Become a Member
Support the programming and educational initiatives of Idaho Public Television by joining today.
Media Components :
The following activities will prepare students for lessons on the Great Depression and provide them with a chronological sense of this event in history.
Connecting Prior Knowledge to New Information
to be presented.
Establishing a Personal Context for History.
Establishing an Economic Context for History.
Divide student into groups of three or four, giving each group a copy of a current catalog and a Then and Now: Prices worksheet. In the left column is a list of women's clothing, men's clothing, games and toys and household goods. In the middle column, the price of each of these items is listed based on advertisements from 1932. Look through a current copy of a catalog to find out what it would cost to buy the same item today. Write that amount in the right column. Each group will record the current cost of listed products on the sheet and compare to prices in the early 1930's. (15-20 minutes)
Ask students, "How do prices compare between then and now?" "Did anything stand out to you?"
Establishing an Economic Context for History.
Explain to students that corporations need money to run their business, so they sell off shares (pieces) of their business to people wanting to invest their money in businesses. Various news releases by a corporation affect the stock price; new products and good earnings are indications that the stock value may increase.
Ask students to think about what kind of news may indicate a possible decline in a company's stock price. List these responses on board.
Explain to students that people decide what companies to invest in by learning about how the company has performed in the past, current business practices, and what the company is presently doing to increase profits.
Ask students to log on to Play a Virtual Market
Ask for students to call out their ending portfolio value to compare to each other.
Ask students, "What did this activity show you about how the value of a stock fluctuates?"
Establishing a Social Context for History
Discuss the student responses and possible meaning of various phrases. (10 minutes)
Ask students to log on to Franklin D. Roosevelt Library, Museum, and Digital Archives http://www.fdrlibrary.marist.edu:8000/photo.cgi?type=title&dB=1&text=depression. Students will examine photographs taken during the Great Depression.
Provide students a FOCUS FOR MEDIA INTERACTION, ask them to examine one of the nine photographs at this website and record in a short paragraph their impression of what they think is happening in the photograph. (15 minutes)
Ask students to share their impressions of life during the depression.
Second Class Period:
Provide students with a FOCUS FOR MEDIA INTERACTION, asking them to watch for and write down three immediate effects of the stock market crash.
START the tape when the screen shows people riding a roller coaster and the sound track has their screams. PLAY the tape until the footage of the man closing the gates on the factory and the narrator says, "Which individual governments were powerless to control." STOP the tape.
Ask students to name some of the effects of the stock market crash as you list their responses on the board.
Show students the overhead of the following stock prices and have them determine how many dollars per share would have been lost from September 3, 1929 and November 13, 1929. Have students calculate the losses of an investor holding 100 shares of one of these stocks.
Ask students, "How would you have felt losing this amount of money in 1929?"
FAST FORWARD the tape until the tape is filled with men digging up wooden blocks from the street with music playing in the background. Provide students with a FOCUS FOR MEDIA INTERACTION, asking them to listen for and write down two of the consequences of the Great Depression mentioned in the video.
PLAY the tape, until the screen is filled with John Takman who is wearing a red sweater as he says, "There was a huge destruction of food in the United States at the same time millions were starving. . .millions and millions starving." STOP the tape. Ask students to name the consequences of the Great Depression they discovered while watching the video.
FAST FORWARD the tape until the screen is filled with tall building in the background with shacks in the forefront. Bing Crosby is singing, "Once I built a railroad." Provide students with a FOCUS FOR MEDIA INTERACTION, asking them to write down one reason forms of government other than democracy became attractive to some of the citizens of the United States.
PLAY the tape until the screen is filled with Bill Bailey being interviewed saying, "The only way we are going to reconcile it is to dump capitalism." STOP the tape. Ask students to name a form of government that emerged in popularity during the depression and what was attractive about that government.
FAST FORWARD the tape until the screen is filled with the scene of Washington, D.C. smoldering and President Franklin D. Roosevelt saying, "Give me your help. . ."
Provide students with a FOCUS FOR MEDIA INTERACTION, asking them to write down three things President Roosevelt did to help the United States during the Depression and to consider why the Roosevelt administration was referred to as the "alphabet administration".
PLAY the tape, until the screen is filled with the family listening to the radio and the dad says to his son, "Here's a dollar for you." STOP the tape. Ask students what is the significant about the statement, "Here's a dollar for you." What does this indicate about the country as a whole? Discuss why the Roosevelt administration was referred to as the "alphabet administration?" Ask, "What are some of the programs that President Roosevelt instituted after he was elected and how did these programs help the country and its citizens?"
Display the following chart on the overhead and ask students how President Roosevelt used these statistics to his advantage as president.
Give students a set of directions for the diary assignment and discuss the assignment as a class.
Students will use the following websites as resources, as well as information gathered during the previous lessons.
Ask students to log on to the New York Times website
Provide students a FOCUS FOR MEDIA INTERACTION asking them to examine the newspaper articles for new information about the Great Depression, information that will assist them in their diary entries.
Ask students to log on to the New Deal Network
website @ http://newdeal.feri.org/texts/index.htm.
Have students research one of the New Deal Programs they learned about from the previous lesson. Through their diary entries, have them explain how this particular program affected the community where they lived.
Students will spend the remainder of the class time creating their diary entries.
Language Arts/Social Studies
New Deal Debate
Contact the local public library and research how New Deal projects benefited the local community.
Contact a local stockbroker and arrange for a visit to discuss how the stock market works. As an alternative activity, go online to http://www.nyse.com/about/education.html students can view the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, as well as watch a broker in action. Students can read an online brochure about investing, You and the Investment World @ http://www.nyse.com/about/education/investworld/17300.html
The National Teacher