ALEX Lesson Plan


Hardships During the Great Depression

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  This lesson provided by:  
Author:Sandra Thomason
System: Covington County
School: Straughn Elementary School
  General Lesson Information  
Lesson Plan ID: 16785


Hardships During the Great Depression


Students will be divided into groups of 2 or more. Each group will be given a choice of jobs that were available during the 1930s. Students will learn to manage their cost of living and household expenses.

 Associated Standards and Objectives 
Content Standard(s):
TC2 (6-8)
9. Practice responsible and legal use of technology systems and digital content.
Examples: avoiding plagiarism; complying with acceptable-use policies, copyright laws, and fair use standards; recognizing secure Web sites
  • Identifying examples of computer crime and related penalties
  • Examples: computer crime—phishing, spoofing, virus and worm dissemination, cyberbullying
    penalties—fines, incarceration
  • Citing sources of digital content
  • TC2 (6-8)
    11. Use digital tools and strategies to locate, collect, organize, evaluate, and synthesize information.
    Examples: locating—Boolean searches, graphic organizers, spreadsheets, databases
    collecting—probeware, graphing calculators
    organizing—graphic organizers, spreadsheets
    evaluating—reviewing publication dates, determining credibility
    synthesizing—word processing software, concept-mapping software
    MA2015 (6)
    25. Recognize a statistical question as one that anticipates variability in the data related to the question and accounts for it in the answers. [6-SP1]
    Example: "How old am I'" is not a statistical question, but "How old are the students in my school'" is a statistical question because one anticipates variability in students' ages.
    MA2015 (6)
    28. Display numerical data in plots on a number line, including dot plots, histograms, and box plots. [6-SP4]
    SS2010 (6) United States Studies: The Industrial Revolution to the Present
    2. Describe reform movements and changing social conditions during the Progressive Era in the United States.
  • Relating countries of origin and experiences of new immigrants to life in the United States
  • Example: Ellis Island and Angel Island experiences
  • Identifying workplace reforms, including the eight-hour workday, child labor laws, and workers' compensation laws
  • Identifying political reforms of Progressive movement leaders, including Theodore Roosevelt and the establishment of the national park system
  • Identifying social reforms of the Progressive movement, including efforts by Jane Adams, Clara Barton, and Julia Tutwiler (Alabama)
  • Recognizing goals of the early civil rights movement and the purpose of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)
  • Explaining Progressive movement provisions of the Sixteenth, Seventeenth, Eighteenth, Nineteenth, and Twenty-first Amendments to the Constitution of the United States
  • SS2010 (6) United States Studies: The Industrial Revolution to the Present
    4. Identify cultural and economic developments in the United States from 1900 through the 1930s.
  • Describing the impact of various writers, musicians, and artists on American culture during the Harlem Renaissance and the Jazz Age
  • Examples: Langston Hughes, Louis Armstrong, Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Andrew Wyeth, Frederic Remington, W. C. Handy, Erskine Hawkins, George Gershwin, Zora Neale Hurston (Alabama)
  • Identifying contributions of turn-of-the-century inventors
  • Examples: George Washington Carver, Henry Ford, Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Alva Edison, Wilbur and Orville Wright (Alabama)
  • Describing the emergence of the modern woman during the early 1900s
  • Examples: Amelia Earhart, Zelda Fitzgerald, Helen Keller, Susan B. Anthony, Margaret Washington, suffragettes, suffragists, flappers (Alabama)
  • Identifying notable persons of the early 1900s
  • Examples: Babe Ruth, Charles A. Lindbergh, W. E. B. Du Bois, John T. Scopes (Alabama)
  • Comparing results of the economic policies of the Warren G. Harding, Calvin Coolidge, and Herbert Hoover Administrations
  • Examples: higher wages, increase in consumer goods, collapse of farm economy, extension of personal credit, stock market crash, Immigration Act of 1924
    SS2010 (6) United States Studies: The Industrial Revolution to the Present
    5. Explain causes and effects of the Great Depression on the people of the United States.
    Examples: economic failure, loss of farms, rising unemployment, building of Hoovervilles
  • Identifying patterns of migration during the Great Depression
  • Locating on a map the area of the United States known as the Dust Bowl
  • Describing the importance of the election of Franklin D. Roosevelt as President of the United States, including the New Deal alphabet agencies
  • Locating on a map the river systems utilized by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) (Alabama)
  • Local/National Standards:


    Primary Learning Objective(s):

    Students will be able to compare the past living expenses to the present living expenses. Students will be able to understand hardships that the Great Depression caused their ancestors. Students will be able to browse the Internet for information concerning the hardships of the Great Depression. Students will be able to calculate the cost of living during the 1930s.

    Additional Learning Objective(s):

     Preparation Information 

    Total Duration:

    Greater than 120 Minutes

    Materials and Resources:

    history book, paper, pencils, poster boards

    Technology Resources Needed:

    computers, Internet


    Students must have an understanding of the causes and hardships of the Great Depression prior to this assignment.

    1.)Students will be divided into groups of 2 or more and each group will be given a rubic. Each group will be given a cost of living expense and a choice of jobs. The project will last for two weeks. The groups will search the Internet for living expenses during the 1930s. They will find information on wages, utilities, insurance, housing, food, transportation, and medical expenses. Students will compare the cost of living then to the present. The students will compose a graph that shows these differences.
    (Then and Now: Prices)

    2.)Another website students may want to use:
    (Then and Now: Prices)

    3.)Students will go to the computer lab and begin research on their project. Students will gather and download various information that will help them put their project together.
    (American History: 1930s)

    4.)Students must explain how they purchased groceries, housing, transportation, utilities, medical and expenses. Each item must be itemized. Students will also explain what they could not afford to have and if there where any other options.

    5.)Once students have gathered information, each group will calculate the cost of living for their household, put together their graph, and provide pictures of items purchased. The group will then show the teacher their completed work. The teacher will approve the project for presentation. The students will then share with the class their living expense for their household.


    Assessment Strategies

    The most appropriate assessment of this lesson would be a rubic developed by the teacher which evaluates the students' success in meeting all the requirements.





    Each area below is a direct link to general teaching strategies/classroom accommodations for students with identified learning and/or behavior problems such as: reading or math performance below grade level; test or classroom assignments/quizzes at a failing level; failure to complete assignments independently; difficulty with short-term memory, abstract concepts, staying on task, or following directions; poor peer interaction or temper tantrums, and other learning or behavior problems.

    Presentation of Material Environment
    Time Demands Materials
    Attention Using Groups and Peers
    Assisting the Reluctant Starter Dealing with Inappropriate Behavior
    Be sure to check the student's IEP for specific accommodations.