North Shore 8th graders participated in a ‘Roaring 20s’ party as part of the Social Studies curriculum. “Sometimes history needs to be experienced, in order to be fully understood. Learning about the 1920s in a traditional classroom would not do the ‘Roaring 20s’ justice,” agreed the North Shore Middle School Social Studies teachers including Keith Freund, Nicole Larkin, and Chris Gill.
In their Social Studies classes, the students researched the most colorful people of the decade, took on their roles, and then became them. Transforming the library into a speakeasy with posters and various decorations, the students dressed, acted and spoke like their 1920s counterparts. If you walked into the middle school library, you would have students dressed as flappers and gangsters while jazz music was piped into the room to set the mood! Cold drinks were flowing and chips were available too! Ms. Larkin told her “fellas and janes” to be cool if the “fuzz” entered the room because she would take care of it! During the course of the event, Officer Papa did enter the library but quickly left after a conspicuous handshake by Ms. Larkin and words about a “storytelling session!” In addition, students were reminded to “speakeasy” about the good time they all had after waking up the next day!
The decade of the 1920’s in history was often characterized as a period of American prosperity and optimism. The eighth graders learned that Prohibition was cited as jump-starting the Jazz Age! According to novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald, during Prohibition, "The parties were bigger…the pace was faster…”
To conclude, the students also participated in a Charleston dance contest! Many thanks to the faculty, staff, and students who participated in this historic, hands-on learning opportunity. It was evident that a "roaring" time was had by all!
Article and photos by Shelly Newman