Skip to content
Chronological Reasoning and Causation

1920s Race Relations in the Hudson Valley

  1. Load Main Street Parade in Main Image Viewer
  2. Load Fiery Cross Seen Near Hartsdale in Main Image Viewer
  3. Load Klan Has College Frat in Main Image Viewer
  4. Load Ku Klux Klan Gathering in Main Image Viewer

Suggested Teaching Instructions

Title: Race Relations  in the Hudson Valley in the 1920s - students will use primary sources from local history related to racism during the 1920s

Overview: Students will examine how the racial tensions of the 1920s impacted the Hudson Valley

Goal: The goal is for students to see that key events of the 1920s related to race relations played out on local levels as well.

Objectives: Students will explain examples of racial tensions in the Hudson Valley during the 1920s. 

Investigative (Compelling) Question: What challenges did African Americans face while living in the Hudson Valley in the 1920s?

Time Required

  • Bell Ringer - 5 - 10 minutes, depending on whether you use one image or two

  • S.P.Y. Method of Document Analysis - 20 minutes

  • Share out - 5 minutes

  • Exit ticket - 5 minutes

Recommended Grade Range

  • All five documents for 11th grade

  • Three documents for 8th grade

Subject: Social Studies


11th Grade - 11.7 PROSPERITY AND DEPRESSION (1920 – 1939): The 1920s and 1930s were a time of

cultural and economic changes in the nation. During this period, the nation faced significant domestic challenges, including the Great Depression.

(Standards: 1, 4; Themes: ID, TCC, SOC, CIV)

11.7a The 1920s was a time of cultural change in the country, characterized by clashes between

modern and traditional values.

  • Students will examine the reasons for the resurgence of the Ku Klux Klan.

8th Grade - 8.4e After World War I, the United States entered a period of economic prosperity and cultural change. This period is known as the Roaring Twenties. During this time, new opportunities for women were gained, and African Americans engaged in various efforts to distinguish themselves and celebrate their culture.

  • Students will examine examples of World War I and postwar race relations, such as the East St. Louis riots, the Silent March, and the Tulsa riots. 

  • Students will explore the changes in American culture after World War I, including an examination of the Harlem Renaissance and other changes in New York City

Credits: Amy Patino


Materials Used: See, Think,  Wonder Graphic Organizer, 

Resources Used: 

1920s Main Street Parade

Fiery Cross Article

Klan Has College Frat

KKK Gathering


Description of Procedure: 

  • Bell Ringer - Show students the image of the 1920s Main Street Parade. For Deeper thinking you can also show the image of the KKK Parade in Washington, DC. Have students complete the ‘See, Think, Wonder” Graphic Organizer about one or both of these images. 

See Think Wonder Graphic Organizer

  • Have 8th grade students work in groups using the S.P.Y. Method on two of the other documents: Fiery Cross Article, Klan Has College Frat, KKK Gathering.  11th grade students could use all three documents in their groups

S.P.Y. Method

  • Students share out what they learned from the documents

  • Exit Ticket - Based on the evidence looked at in class, write a thesis statement that addresses the compelling question. 

Extensions: Students can apply what they learned in this lesson to Post World War I racial events like the Tulsa Race Riots, the KKK March in Washington, etc. 


Evaluation: Students will be evaluated based on See, Think Wonder Graphic Organizers, Groups discussions, and their thesis statements written on their exit tickets.