Snapshots: The Decades
Western Reserve Public Media

You’d Like to Live ... When?

This lesson creates an opportunity for students to learn more about life from the 1920s to the 1960s. Working in groups, students use the provided decade templates as guides for researching a particular decade and giving presentations.


  1. Use the scenario below with the templates for each decade that follow. The templates challenge students to look at the political, economic, social and technological developments of each decade from the 1920s to the 1960s.

    Scenario: H. G. Wells had an exciting concept with his time machine. Have you ever thought about life in the past? Now’s your chance to find an answer to the question, “If I couldn’t live now, when would I like to have lived?” To be sure that you’d be happy during the time you choose, you’re going to have to find out a little about what happened during the period politically, economically, socially and scientifically.

  2. Divide the students into groups and have them research a particular decade using a whole decade template or one section of the template. A narrower time period can also be used within each decade.

  3. The timeline was created to show the political, economic, cultural and technological developments that were made from 1900 to 1919. It can be used as a reference for students who are beginning their study of the decades and need information about prior history. It can also be used as a model for timelines that they may create for their particular decade.

  4. Following the research, each group plans and makes a presentation of its findings to the class. A Presentation Checklist is included for group use.

  5. Once the presentations are completed, each student should write a report about the decade in which they would most like to live.


Worksheets (PDF Files)

Scenario — You’d Like to Live ... When?

‘20s Template

‘30s Template

‘40s Template

‘50s Template

‘60s Template


Presentation Checklist
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