Author Feature-Karen Blumenthal

 


Spirit of Texas Reading Program

Middle School

Featured Author

Karen Blumenthal

Karen Blumenthal

Bootleg: Murder, Moonshine, and the Lawless Years of Prohibition

Karen Blumenthal has a passion for telling true stories. A long-time Dallas journalist, she is the author of award-winning nonfiction books for young people, including Bootleg: Murder, Moonshine, and the Lawless Years of Prohibition; Six Days in October: The Stock Market Crash of 1929, and Let Me Play: The Story of Title IX. She also has written two biographies for young people: Steve Jobs: The Man Who Thought Different and Mr. Sam, about Sam Walton, the founder of Wal-Mart.

When she isn’t writing books, she writes regularly for The Wall Street Journal and Texas Monthly. In her free time, she bakes, reads and avidly follows Dallas sports teams.


 

Find her on the web:

Twitter
Website


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Book Quiz

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Multiple Choice

  • What part did Morris Sheppard play in Prohibition?
    • He introduced the constitutional amendment.
    • He led the march on Washington.
    • He supported the sale of liquor.
    • He owned several saloons.
  • Who was known as the “Bar Room Smasher?”
    • Eliza J. Thompson
    • Susan B. Antony
    • Carrie Nation
    • Mary H. Hunt
  • What year did Prohibition begin?
    • 1917
    • 1920
    • 1930
    • 1916
  • What amendment is Prohibition?
    • 18th
    • 19th
    • 20th
    • 5th
  • Al Capone was a gangster in what city?
    • Brooklyn
    • Miami
    • Chicago
    • St. Louis
  • Elliot Ness and his men were called the _____________.
    • Undeniables
    • Unreliables
    • Untraceables
    • Untouchables
  • Who was the president during the repeal of Prohibition?
    • Herbert Hoover
    • Calvin Coolidge
    • Warren Harding
    • Franklin Roosevelt
  • What amendment repealed Prohibition?
    • 19th
    • 20th
    • 21st
    • 15th
  • During Prohibition, Anheuser-Busch began selling ____________.
    • Bread
    • Ice
    • Milk and Ice Cream
    • Sugar
  • What did police do to alcohol when they found it?
    • Poured it in the sewer
    • Drank it themselves
    • Burned it
    • Nothing

 

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Art Deco Panels

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I. Art Deco began in Paris in the 1920s. The movement continued worldwide throughout the 1930s. In this program, patrons will create their own panel reflecting the Art Deco style.

II. Program Related Books to Display and/or Book Talk

  • Breeze, Carla. American Art Deco: Architecture and Regionalism. Ages 12+
  • Duncan, Alastair. American Art Deco. Ages 12+
  • Noble, Marty. Art Deco Designs Stained Glass Coloring Book. Ages 4+
  • Rowe, William. Art Deco Spot Illustrations and Motifs: 513 Original Designs. Ages 10+
  • Wik, John.  Deco Tech: Designs for Coloring Book. Ages 6+

III. List of Supplies

  • Cardboard cut into equal sizes
  • Aluminum foil
  • Yarn (color doesn’t matter)
  • Spray Adhesive
  • Black shoe polish (the bottle kind with a sponge applicator) or black acrylic paint and water
  • Paper towels
  • Pencil
  • Optional: sharpies, beads, gems, jewels

IV. Detailed Description of the Program

Patrons create an art deco design on the cardboard with pencil.  Spray the cardboard with adhesive.  Cover the drawn lines with yarn, making sure the yarn sticks well.   Carefully cover the cardboard (and yarn) with aluminum foil. Make sure the foil covers part of the back too.   Rub shoe polish over the foil and rub off.   Option: Instead of using shoe polish, patrons can color with sharpies.  Add gems, jewels, beads, etc when gluing the the yarn.

V. Modify the Bootleg - Art Deco Borders file to fit your needs.

VI. Resources

Foil Embossing:

Patterns

Intro to Art Deco

Interlude with String and Foil


How to Create the Look of Metal with Kitchen Foil by EcoHeidi Borchers

What is Art Deco?


A Salute to Art Deco


Dover Publications


 

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Big Easy Social

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I. Speakeasies were a popular during the Prohibition. They served alcohol when it was illegal. The purpose of this program is to give patrons an idea of what a Speakeasy was like during Prohibition.

II. Books to Display and/or Share

  • Godbersen, Anna.  Bright Young Things series (Bright Young Things, Beautiful Days). Ages 14+
  • Larkin, Jillian.  Flappers series (Vixen, Ingenue, Diva). Ages 12+
  • Laubner, Ellie.  Fashions of the Roaring '20s.  Ages 12+
  • Levy, Patricia.  From Speakeasies to Stalinism.  Ages 12+
  • Lum, Kwei-Lin.  Speakeasy Paper Dolls.  Ages 12+
  • Niven, Felicia.  Fabulous Fashion of the 1920s.  Ages 10+
  • Pietrusza, David.  The Roaring Twenties.  Ages 12+

III. List of Supplies

  • Party supplies - cups, plates, napkins, punch, snacks, and decorations

IV. Detailed Description of the Program

Speakeasies were hard to find. Patrons had to know where the party was and getting there wasn’t always glamorous. Guests should have to walk through or around a number of places to get to your Speakeasy.

Speakeasies were all about the liquor. Since this program is for teens, alcohol consumption is not encouraged. Nonalcoholic recipes of drinks of the time period are provided.

Make up a list of rules for your evening. Speakeasies weren’t open to everyone.
Examples:

  • Everyone must have a pseudonym.
  • Everyone must be a member of the club.
  • All single boys should wear a carnation.
  • All single girls should carry a fan.
  • Have a code to enter: a secret knock, a password, or an object to be given at the door to an intimidating bouncer.
  • When it’s time to end the party, have it raided by the “coppers.”

Use a QR code on a flyer to direct patrons to an invitation that includes all the details. Hide the password or location somewhere in the library or teen section.

V. Decorations

Lighting should be low and warm, lots of flowers, velvet, furs, crystal. Jazz music should be playing. If possible, see if a local high school jazz band might perform. Teach the party goers the Charleston.

VI. Attire

Costumes would be wonderful, but they can be pricey. See if the local theater or drama classes have costumes that could be borrowed. Consider purchasing boas, fedoras, or gangster hats from an online bulk supply store like Oriental Trading.

VII. Food and Drink

Try to stick to the time period. There are several websites that list food and drink from the 1920s. (see listed websites below)

This program can be altered for the size of event you want to have.

VIII. Websites:

Nonalcoholic Champagne Punch

Nonalcoholic Mint Julep

Food of the 1920s

Flappers, Speakeasies, and the Birth of Modern Culture (Flapper Fashion rough cut)


Boardwalk Empire: Speakeasy Tour


Speakeasies


How to do the Charleston Dance


1920's The Charleston


QR Code (Creates QR code for urls, text, phone number, and sms)

 


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Debate – School Project

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Additional Documents

Introduction

In the 1920s and 30s, the federal government outlawed the sale of alcoholic beverages (Prohibition). Some people felt this was an attempt of the government to legislate morality and control people's behavior. There were many protests and debates about Prohibition which eventually led to its repeal. The banning of alcohol may not be of much interest to middle school students, but the removal of snack and soda machines from schools and the changes made to school nutrition policies (Foods of Minimal Nutritional Values) present a similar situation that is relevant to them. In this program, students will debate prohibition of junk foods in school cafeterias.

Related Books

  • Giddens, Sandra, and Owen Giddens. Making Smart Choices about Food, Nutrition, and Lifestyle. New York: Rosen Pub., 2008. Print.
  • Shryer, Donna, and Stephen Dawson. Body Fuel: A Guide to Good Nutrition. Tarrytown, NY: Marshall Cavendish Benchmark, 2010. Print.
  • Sohn, Emily. Food and Nutrition. New York: Chelsea House, 2006. Print.
  • Walker, Ida. Nutrition & You. New York: Alphahouse, 2009. Print.

TEKS

  • Social Studies Grade 6: 113.18: 5, 8, 21, 22, 23
  • English Language Arts Grade 6: 110.18: 11, 13, 18, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27

Description of Program

Day 1: Preparation

Individual research

  • Debaters:
    • Research Foods of Minimal Nutritional Value guidelines and gather all possible arguments you could use in a debate.
    • Write these in your section of the t-chart. You need to fill in your viewpoint only.
    • Optional: Fill in your opponent's side of the t-chart so you can study their views and crush their arguments.
  • Voters:
    • Write arguments on both sides of the t-chart. Understand both sides of the argument so you can formulate good questions.
    • Think of questions you can ask both sides.

Day 2: Planning

  • Debaters:
    • Meet as a group and share ideas arguments from the previous day.
    • Brainstorm any new ideas.
    • Each group needs to determine what arguments are their strongest. These will be used in opening arguments during the debate.
    • Decide who is going to present each argument. Everyone must speak during the debate.
    • Prepare arguments. Arguments should be well thought out and be longer than a one statement.
  • Voters:
    • Meet and discuss your questions. Keep a list of all questions that you want to ask during the debate.
    • You will be asking three to four questions of each side. You may come up with questions during the debate. You will have time before the question and answer period to select your best questions.

Day 3: The Debate

The debate will have several rounds. You will have several opportunities to speak. There will also be time to meet between rounds to think of more arguments.

  • Opening Arguments: Each side presents. The first side will state all of their arguments, than the other side will have a turn. The side that is not presenting may not interrupt. They will have a chance to be heard, attack, or clarify in the next round.
  • Rebuttal Preparation: Each side will have time to discuss arguments for the rebuttal round. They can question or challenge any information presented by the opposing side.
  • Rebuttal #1: Each side will respond to information from the opposing side. Voters will indicate which side won the round by holding up their sign.
  • Question & Answer: Voters can ask each side three to four questions. They should take turns asking questions.
  • Answers to Questions: Sides may answer questions without interruption. Voters will indicate which side won the round by holding up their sign.
  • Rebuttal Preparation: Each side will have time to discuss arguments for the rebuttal round. They can question or challenge any information presented by the opposing side.
  • Rebuttal #2: Each side will respond to information from the opposing side. Voters will indicate which side won the round by holding up their sign.
  • Closing Argument Preparation: Groups need to decide what they want to say in closing.
  • Closing Arguments: This is last time that each side will address the voters. This is not a time for rebuttal. Each side should present their strongest argument.
  • Voting: Voters can leave the room to tally their scores or they may cast ballots.
  • Voters award points based on participation, ideas, and presentation. Points are not awarded on previous knowledge of topic. Use this file to score the debate.

Resources

General Debate Resources

Social Issues Resources

School Nutrition Resources


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Created on Oct 5, 2012 | Last updated July 15, 2015