The Great Depression

  • The Great Depression
    A WebQuest for 8th Grade


    Introduction

     Imagine that you lived in the 1930s during the Great Depression.  What would your life be like?  Whether you lived in a city or the country, your life would have been very different than it is today.  The Great Depression caused a devastating epidemic of poverty, hunger, and homelessness.  You might ask questions such as, “Will I get to eat today?, When will I see my family again?  Should I quit school to help my family make ends meet?  Where will we sleep tonight?”


     The Quest

    What was every day life like for men, women, and children, during the Great Depression?


     The Process

    In this WebQuest you will be working together in groups of three. Each group will answer the Task or Question. We will begin this Quest by learning some general information about the Great Depression, before assuming the roles of different types of people who lived through it.

    Phase 1 - Background: Something for Everyone

    Every group member must complete this activity first.

    Use information from your textbook, “the New Deal” handout some of the internet sites below to write a comprehensive paragraph about the Great Depression that includes the following information: When did the stock market crash?  Describe three causes of the Great Depression. What were some of the problems that Americans faced during the Great Depression?

    -          -          The Authentic History Center

    -          -          Then and Now Prices

    -          -          Timeline of the Great Depression

    -          -          America's Great Depression

    -          -          The Topic: The Great Depression

    -          -          The Great Depression and the New Deal

     Phase 2 - Looking Deeper from Different Perspectives

    INSTRUCTIONS:

    1. In each group of three, each person will assume one of the three identities. Each group must have a person assuming each of the roles.

    2. Read through all of the files linked to your group, as well as the general information. If you print out the files, underline the passages that you feel are the most important. If you look at the files on the computer, copy sections you feel are important by dragging the mouse across the passage and copying / pasting it into a word processor or other writing software.

    3. Note: Remember to write down or copy/paste the URL of the file you take the passage from so you can quickly go back to it if you need to prove your point.

    4. Be prepared to link what everyone in the group has learned into one presentation that answers the main question of this WebQuest.

    A Mother of Four Children

    Use the Internet information linked below, as well as the general information to complete this assignment, specifically related to Mother of Four Children:

    1. Assuming the role of the Depression mother, write five journal entries starting with the day after the stock market crash in 1929. Date your next four entries throughout the 1930s. Be sure to include specific and detailed information about where you and your family live, how old your children are, and the struggle to buy food, clothes, and other supplies for the family. Do you have a husband? Does he have a job? Do you have a job? What are your concerns as the Depression unfolds? What is a day in your life like? What do you see, hear, and experience in the world around you?

    -          -          Timeline of the Great Depression

    -          -          The Despair of Unemployed Women

    A Boy or Girl, Age 13

    Use the Internet information linked below, as well as the general information to complete this assignment, specifically related to Boy or Girl, Age 13:

    1. Assuming the role of this boy or girl, write five journal entries starting with the day after the stock market crash in 1929. Date your next four entries throughout the 1930s. Be sure to include specific and detailed information about where you live, who you live with, and about your school. What is a day in your life like? What do you worry about? What do you do to help your family out of the Depression?

    -          -          Begging

    -          -          Dear Mrs. Roosevelt

    A Homeless Man

    Use the Internet information linked below, as well as the general information to complete this assignment, specifically related to A Homeless Man:

    1. Assuming the role of a homeless man, write five journal entries starting with the day after the stock market crash in 1929. Date your next four entries throughout the 1930s. Be sure to include specific and detailed information about where you sleep, how you eat, and what you wear. In addition, did you used to have a job? Why are you unemployed now? How did you become homeless? What is a day in your life like?

    -          -          Tails From the Rails

    -          -          Striking a Chord: Railroads and Their Musical Heritage

    Phase 3 - Debating, Discussing, and Reaching Consensus

    You have all learned about the Great Depression from different perspectives.

    Now, each of you should search the photograph websites to find a picture of someone that you can imagine is in the same circumstances as the character you played in this WebQuest. Find a picture of what you interpret to be a homeless man, mother of four, or girl/boy age 13. This will be the face of your journal entries.

    -          -          America From the Great Depression to World War II

    -          -          Hoovervilles - Photograph Collage

    -                Photographs of the Great Depression

    Phase 4 – Creation of Depression Era Journal

              As a group you will be responsible for creating an attractive booklet to hold the diary entries and photographs for each


     Evaluation Rubric

         10 points each —5 journal entries, set during 1929 stock market crash through 1930s

    q       q       All questions answered

    q       q       First person point-of-view

    q       q       Appropriate tone

     

    20 points—Phase 1 paragraph

    q       q       Appropriate background information included in a well-written paragraph

     25 points -  

     5 points—An appropriate picture is included

     Credits

    This webquest was created by Tara Donner with the help of the following websites: 

    http://www.kn.pacbell.com/wired/fil/pages/webthegreakr.html

    http://webquest.sdsu.edu/webquest.html