Exploring the Great Depression

Introduction

1. Welcome:

Title: Exploring the Great Depression

Description: During this WebQuest, students explore different aspects of the Great Depression and the effects it had on the citizens of the United States! They then must write a journal entry from the perspective of either a child, an adult, or a government official from the time of the Great Depression. 

Grade Level: 4th Grade

Curriculum: Social Studies - History 

Key Words: The Great Depression, Stock Market, Bank, Homeless, Social Issues, Hunger March

Author: Becky Advena 

2. Introduction:

"The Great Depression" is a pretty intense name, right? We have learned in class that the word "great" does not always mean "good." It can also mean "big" or "severe." Now it is your turn to find out why people call this time period "The Great Depression." 

Today, you are going to "put yourselves into someone else's shoes!" You are going to research what it was like to live during The Great Depression! Let's hop into our time machines and get ready to learn!

Task

3. Task:

You and your teammates are each going to research what it was like to live during The Great Depression. You are each going to trade places with a different type of person who lived during The Great Depression to see what it was like! Each of you will be given a handout with questions you must answer about the type of person you have been assigned. After you find all the required information, you must write a journal entry from that type of person's perspective about what their typical day might look like. Come up with a name and age of the person you are writing a journal entry for and make sure to date the entry as if it was written in the past!

Here are the types of people you will be researching:

Student 1: Children

Student 2: Farmers

Student 3: Hobos 

Process

4. Process:

Phase 1: Watch this video overview of life during The Great Depression.

As a group, answer these questions on your handout:

- Why was the Great Depression a difficult time for many Americans? 

- What types of people were affected by the Great Depression? What was life like for these people? 

- What kind of things did people do during the Great Depression? 

- What type of things did people do to cheer themselves up?

- When did The Great Depression start to get better? 

Phase 2: Research

All students must write at least a  paragraph answering each of the following questions for their assigned group of people. They must also answer the special question for their assigned group of people. 

- What is your assigned group of people and what is special about them? Give a brief description of who they are and what they do. 

- What were the greatest effects of the depression on this group of people and what is the significance? Name and describe at least 2 struggles. 

- Describe what an average day might look like for this group of people.

 

Student 1: Use the following links to learn more about life as a child during The Great Depression.

Overview - https://www.infobloom.com/what-were-the-effects-on-the-children-of-the-….

Video - (Watch a least 2 min) 

SPECIAL QUESTION: 

- What did you see in the video? Based on what you could see and what you learned from the website, compare and contrast life as a child during The Great Depression and life as a child today. 

Student 2: Use the following links to learn more about life as a farmer during The Great Depression. 

Overview: https://livinghistoryfarm.org/farminginthe30s/life_01.html

Dust Bowl Video -

SPECIAL QUESTION:

- What was the dust bowl and how did it affect U.S. citizens and farmers? What were some of the lessons mentioned in the video that farmers learned?

Student 3: Use the following links to learn more about life as a hobo during The Great Depression.

Video Overview - 

Riding the Rails - https://livinghistoryfarm.org/farminginthe30s/water_07.html 

SPECIAL QUESTION:

- Why did many people choose the life of a hobo during The Great Depression? What do you think the most dangerous part of being a hobo was and why? 

Phase 3: Journal Entry

Use the information you have gathered to write a journal entry for your group of people. 

Be sure to include:

- A name for your imaginary person

- The age of your person

- A date

- At least 2 activities/events/topics you learned about during the WebQuest! 

Write this journal entry as if you were alive during The Great Depression! 

Evaluation

5. Evaluation:

Exploring the Great Depression: WebQuest Rubric 

CATEGORY

4

3

2

1

Accuracy and Completion

The journal entry contains at least 2 accurate facts about the topic. All of the questions on the handout were answered accurately and fully.

The journal entry contains at least 2 accurate facts about the topic. All of the questions on the handout are answered fully with minor inaccuracies.

The journal entry contains 1-2 facts about the topic with varying accuracy. Most of the questions on the handout are answered but some are not and there are many inaccuracies.

The journal entry contains no accurate facts about the topic. The questions on the handout are not answered fully or correctly.

Ideas

Ideas were expressed in a clear and organized fashion. It was easy to figure out what the journal entry was about.

Ideas were expressed in a pretty clear manner, but the organization could have been better.

Ideas were somewhat organized but were not very clear. It took more than one reading to figure out what the journal entry was about.

The letter seemed to be a collection of unrelated sentences. It was very difficult to figure out what the journal entry was about.

Requirements

Complies with all the requirements for the journal entry as described in the WebQuest.

Complies with almost all the requirements for the journal entry as described in the WebQuest.

Complies with several of the requirements for the journal entry as described in the WebQuest.

Complies with less than 75% of the requirements for the journal entry as described in the WebQuest.

Teamwork

Every member of the team participates in the activity and does their part of the work. Team members are supportive and encouraging to one another the entire time.

Almost every member of the team participates in the activity and does their part of the work. Team members are supportive and encouraging to one another most of the time.

A few members of the team do not participate in the activity and do not do their part of the work. Team members are rarely supportive and encouraging to one another.

None of the team members do their part of the work and they are not supportive or encouraging.

Conclusion

6. Conclusion:

Wow! Look how much you learned about The Great Depression and the people who lived during that time period! We found out that children, farmers, and hobos all struggled during The Great Depression and they did different things to try and survive. As we step back into our own lives, take a few minutes to think about life today vs. life during The Great Depression. What are the differences? What are the similarities? Also, think about what the United States learned during The Great Depression and how we see this in today's world! 

 

 

Credits