and outlines
their own ideas about the American Dream, happiness, success, and/or wealth as related to
your broad topic. Reference at least one as evidence to support your ideas. Letters should
be written in a persuasive style and between 250-350 words.

The objective of the letter is to take and communicate a position on your broad
topic as it relates to the American Dream, happiness, success, and/or wealth.

Step 2 Feature Article

Each group will select one of the following topics (in bold)
as the focus of the magazine. Each group member is
responsible for a feature article that is based on a
researched event or cultural phenomenon (the bullet
points) of the 1920s in America. Your magazine must
address the Essential Questions for your topic (see

Presidential Policies
E ects of Political Scandals
Role of US in the World

Problems Faced after WWI
Position as a World Power
Growth and Prosperity/Automobile Industry
Consumer Revolution
Di erent e ects of Economic Boom

New Ideas
Rural Life vs. Urban
The Red Scare
Changes in Immigration Policy
Racism and the KKK

Popular Culture
Leisure Time and Technology
Changing Role of Women
Modernism as Disillusionment
Automobile Culture
Film Culture

Harlem Renaissance
The Great Migration
Marcus Garvey
Development of Jazz
Writers of the Harlem Renaissance
Within your PBL group, brainstorm ideas for your articles
and begin to gure out who will be writing about what topic.
Unlike the letter to the editor which is written persuasively,
feature articles should be expository in style, meaning you
are simply stating the facts. Write in an objective manner.
Cite all sources in parentheses after each quote or

Types of Articles:
1. Explanation of Cause and E ect
2. Biographies of Important People
3. Art or Literature Review
4. Compare/Contrast Explaining Cultural, Political, or Artistic Changes
5. Political History of a Politician, Activist, or Law
6. Other Expository Writing (pending teacher approval)

Article Requirements:
Each article should have at least 2 cited historical sources with at least 2 citations per
Articles should be at least 500 words, no more than 750.
Your article must answer the essential questions related to your topic.
Your feature article must include “interviews” with characters from Gatsby. For
instance, you may ask Tom Buchanan about his opinions regarding immigration laws,
if you were writing on immigration issues. Be true to the character when creating
his/her responses.
There should be a by-line and graphic with a caption.

Step 3 Graphic/Textual Supplement

1920s Infographics
Each group member will create one graphic/textual supplement to include in the magazine.
These days, we call them infographics, but they had infographics in the 1920s, too.
Your graphic/textual supplement should be designed to quickly communicate data or
information to your reading. For example, the infographic above explains information
related to the ways alcohol was seized and what kinds of alcohol were seized during

It does NOT need to go with your feature article or editorial, but it must be a part of the
same broad topic.

Step 4 Magazine Design

Put It All Together

In designing the magazine, you’ll need to familiarize yourself
with the styles of the 1920s. You may use Google image and
search keywords like ads, 1920s, Jazz Age, Fashion, etc.

The cover and advertisements should re ect the 1920s style

and also allude to The Great Gatsby in some way. As a group,
decide who will be responsible for certain aspects of the
magazine design. The requirements include:

Cover with Title, Date of Publication, and List of Features

Table of Contents
1 Letter from the Editor & 2+ Letters to the Editor
Featured Articles (1 for each group member)
Graphic/Textual Supplement
3 Advertisements from the 1920s
Works Cited

The layout should resemble that of a published magazine which means that articles should
be broken up with advertisements. Your group may arrange articles in columns or full-page

Check out the template here.

Microsoft Publisher
Microsoft Word
Adobe Photoshop (?)

Magazine Grading
As a group, you will receive an overall grade for the quality of your nal magazine. You will
be graded on the aesthetics of the layout, the choice and variety of feature articles, and the
images selected or created for the magazine, including your infographic. Rubric TBP.

Individually, you will receive grades for your Letter to the Editor, Feature Article, and your
group contribution. Your feature article will be assessed for properly documented historical
facts as well as examples from The Great Gatsby. Rubric TBP

Project Groups -- First and Second Period

First Period:

Popular Culture

Jessica -- Managing Editor

Lyrique -- Art Director
Ekem -- Editor-in-Chief
Fardeen -- Copy Editor


Henry -- Managing Editor

Joshua -- Art Director
Matthew T. Copy Editor
Monica -- Editor-in-Chief


Eyouel -- Managing Editor

Omar -- Art Director
Ronnie -- Editor-in-Chief

New Ideas

Janet -- Editor-in-Chief
Ricky -- Copy Editor
Gavin -- Managing Editor
Jennifer -- Art Director

Harlem Renaissance

Garrett -- Copy Editor

Matthew P. -- Managing Editor
Ajmal -- Editor-in-Chief
Melissa -- Art Director

Second Period:

Harlem Renaissance

Mher -- Art Director

Knikolas -- Editor-in-Chief/Copy Editor
Socena -- Managing Editor/Copy Editor


Alex -- Editor-in-Chief
Matias -- Art Director
Josh K. -- Managing Editor
Eremiyas -- Copy Editor


Angela -- Art Director

Jose -- Editor-in-Chief
Zuleka -- Managing Editor

New Ideas

Emma -- Art Director

Blake -- Copy Editor
N'diyah -- Managing Editor
Josh H. -- Editor-in-Chief

You will need to divide up the following roles and responsibilities:

Oversees all other editors/directors. Assigns work to writers. Communicates with the
publisher (Ms. Foster Payne). Develops the Table of Contents. Writes a Letter from the
Editor about the American Dream.

Managing Editor:
Handles day-to-day functions, such as making sure employees meet deadlines and follow
MLA rules. Keeps track of group progress.

Art Director:
Supervises all of the visual elements to ensure a cohesive look that meets the magazine's
style and standards. Responsible for design of cover and placement of advertisements and
infographic. Oversees Infographic.

Copy Editor:
Edits the work for grammar, style, accuracy, and length to t the space allotted in the
magazine. Revises all editorials and articles. Develops the Works Cited.…

e Great Gatsby…
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