Overview


Subject/Sub-Subject: Social Studies/U.S. History


Title: The Pros and Cons of Prohibition


Summary:


Students will use primary resources to learn about Prohibition and analyze society's responses.


Understanding Goal

Good intentions can cause adverse consequences.

Investigative Question

How did society react to Prohibition?

Grade(s): 6, 7, 8, 1
Audience: General
Learners: This is designed for a middle school class of average size with students of varied academic abilities and learning styles.
Required Vocabulary: N/A
Prior Content Knowledge: N/A
Standards

VA, USII5b

Field Tests

Click on the title to expand the description of each field test

Sources

The Pros and Cons of Prohibition

Understanding Goal

Good intentions can cause adverse consequences.

Click on an image for more information.

Slideshow Icon View as a slideshow
Prohibition "bust" / photo by Harry M. Rhoads. After a thrilling chase through the busiest streets of Washington, ... a couple of bootleggers and their car come to grief at the hands of the Capitol police New York City Deputy Police Commissioner John A. Leach, right, watching agents pour liquor into sewer following a raid during the height of prohibition [Woman putting flask in her Russian boot, Washington, D.C.] [Hooch Hound, a dog trained to detect liquor (as suggested to Commissioner Haynes by a prohibition agent in Colorado), sniffs at flask in back pocket of man, seated, fishing on pier on the Potomac River] [Prohibition, small group of men dumping wine from barrels into hole in ground]. Prohibition officers raiding the lunch room of 922 Pa. Ave., Wash., D.C. [Barrels of confiscated(?) liquor in building] Prohibition

Required Materials

Files

18th Amendment.doc
21st Amendment.doc
prohibition graphic.doc
Prohibition creative writing assessment.doc

Directions

Introduction

Step 1 Pass out the 18th and 21st amendments or project them on a screen using an overhead or LCD projector (You may also prefer to use the classroom textbook).

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Step 2 Direct students to read the 18th Amendment. Discuss what it means, particularly that it bans selling, manufacturing, and transporting alcohol. They may need to use a dictionary or a textbook glossary. Ask students if they think this law could effectively stop people from drinking alcohol.

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Step 3 Explain to students the meaning of "prohibition" and how it is also the term used to describe the historical ban on alcohol. Explain to students they will analyze images to see what Prohibition looked like and how people responded.
Step 4 Direct students to read the 21st Amendment. Discuss what the word "repeal" means. Ask students to consider possible reasons why Prohibition ended. Explain to them they will analyze responses to Prohibition by examining primary sources.

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Investigation

Step 1 Pass out the Prohibition Graphic Organizer and review the directions with the students.

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Step 2 Tell students to examine the first primary source and to read the caption carefully. On their graphic organizer, they should answer the question: What clues does this photograph give you about how successful the Prohibition experiment would be?

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Step 3 Tell students to examine primary sources that show how officials got rid of alcoholic beverages. On the graphic organizer, students should answer: Do you think the cost of enforcing Prohibition was greater for the government or for the people in the alcohol industry? Why?

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Step 4 Direct students to examine primary sources showing the effects of Prohibition on society. On the graphic organizer, students should answer: What are some effects of Prohibition that you can learn from the photographs?

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Step 5 Tell students to create a list of pros and cons of Prohibition on the graphic organizer based on the analysis of the pictures.

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Formal Assessment

Step 1 Pass out the Prohibition Creative Writing handout and review the directions with the students. Tell students to select a person (or animal) from one of the primary sources to complete a creative writing that evaluates the pros and cons of Prohibition. The options include a dialogue, poem, journal entry or political cartoon. There are more specific instructions on the handout.

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Step 2 Give students class time to work on the assignment. Encourage students to use the vocabulary words Prohibition, speakeasy, and bootlegger in their creative writing.

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Best Instructional Practices


Understanding Goal

Good intentions can cause adverse consequences.

Investigative Question

How did society react to Prohibition?


Analysis of Student Learning


Students accurately understood the concept of Prohibition by the end of the lesson. The images helped to illustrate the people affected by Prohibition and the various positive and negative consequences, which the students shared in their responses and creative writing.


Analysis of Best Instructional Practices (learn more)

Differentiated Instruction Differentiated Instruction (learn more)

Product

Literacy Instruction Literacy Instruction(learn more)

Reading Comprehension

Writing

Visual

Teaching for Understanding Teaching for Understanding(learn more)

Explicit Understanding Goal

Assessing Understanding

Reflections and Recommendations


It may not be necessary to analyze each group of pictures as a class. Instead, students may need the teacher to model one way to analyze pictures, and afterward, they can be free to work at their own pace and look at pictures in various orders. It will also be important to distinguish the difference between the pros and cons of drinking alcohol and the pros and cons of using laws to limit alcohol consumption. Students were well versed on the former but needed more targeted questions to discuss the latter, which is the focus of the lesson.

Credits

Authors and Contributors

Helena Payne
George Washington Middle School, Alexandria City Public Schools, Virginia

Library of Congress Items

Library of Congress items used in this Lesson Plan.

Thumbnail Library of Congress Item
Prohibition "bust" / photo by Harry M. Rhoads. Rhoads, H. M. 1920?. Prohibition "bust" / photo by Harry M. Rhoads. Library of Congress: American Memory, History of the American West, 1860-1920: Photographs from the Collection of the Denver Public Library.
After a thrilling chase through the busiest streets of Washington, ... a couple of bootleggers and their car come to grief at the hands of the Capitol police Unknown. 1922. After a thrilling chase through the busiest streets of Washington, ... a couple of bootleggers and their car come to grief at the hands of the Capitol police. Library of Congress: Prints & Photographs, National Photo Company Collection .
New York City Deputy Police Commissioner John A. Leach, right, watching agents pour liquor into sewer following a raid during the height of prohibition 1921?. New York City Deputy Police Commissioner John A. Leach, right, watching agents pour liquor into sewer following a raid during the height of prohibition. Library of Congress: Prints & Photographs.
[Woman putting flask in her Russian boot, Washington, D.C.] Unknown. 1922. [Woman putting flask in her Russian boot, Washington, D.C.]. Library of Congress: Prints & Photographs, National Photo Company Collection .
[Hooch Hound, a dog trained to detect liquor (as suggested to Commissioner Haynes by a prohibition agent in Colorado), sniffs at flask in back pocket of man, seated, fishing on pier on the Potomac River] Unknown. 1922. [Hooch Hound, a dog trained to detect liquor (as suggested to Commissioner Haynes by a prohibition agent in Colorado), sniffs at flask in back pocket of man, seated, fishing on pier on the Potomac River]. Library of Congress: Prints & Photographs, National Photo Company Collection .
[Prohibition, small group of men dumping wine from barrels into hole in ground]. Chicago Daily News, Inc. 1921. [Prohibition, small group of men dumping wine from barrels into hole in ground]. Library of Congress: American Memory, Photographs from the Chicago Daily News, 1902-1933.
Prohibition officers raiding the lunch room of 922 Pa. Ave., Wash., D.C. Unknown. 1923. Prohibition officers raiding the lunch room of 922 Pa. Ave., Wash., D.C. Library of Congress: Prints & Photographs, Prints & Photographs Reading Room.
[Barrels of confiscated(?) liquor in building] Unknown. 1921-1932. [Barrels of confiscated(?) liquor in building]. Library of Congress: Prints & Photographs, National Photo Company Collection .

Smithsonian American Art Museum Items

Smithsonian American Art Museum items used in this Lesson Plan.

Thumbnail Smithsonian American Art Museum Item
Prohibition Watson, E. W. 1920-1929. Prohibition. Smithsonian American Art Museum: none.