The Great Depression unit contains 7 learning experiences.
Learning Experiences (Lessons) in The Great Depression Each learning experience takes about 45 minutes to teach in the device-enabled classroom.
The Great Depression: Vocabulary
Students engage with key vocabulary related to the Great Depression and Dust Bowl era. The experience can be used as an introduction or a review at the end of the unit.
Causes of the Great Depression
Students create a KW chart about the stock market. Then they identify three causes of the Great Depression. Next they learn some basic economic terms and analyze the role of the Federal Reserve Board in the stock market crash of 1929. Finally they choose a current public event and explain the role of public confidence and panic during national events.
The Dust Bowl
Students describe what they see in the photograph “Migrant Mother.” Then they watch a video about the Dust Bowl and summarize its natural and human causes. Next they compare two maps—one of dust storm damage and one of U.S. population distribution changes during the 1930s—and explain the relation between them. Finally they research a contemporary natural disaster, evaluate options for solving the problem, and propose a solution.
Life During the Great Depression
Students generalize why the American public was eager for superheroes during the Great Depression. Then they learn about life during this era and summarize how the following groups were affected: children, African Americans, and men versus women. Next they analyze the causes of hostility towards and deportation of Mexican Americans and migrants. Finally they choose a cultural work from the Great Depression era and analyze how it expresses life during the economic crisis.
Great Depression Politics
Students learn about President Roosevelt’s disability and reflect on the importance of seeing diverse role models. Then they compare two accounts of President Hoover’s actions during the Great Depression and explain the bias in one of the accounts. Next they learn about the New Deal and analyze a cartoon about it. Finally they learn about some of the economic reforms that resulted from the New Deal, and they review historical arguments for and against social security benefits before expressing a personal opinion about the value of entitlement programs.
The Changing Role of Government
Students predict why historians consider the Great Depression a turning point in U.S. history. Then they review arguments for and against the New Deal. Next they analyze how conflict between Roosevelt and the Supreme Court might be viewed as a violation of Constitutional principles. Finally they learn about Roosevelt’s use of radio fireside chats to build public trust, and they write a few paragraphs of an imaginary fireside chat.