Words can change their meaning depending on the era and context in which they are used. You can use words to enrich your units just as much as images, audio, and video.
For example, do an in-depth investigation of the cultural flowering that was the Harlem Renaissance. Start by reading the background history in WorldView Software’s American History II (Chapter 8: American Changes during the Roaring 20s).
Then read the poetry, view the paintings, listen to the music, and watch the dancing! (This finding aid and teacher’s guide from the Library of Congress have a wealth of materials beyond those listed above.) And then maybe imagine a scene at a nightclub, with characters using their particular patois, written with the help of Green’s Dictionary of Slang, which has a limited edition now available free online. Oh, and obviously don’t call someone a hep cat if you don’t want to look hopelessly unhip:
[The featured image is “Drawing with Two Colors,” a print from 1915-1920 by Winold Reiss, a German-born artist who lived in New York City and whose work was deeply affected by the milieu.]
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