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Great Depression Unit


The Great Depression changed society and there are still lasting effects felt today. The Great Depression lead to preventative actions being taken to ensure that ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Great Depression Unit

Great Depression Unit
TopicThe 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

  • Causes and results of Depression
  • Stock Market Crash
  • President Hoover
  • President Roosevelt
  • Government Policies
  • New Deal
  • Increases in taxes
  • Poverty
  • Diverse Ways of Life During the Depression

  • Diverse Ways of Life During the Depression
  • Hoovervilles
  • Sacrifices across socioeconomic statuses
  • Unemployment

  • The Role of Government in Economic Recovery
  • Public Works Program
  • Reconstruction Finance Corporation
  • Bonus Army

  • Champaign/Urbana and Illinois during the
  • Interviewing community members who lived through
    the Great Depression.

Key Perspectives
  • Making choices and taking actions students will
    critically analyze the political and societal
    actions that were taken by the government and
    society as a whole during this time.
  • Living with uncertainty engagement of students
    in significant ideas and experiences. To address
    this perspective we plan to integrate math,
    literature, history, and social studies.

  • This unit is important to teach to fifth graders
    because they have the tools necessary to
    comprehend the Great Depression. The Great
    Depression changed society and there are still
    lasting effects felt today. The Great Depression
    lead to preventative actions being taken to
    ensure that history will not be repeated. By
    making the unit meaningful and integrating other
    subject areas we are using the best practices in
    social students education. We are also allowing
    students to critically analyze and form their own
    opinions on how the Great Depression came to be.

Instructional Strategies
  • Using Documents
  • Students will read a letter written to Eleanor
  • Community Resources
  • Students will research at library
  • Community member will be interviewed on personal
    experiences from Great Depression

Instructional Strategies
  • Interviews
  • Interviewing a community member
  • Students will create questions to ask
  • Incorporated current events
  • Students look at current economic issues and
    relate them to the past.

Background Information
  • A local teacher informed us that this topic is
    discussed briefly in fifth grade only if tied
    with a book in literature. In sixth grade it is
    also discussed if time at the end of the year. It
    is not until eighth grade that students are fully
    immersed into what the Great Depression really
  • The teachers we interviewed seemed to feel
    apprehensive about this topic because it is more
    recent than say the war 1812. The Great
    Depression still has lasting effects both
    emotionally and economically. These teachers
    choose not to cover it in depth because they do
    not feel their students are capable of fully
    understanding it and appreciating its history.

Doing History
  • Benefits of using Documents
  • According to Doing History If children are to
    enthusiastically engage in sustained conversation
    about history, four things are required
  • Questions worth discussing
  • Questions that do not have single answers
  • Sufficient and appropriate data sources so that
    students can attempt to answer the questions
  • Imaginative entry into the past (24).

Doing History
  • Instructional Strategies
  • Students should not be limited to a single
    learning style (38).
  • All students should be given the time and
    support to engage in a variety of assignments
  • Authentic tasks allow for student choices (38).

Literacy Link
  • Read aloud from Karen Hesses Out of the Dust
  • Reading a letter
  • Writing the newspaper article
  • Writing letter to legislature
  • Going to the library for research
  • Through reading these stories, writing stories,
    and researching students will be encouraged to
    place themselves in the characters shoes and
    hence experience the Great Depression.

Essential Questions and Enduring Understandings
  • How does economic turmoil affect people?
  • Everyone in the nation was affected regardless of
    socioeconomic status
  • Extreme unemployment
  • What role does government play in the economics
    of a nation?
  • All major economic decisions involve the
  • Decisions made at the national level affect the
    local level

  • VII Production, Distribution, and Consumption
  • f. Explaining and illustrate how values and
    beliefs influence different economic decisions
  • I. Use economic concepts to help explain
    historical and current developments and issues in
    local, national, or global events

Unit Sketch
  • Tuning in
  • 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.

  • Mason, Wisconsin
  • 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 R2, Box 7 Mason, Wisconsin
  • Yours truly,
  • M. A.

  • Tuning In
  • 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.

  • Preparing to find out-
  • 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.

  • Finding out-
  • 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.

  • Sorting out-
  • 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

  • Going Further-
  • 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

  • Making connections-
  • 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.

  • Taking actions-
  • 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.

  • Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse
  • Doing History by Linda S. Levstik and Keith C.
  • http//

  • Formative-
  • Informal and formal
  • Group work
  • Individual
  • Peer Assessment
  • Summative-
  • Student will be graded on their overall
    participation throughout the unit and their final
    newspaper projects.

  • Stressful, time consuming, and scary
  • Great group members
  • Talkative yet hardworking
  • Used many outside resources
  • Asked for help
  • Prefer lesson planning over unit planning

Reflection Cont
  • Best part was learning ourselves
  • Organization is key
  • Learned importance of Unit planning
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