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Roaring Twenties Project

Topic 2:The Radio Broadcast

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Significant societal changes happened in America between World War I and The Great Depression. This time period is referred to as the Roaring Twenties. After World War I, Americans were no longer focused strictly on world affairs. Instead they turned their attention to problems on the homefront.

The nation witnessed a failed "nobel experiment" along with the creation of an amendment providing more rights to women. Along with Constitutional change, Americans gained individual freedom and independence thanks to Henry Ford and mass production of the automobile. However, this rapid social change created fear in many Americans. The results were a national trial about teaching evolution in schools and racial conflict due to the Great Migration.

The Roaring Twenties was a time of great exuberance and fast-paced living. Americans were moving to the "big city" from their rural roots. They were also moving away from traditional morals and values and embracing a more scandalous, rambunctious way of living. These new attitudes made room for a host of changes that affected nearly all aspects of American life.

Please follow the link to read background information about the decade. Introduction to the 1920s also check out this link on radio

The Task

You will work with a group, and each group member will assume a role. You will design a news broadcast about scandals of the 1920's and the Red Scare (the threat of Communism spreading throughout America). You will use journalism techniques to gather and present your findings about the two topics. You will complete this WebQuest first to gain necessary background information regarding the topics as well as become familiar with each role.

History of the News Broadcast (Type the word "broadcast" as one word in the search box; click on the second link that appears; read about the history of the news broadcast.)

The Process - Phase 1:

Each group member will now be assigned a role within the group. Depending which role is assigned, read the corresponding link to find out about your job.

Reporter Gather information, prepare stories and make broadcasts
Newscaster/News Anchor Examine, interpret and broadcast news recieved
Audio and Video Equipment Technicians Set up and operate audio equipment
Editor Review, rewrite the work of writers and reporters

Now you need to learn how to write a news story. Follow each link to find out how to write a news story. Answer each question based on your findings.

  1. List the five types of journalists.
  2. Why does a journalist need to uphold high ethical standards as well as present an unbiased opinion?

How to become a journalist

  1. What is the difference between "hard news" and "soft news"?
  2. Describe the characteristics of a feature story.
  3. Describe the characteristics of an editorial

    Writing a news story

  1. What are the three traditional forms of writing a news story?
  2. What is a lead?
  3. Why should one read aloud one' own work?
  4. What are the nine questions a journalist should ask himself about his news story?
  5. More writing a news story

All students are: Researchers/Journalists

The Process - Phase 2:

Scandal A
  1. What was the Teapot Dome Scandal?
  2. Who was involved?
  3. What was the outcome?

Use these links to help answer questions above.

Senate Investigates "Teapot Dome" Scandal

Teapot Dome Scandal another link for the Teapot Dome Scandal

Scandal B

  1. Who was Charles Forbes?
  2. What was the issue dealing with Forbes?
  3. What outcome did the scandals have on Harding and his administration?

Use these links to help answer questions above.

Charles Forbes another link on Charles Forbes

Warren G. Harding another link on Warren G. Harding

Red Scare
  1. What was the Red Scare?
  2. What did the American government do to control the "Reds"?
  3. Who were Sacco and Vanzetti?
  4. Why did the Sacco-Vanzetti case stir such strong feelings among Americans of the 1920's?

Use these links to help answer questions above.

The Red Scare another link to The Red Scare

Sacco and Vanzetti


Complete each question for this WebQuest using Microsoft Word. Your font must be Times New Roman size 12. Include the questions and your answers. Each answer must be the length of a short paragraph (5-6 sentences) and must contain facts and details.Turn in the answers for your individual grade by Friday January 7th. This will count as a test grade. You will now produce a News Broadcast in the style of the time period from the 1920s. Use the topics provided and the answers from the WebQuest to create the broadcast.


This project is based on the original work from copyright 2004 all rights reserved. Latest update 11/20/12