Prohibition and its repeal was a far more complex era of American history than has been typically understood. The support for and against Prohibition was created by a mix of social, economic, and political factors surrounding the use of alcohol. Some considered alcohol as a threat to traditional values, while others considered it just another commodity to be managed by businesses and consumers.
Individuals and groups (known as Wets and Drys) on each side of the issue used the media of the day (radio, newspapers, music) to influence public policy. But what media messages would people have created if they had access to modern-day social media?
In this activity, you will examine how individuals and groups used advertisements, cartoons, videos, and other media to spread messages for and against Prohibition and then you will create your own video advertisement for and against Prohibition.
Activity: Make Social Media For and Against Prohibition
Imagine you are a social media marketer, but the year is 1919. One manager of a pro-prohibition group and one manager of an anti-prohibition group have come to you asking to create a one-minute video supporting their cause for social media platforms.
- First, conduct Internet research and curate a collection of primary source advertisements, cartoons, videos, and any other media for and against Prohibition on a Wakelet, Padlet, website, slide deck, or spreadsheet.
- Resources to get started:
- Use the Teacher and Student Guide to Analyzing Advertisements & Teacher and Student Guide to Analyzing Cartoons, Comics, and Memes to closely examine the primary sources that you found.
- Then, using what you learned from your research, design a one-minute video for each group (pro-prohibition and anti-prohibition) to persuade political decision-makers (e.g., House of Representative members; State Legislators) to vote for their movement. Make sure to include supporting context evidence for either side that covers the social, economic, historical, and political factors surrounding prohibition in 1919.
Connecting to the Standards
- Massachusetts Civics & Government Standards
- Explain the historical context and significance of changes in the Constitution, including key amendments. (Massachusetts Curriculum Framework for History and Social Studies) [8.T5.2]
- ISTE Standards
- Digital Citizen
- 2c: Students demonstrate an understanding of and respect for the rights and obligations of using and sharing intellectual property.
- Knowledge Constructor
- 3a: Students plan and employ effective research strategies to locate information and other resources for their intellectual or creative pursuits.
- 3b: Students evaluate the accuracy, perspective, credibility and relevance of information, media, data, or other resources.
- 3c: Students curate information from digital resources using a variety of tools and methods to create collections of artifacts that demonstrate meaningful connections or conclusions.
- Creative Communicator
- 6a: Students choose the appropriate platforms and tools for meeting the desired objectives of their creation or communication.
- 6b: Students create original works or responsibly repurpose or remix digital resources into new creations.
- 6d: Students publish or present content that customizes the message and medium for the intended audiences.
- DLCS Standards
- Ethics and Laws (CAS.b)
- Digital Tools (DTC.a)
- Collaboration and Communication (DTC.b)
- Research (DTC.c)
- English Language Arts > History/Social Studies Common Core Standards