this culminating activity you will be focusing your efforts on
designing and presenting a digital story about the Dust Bowl.
You may include photographs, sound recordings, eyewitness
accounts, motion pictures, any primary source. You can use Powerpoint,
iMovie, Movie Maker, or a Web Page as your scrapbook
Keep in mind
copyright and property rights when using media from the Web.
In general, photographs, sound recordings, and documents from
the Library of Congress are in the public domain and may be
used for educational purposes. Be sure to check the policy
of all Websites before using their materials. You will share
this digital story in class.
Bowl During the Great Depression
is an excellent starting point for information about the dust
bowl era. A concise overview is presented with photograph collages
of migrant camps, the aftermath of dust storms, and life along
the road. In addition questions are posed to help students
think about song lyrics describing the plight of the migrant
New Deal Network
Great Depression using the New Deal Network as an educational
guide. Documents, photos, letters, and lesson plans for teachers
are included in this extensive site sponsored by the Franklin
and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute and the Institute for Learning
Technologies at Columbia University. Read letters written to
Mrs. Roosevelt, recollections of Utah residents growing up
in the 1930s, or view a photo-documentary of the impact of
the Great Depression on Carbon Hill, Alabama.
Historic Route 66
the beaten path and experience the sights of a bygone era.
Lots of unique photographs and postcards dot the roadway from
the Coral Court Motel to the round barn to the U-Drop-Inn.
A short history about Route 66 from its hay day to its replacement
by four-lane highways is an interesting side trip for the traveler.
John Steinbeck proclaimed U. S. Highway 66 the "Mother
the Dust Bowl
At this PBS
site, read poignant eyewitness accounts that express the despair
as crops withered and the dust turned into fiery storms. Listen
to personal accounts and historical perspectives in extended
interviews on topics such as homesteading, Black Sunday, and
the environment. Rounding out the site is a map of the dust
bowl, timeline, and teacher’s guide to use with the documentary
film, “Surviving the Dust Bowl.”
from the Great Depression to World War II: Photographs from
the FSA-OWI, 1935-1945
from the Farm Security Administration (FSA) and Office of War
Information (OWI) form an extensive pictorial record of American
life between 1935 and 1945. Roy E. Stryker headed the U.S.
government photography project at The Library of Congress.
The collection contains approximately 107,000 black-and-white
photographic prints, 164,000 black-and-white film negatives,
and 1,610 color transparencies. It is the only collection where
you can view film sequences by looking at sprocket numbers.
Using these "phonyfiche" you can piece together pictures
like a photographic contact sheet. This is useful in finding
related photographs that were not titled.
The job of
the photographers hired by the Farm Security Administration
was to inform the public about the poverty in this country
and the increased need to help people. Walker Evans was the
first photographer followed by Dorothea Lange who had been
doing the same kind of work in California. There were 98 photographers
over the course of the project. Documenting America provides
insight into these powerful illustrations that depict the hard
life of the 1930s. This online exhibit is a small sampling
from the book, Documenting America edited by Carl Fleischhauer
and Beverly Brannan, University of California Press, 1988.
New Deal for the Arts
Great Depression, the federal government created a program
that employed artists, musicians, writers, actors, photographers,
and dancers. In this online exhibit, there are wonderful examples
of paintings, posters, playbills, and other artifacts that
represent the creativity and diverse styles of thousands of
artists. Don’t miss “Years of Dust,” a resettlement
poster by Ben Shahn or the “Jane Adams Memorial” paining
by Mitchell Siporin.
Great Depression and Children’s Books
has compiled an annotated list of picture books and novels
about the Great Depression that can be integrated into the
language arts and social studies curriculum. Some of the titles
are Year Down Under by Richard Peck, What You Know First by
Patricia MacLachlan and illustrated by Barry Moser, and The
Gardener by Sarah Stewart and illustrated by David Small. There
are also links to related Websites and suggested activities.
for Glory: A tribute to Woody Guthrie
virtual showstopper is a must for all Woody Guthrie fans. Guthrie’s
story is told through a series of documents, quotations, photographs,
letters, sheet music, and songs. Listen to him play the Railroad
Blues on the harmonica, learn about his political activism,
and his generosity for sharing music. For more information
about the legendary figure, visit the Woody
Guthrie and the Archive of American Folk Song at the Library
spring of 1939, John and Ruby Lomax traveled the southern highways
in search of songs. Many of their stops were at prisons, places
they deemed rich in blues, gospels, and ballads. Within this
collection are recordings that represent the regional culture
of nine states and a variety of genres. Listen to the lilting
call of the Hiding-seek Song by Vera Hall, the foot-tapping
fiddle tune, Turkey in the Straw, or the unusual lyrics of
Ring Around the Rosy by a group of school children. The wealth
of field notes and photographs enhance the material by providing
details about the locations and individuals that help complete
the story. In a footnote to the collection, it was at Angola
Prison Louisiana that John Lomax and his son, Alan, discovered
Huddie Ledbetter known as Leadbelly.
from the Dust Bowl
of folk culture is preserved in this collection of square dance
calls, traditional ballads, cowboy songs, and storytelling.
Jack Bryant wrote and sang “Sunny Cal,” a reflection
of the dust bowl experience, at the Firebaugh Camp in 1940.
Another notable feature not to be missed is the Collection
Connection, rich with supplemental materials and suggestions
for analysis, interpretation, and comprehension of the subject
Have a feast
in your classroom using recipes handed down from mother. Your
menu might consist of Tin Foil Hobo Dinner or Poor Man's
Spam, and for dessert, Grandma's Great Depression Cake. This would make a wonderful
Endowment for the Humanities and Thinkfinity present a comprehensive
unit on the Dust Bowl. Since there are ready-made materials
for teaching the lessons, links to supporting resources, and
organized activities, teachers will find that preparing for
this unit is more fun than work. Most of the lessons are based
on primary sources such as contemporary song lyrics, photographs,
and sound recordings of the 1930s.
Workers Through the Lens of Dorothea Lange
is targeted to grades 5-8 spotlighting the series of photographs
taken by Dorothea Lange and collectively titled, “Migrant
Mother.” Using Web resources, students study the prints
and events from the 1930s that supply context to the work.
and Now Prices
during the great depression to prices today. This is a great
economics and math lesson for your students. Prices for the
1930s are provided so you do not have to search for that information.
Fill in a table with current prices for a variety of items
such as clothes, toys, and wages. Then, answer questions like
how many weeks would it take to buy each of the items on the
table of prices? Download the classroom worksheet for easy printing.