Why was there a boom in the US economy in the 1920s?

This lesson was designed for Y10 students on the C/D borderline who were underachieving and were falling down on the factual recall required. The students were used to being spoon-fed so this was a deliberate attempt to give students more responsibility for their own learning. This was their first lesson on the US economy in the 1920s and has the interesting feature of asking students to evaluate a video, rather than simply using it as a source of information or consolidation.

Learning objectives

  • students work out for themselves the various reasons for US prosperity in the 1920s
  • they have to work collaboratively to quickly assimilate new knowledge
  • they learn to evaluate a video in the context of their prior learning

Step 1

The lesson began with the following pairs of initials displayed CC, MM, NN, PP and WW on the board. Each pair represented a major, and highly memorable reason why the US was so prosperous in the 1920s. But what do the letters stand for? In just one minute, and working quickly in pairs, students had to speculate, using any prior knowledge they had picked up from wider reading. There had, as yet, been no  formal teaching on this

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