Learning Resource Type

Learning Activity

1920s Radio Lesson

Subject Area

Arts Education
Social Studies




In this lesson, students will learn about the radio's impact on society in the 1920s. Students will plan, develop, and execute a radio broadcast that discusses a notable person of the time period using the digital tool Online Voice Recorder. Online Voice Recorder is a simple online tool that allows you to record your voice and save it as an MP3 file. 

This activity was created as a result of the Arts COS Resource Development Summit.

    Arts Education (2017) Grade(s): 6 - Media Arts


    Experiment with multiple approaches to produce content and components for specific purpose and meaning in media arts productions, utilizing a range of associated principles.

    Unpacked Content



    • brainstorm
    • research
    • investigate
    • film
    • video
    • audio
    • digital storyboard
    • Systematize ideas
    • Customize process
      • who is this product for?
    • move scenes or sound clips
    • rearrange images
    • change characters
    • tell the story from various character view points
    • Evaluate the quality of each part of the work.
    • customize for who is viewing/ listening

    Essential Questions

    EU: The forming, integration, and refinement of aesthetic components, principles and processes creates purpose, meaning and artistic quality in media artwork.
    EQ: What is required to produce a media artwork that conveys purpose, meaning, and artistic quality? How do media artists improve/refine their work?

    Skills Examples

    • Brainstorm with and list many, varied, and unusual ideas for a class media arts project. Upon choosing a process for creating the product, list many, varied, and unusual ways to work within the limitations of equipment and resources in the classroom.
    • In a group and after brainstorming choose one idea and create proposal for a media arts production that meets the groups artistic goals. Evaluate the proposal with given criteria for purpose and intent.
    • After researching choose many and varied images and sound for a media arts production that convey a specific purpose. Modify the perspective of the images and sounds to communicate one's own meaning.
    • Assess a classmate's media arts product that modified elements and components of another product to communicate his/her own purpose and to a different audience. Use a provided rubric.

    Anchor Standards

    Anchor Standard 3: Refine and complete artistic work.
    Social Studies (2010) Grade(s): 6


    Identify cultural and economic developments in the United States from 1900 through the 1930s.

    Unpacked Content



    • Harlem Renaissance
    • Jazz Age
    • suffragettes
    • suffragists
    • flappers
    • personal credit
    • stock market crash
    • Immigration Act of 1924


    Students know:
    • The cultural and economic developments of the early 1900s.


    Students are able to:
    • Characterize the impact of notable people and events that shape our world.
    • Compare multiple points of view to explain economic policies.


    Students understand that:
    • Major cultural and economic changes took place in the US during the early 1900's.


    Learning Objectives

    Learning Objectives

    • Students will experiment with multiple approaches to produce content for a specific purpose.
    • Students will use a voice recording tool to create a radio broadcast. 
    • Students will identify a notable person in the early 1900s.  

    Activity Details

    The teacher will group the students into pairs or small groups. Each group will plan, develop, and execute a radio broadcast that discusses a notable person from the 1920s. 

    Each group should choose a notable person and research that person and their contributions to society.

    Each group should develop a plan for how they want to set up their radio show (interview, talk show, news broadcast, etc.). The groups should incorporate different viewpoints about their notable person in their radio broadcast. For example, a radio broadcast on George Washington Carver might include his parents telling his story growing up as a boy, his college professor describing his studies, and a farmer describing how Carver's inventions and discoveries had impacted his farming practices.

    Once the group has planned and rehearsed their broadcast, the group should use the digital tool, Online Voice Recorder, to record their radio show. The digital tool allows the recording to be saved as an MP3 file for students to submit work. 

    Assessment Strategies

    Assessment Strategies

    Assess students recorded broadcast using a rubric. 

    Example Rubric

    Variation Tips

    This lesson can be used with other time periods and other forms of media. 

    Background and Preparation

    Background / Preparation

    Students should have prior background knowledge of the events and culture of the 1920s from previous lessons. The teacher may want to find clips of radio broadcasts from the 1920s on YouTube to play for the class in correlation with the lesson. The teacher should be sure students have access to a computer with internet access to use when recording their news broadcast. 

    Digital Tools / Resources