F. Scott Fitzgerald's famous novel The Great Gatsby takes place in the 1920's. Before you start reading, it is important to understand a little bit about the 1920's and what people's lives were like. In order to understand what people were wearing, eating, driving, thinking and doing for fun at that time, we will be looking at a variety of advertisements from the 1920's.

Objective: Students will be able to demonstrate knowledge of a certain topic during the 1920's by researching advertisements from that time period. Students will also be able to present their information orally to the class, in a clear and informative manner.

Assignment: Each person will be assigned a general topic from the list below. Using the resources and links provided to you, you will find and print 6-10 advertisements for and about your topic. You will take these advertisements and make a poster on the poster-board provided for you. Select your advertisements carefully, as you will need to explain to your classmates what they are showing and what it tells you about people at that time.
  • Cars
  • Food
  • Health
  • Technology
  • Beauty
  • Toys
  • Movies
  • Fashion

Guiding Questions:
  1. Who is the advertisement aimed at? (men, women, children)
  2. What features of your product seem important? (cost, looks, "easy to use")
  3. How is the product marketed? ("new," "safe," "recommended by doctors," etc.)
  4. How does the product fit into people's lives? (makes things easier, improvement over old item, new and exciting)
  5. What kinds of language is used? (scare tactics, slang, racist, sexist)

12/10 Monday: In Library Researching Ads / Making Posters
12/11 Tuesday: In Library Researching Ads/ Making Posters
12/12 Wednesday: Finishing up Posters and preparing presentations
12/13 Thursday: Present Posters to class

Grading Rubrics and Assignment
Poster Grading Rubric
Presentation Grading Rubric

Vintage Ad Browser 1920s
Advertising Archive Search "1920s USA" or browse by category
Duke University Advertising Archive Browse by date (a tab located under the splash graphic).
WebUrbanist 1920s advertising gallery Includes collages for health, fashion, food, automobiles and technology.
Pop Culture in the 1920's Information and images for fashion, toys, homes, furniture, automobiles, etc.

Sample Advertisement 1
Sample Advertisement 2
3-hour 1920's background music