THE GREAT DEPRESSION LESSON PLAN
Related Standards (from McREL’s Standards Compendium):
- U.S. History Standard 22: Understands how the United States changed between the post-World War I years and the eve of the Great Depression
- U.S. History Standard 23: Understands the causes of the Great Depression and how it affected American society
- Language Arts Standards 7: Uses reading skills and strategies to understand and interpret a variety of informational texts
Overview of Lesson:
1. Teacher leads the class in a pre-reading discussion of the Great Depression.
2. Teacher distributes passages. Students read them and answer the questions that follow. Teacher should ask students to underline or highlight key words as they read. A portion from the student’s history textbook can be used as well.
3. Teacher leads the class in a post-reading discussion of the Great Depression.
4. Teacher assigns one or more of the follow-up activities.
Time Needed for Lesson: 1 class period for reading, responding, and discussions. Doing one or more of the extended activities will add another 2-4 class periods.
1. What is a depression? If someone is depressed, then how does he or she feel? How can the word “depression” be applied to society as a whole? If society is going through a depression, what would that look like?
2. What are stocks? What have you heard about the stock market? What words or ideas are associated with it? (Possible answers: Dow Jones, going up or going down, Wall Street, etc.)
1. What words did students highlight in the reading? Possible answers: The Jazz Age, The Roaring Twenties, Black Tuesday, stock market, investment, Wall Street, The Great Depression, breadline, etc.
2. What role did panic play in the Great Depression? What other kinds of groups or social situations can panic have an effect on?
3. Why was the color “black” chosen as part of the name “Black Tuesday”? What does the color black suggest?
4. What is an investment? What are some examples of investments?
5. What was a “Hooverville” and why was it called by this name? What message were people trying to send to President Hoover by using his name in this manner?
activities are available for students to complete as a follow-up and reflection on the lesson. Some activities require working alone, but others may be completed in groups. All of the activities have the option of sharing with the class when they are completed.
Lesson Printable Materials -
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exercise worksheets for
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GREAT DEPRESSION LESSON
The Great Depression Lesson
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