The Roaring ‘20s and the Boom Years of the 2000s (or aughts, or whatever)
The goal of this assignment is both to get us to understand the major developments, dynamics, trends, and events of the post-WWI period in the United States, and also to help us think comparatively.
This assignment frames our study of the 1920s as a narrative progressing to the 1929 Stock Market crash and subsequent Great Depression. However, beyond simply studying these events as constrained just to the 1920s, we’ll also be working on our skills of using the comparative method and thinking transhistorically by considering in what ways these early-20th century developments have parallels to the major developments, dynamics, trends, and events of the past decade. In order to facilitate the comparison, we’ll be viewing the 2000s as a narrative building up to the “Great Recession” of 2008-2009, which will enable us to look as the developments of the decade in a more-or-less side-by-side way.
Finally, in terms of sharing this information with your classmates, this assignment will challenge you to become more comfortable with and well versed in oral presentation aided by meaningful images. We’ll be using a slightly modified Pecha Kucha (pronounced “Pe-chach-ka”) format to make our comparison clear. In the course of this presentation you’ll be expected to convey the important points about both decades and advance an argumentative stance about the most significant similarities and differences in terms of that category.
In completing this assignment you’ll need to draw on your skills of saliency determination, categorical identification and analysis, research for pertinent sources, “crap detection” of those sources, use of the comparative method, and argumentative development and articulation.
(please note how I have oh-so-generously provided you with the page references for the topics on the 1920s. However, you’ll have to do to meaningful research for the information about the 2000s, and of course, do the heavy-analytical-lifting on making the comparison).
The assignment will be evaluated on the following standards. Each of these standards will be evaluated on a 1-5 scale (5=Outstanding, 4=Good, 3= Competent, 2=Approaching Competency, and 1=Unacceptable).
We’ll begin working on this assignment for homework on Wednesday, March 23, continue work in class on Thursday, March 24, Friday, March 25, and Monday, March 28. The presentations are due (e.g. we’ve already embedded our Google Docs presentations on the G Period U.S. History Edmodo page) by the time class begins on Tuesday, March 29.
We’ll present these topics in the order listed above and get through the first eight on Friday, do some additional readings on related topics on Tuesday, March 29, finish the next seven presentations on Thursday, April 1, and have a follow-up test on that material on Friday, April 2.
For the material about the 2000s, I encourage you to draw on Proquest Historical New York Times (accessible through our school library webpage), Google News, and Google News Archive. Those three resources should provide you with access to solid and reputable primary sources about the events of the 2000s, meaning you can likely avoid the treachery of AskJeeves, Ask.com, and Yahoo Answers.