Great Depression Unit. Topic: The Great Depression. Subtopics: Causes and Results of Depression Diverse Ways of Life During the Depression The Role of the Government in Economic Recovery Champaign-Urbana and Illinois during the Depression. Brainstorming. Causes and results of Depression:
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Diverse Ways of Life During the Depression
Students will receive a letter that was written by a child who lived through the Great Depression. This letter will help bring into light the hardships faced by those who experienced this time of turmoil.
January 9, 1934
Dear Mrs. F. Roosevelt,
I suppose you'll be kind of surprised to hear from a poor little girl. I am ten years old. On Christmas eve I had wished for Santa Clause to come but my mama said the chimney was blocked & he couldn't come, so I had a poor Christmas. I was expecting Santa to bring me some things.
I lost my daddy when I was two years old.
I have read in the papers how good you are to the poor and thought maybe you can help me some. I will appreciate it all my life.
To-day we have started school from our Christmas vacation & all the children talk about how many presents Santa has brought them & I felt so bad cause I had nothing to say. I guess that is all. My address is R#2, Box 7 Mason, Wisconsin
The teacher will engage students with a read aloud from “Out of the Dust” by Karen Hesse. This story takes place during the Great Depression and will allow students to gain an understanding of the hardships faced by families similar to theirs. This will allow students to make personal connections and thus make history relevant to them.
After reading the letters we will create a KWL chart. Students will discuss what they already know, and what they would like to know. After the students discuss what they would like to learn about the Great Depression, they will prepare questions that they can research or ask a community member who will be coming in to discuss their experiences of the Great Depression. At the end of the unit, we will revisit this chart and discuss what was learned.
A community member will come in and share the hardships they endured throughout the Great Depression. Afterwards, students will be able to ask questions and interview the speaker. Students will research any remaining questions via the internet. They will also have the opportunity to visit the library and research using books, journals and other documents.
After the students have interviewed and conducted their research, they will organize their information in an article format. This article will then be used as part of the culminating activity which will be creating a newspaper.
The dust bowl in the Great Depression was caused by erosion and weathering. Students will perform various activities to see what wind erosion is, why it happens, and its effects. We will also study Albert Einstein the famous scientist who migrated to the United States in the early 1930’s.
Students will see how the prices of many things familiar to them have changed over time. Through the lesson, students will understand that there is not only a price increase in goods, but that there was an increase in wages as well.
Students will write a letter to the legislation regarding any topic that is of economic concern to them. After having studied the Great Depression, students will have seen how a national problem hit home. Students will then discuss a national topic and how its concerns them at the local level.