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Prohibition

Use iPads for this mobile friendly lesson that references resources from the PBS documentary Prohibition by Ken Burns Lynn Novick.  Students will analyze primary source photography from Library of Congress  and discuss interviews from the C-SPAN Video Library to understand how politics and the Constitution intertwined to promote a Constitutional amendment. Then they'll apply that knowledge to the politics of our times. 


Open the lesson by having students download, view and analyze primary source photographs from the Library of Congress. A search in the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Online Catalog will bring up a number of photographs taken during Prohibition. The teacher can download these photos to an iPad album or have students create a album on their iPad, access a set of links to download provided by the teacher and then download the photographs.  

Using the iPads, students in teams access a Google Form to answer questions about the photographs.  The teacher displays the resulting spreadsheet on a classroom projector. The class discusses their analysis of the photos comparing what each group input on the form.  During the discussion students access a back-channel from the iPad, such as TodaysMeet and post additional essential questions they have about the photographs. 









Students comments can also be collected on a VoiceThread.  From the free iPad VoiceThread App, students upload photos, share their observations and analysis of the photographs via comments and text. Student's VoiceThreads can be shared on the VoiceThread site (account required).


Next students listen to a short interview of Ken Burns on C-SPAN's Washington Journal as he discusses the film. 


Now from the iPad PBS App (free) or from the Prohibition PBS website, students in teams watch different segments of the film to answer some of the additional questions they formed about Prohibition while looking at the photos and listening to Ken Burns. They discuss the Constitutional Amendment and the politics surrounding the amendment and compare that with the politics and issues of today. 

To localize history in addition students can investigate historic connections or events surrounding Prohibition in their own communities, down load photos or research to the iPad and make their own "Ken Burns" film in the iMovie app ($4.99) or other movie apps on the iPad. Or students can conduct interviews and continue their discussions about political discourse and politics in our times as a podcast.

Additional resources from the C-SPAN Video Library:


















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