The Roaring 20's

A Complete Unit Plan for US History in Middle School or High School

Unit 14 in my US History curriculum covers the Roaring Twenties and Harlem Renaissance era in America. 

This is a fantastic unit that students are always fascinated in. With new roles expanding for women, amazing jazz and blues music, and the development of pop culture, this unit engages students and makes history come alive in the classroom.

You can get every lesson plan and resource for the unit here, or join Students of History to immediately access every lesson online.


The unit begins with a lesson delving right into the Roaring 20’s. Teachers can begin with an engaging PowerPoint and guided notes (or Google Slides or "flipped classroom" video) before assigning students the reading activity on pop culture of the 1920's and interactive notebook activity.

Lesson two is all about the Harlem Renaissance, a musical and artistic revolution spearheaded by African Americans in New York City. The lesson centers around a Harlem Renaissance stations activity that leads students through art, literature, music, and culture and the prominent people from each movement.  After this teachers can elect to assign a book jacket project or a worksheet and reading on Marcus Garvey.

 The next lesson covers the Red Scare, a period of intense anti-communist rhetoric and social awareness. Following a short video clip, students interpret primary and secondary sources related to the Red Scare in America. The lesson concludes with a lyrics analysis on a song about Sacco and Vanzetti.

Next up is a lesson on Prohibition and the 18th Amendment. A reading and video clips start things off before students review 10 primary source images and documents. This can be done as stations, a galley walk, in groups, individually, or through the included Google Docs version.

The unit concludes with a lesson on the Tulsa massacre that occurred when the Greenwood section of Tulsa, Oklahoma (then known as "Black Wall Street") was destroyed in a mob attack in 1921. Students work together or individually to analyze 13 primary sources and determine what they can learn from each one. They then categorize them based on long-term or immediate causes, effects, or events

A printable or Google unit guide packet and digital notebook set can be used throughout the unit for extension activities or remediation. 

The Roaring 20's unit concludes with several review games followed by an editable test, with a Google Forms version also available for easy grading.

You can download the resources individually with the links above and also see reviews from teachers who have used them. You can download the entire unit here in a zip folder and save everything to your desktop. You can also gain access to the unit through a subscription, which grants you access to the ENTIRE US History curriculum.

If you’re unsure which option might be best for you, you can read about the differences between subscriptions and TpT purchases here.

US History Units