ALEX Lesson Plan


It’s A Wonderful Life—The Roaring Twenties, Stock Market Crash, The Great Depression

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  This lesson provided by:  
Author:Melinda DiBenedetto
System: Jefferson County
School: Shades Valley High School
  General Lesson Information  
Lesson Plan ID: 24774


It’s A Wonderful Life—The Roaring Twenties, Stock Market Crash, The Great Depression


The students will use the Internet to research the Roaring Twenties, The Stock Market Crash, and The Great Depression. They will also watch the movie “It’s A Wonderful Life” to see how people lived through these three dramatic eras. They will then create a PowerPoint presentation that reflects their knowledge of this dramatic time in United States history. This is a Commerce and Information Technology lesson plan.

 Associated Standards and Objectives 
Content Standard(s):
FIN (9-12) Banking and Financial Services
2. Analyze the history and role of the securities market to determine its impact on the global economy.

Local/National Standards:


Primary Learning Objective(s):

1. To be able to research a topic using a search engine on the Internet. 2. To be able to prepare a PowerPoint presentation that displays the student’s knowledge of the subject in a creative manner. 3. To be able to watch a movie and to be able to relate the storyline to the actual events.

Additional Learning Objective(s):

 Preparation Information 

Total Duration:

Greater than 120 Minutes

Materials and Resources:

Notepad and writing utensil
Your Guide to Understanding Investing (ordered from the National Council on Economc Education)

Technology Resources Needed:

Internet access
PowerPoint or presentation software
LCD projector


Students should have already studied the beginnings of the stock market in the United States and should have followed it's progression from the beginning to the 1920's.

1.)As a class, watch the first half of the movie, It’s a Wonderful Life.

2.)Give the students a copy of the assignment, Itsawonderfullifeassignments.doc and explain how the grading will be done. Give them a copy of the rubric--itsawonderfulliferubric.doc Let the students begin their research of the Roaring Twenties using an Internet search engine.

3.)Watch the second half of the movie. Then the students should spend the rest of the period researching the Stock Market Crash using an Internet search engine.

4.)The students should complete their research on the Roaring Twenties, the Stock Market Crash, and The Great Depression. They should be sure to put how the movie relates to these three events in their notes, so they don’t forget to put them in their presentation.

5.)Once they have finished their research, they should organize and complete their PowerPoint presentation.

6.)The students will share their presentation with the rest of the class. They will save their presentation to the server, so the entire class can view it.

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Assessment Strategies

The students are given the points possible for this assignment on the handout. They should refer to the rubric for further explanation as to how the instructor will determine the grade.




The teacher may offer a quick refresher course in PowerPoint before the assignment for students who may need help remembering how to create a presentation.

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.