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Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse a 6th Grade Research Unit.
Here are some
pictures and images from the Great Depression
Images from the Great Depression
with some thoughtful questions
Excerpts from "The Dust Bowl, Men, Dirt and Depression" by Paul Bonnifield.
World Book Encyclopedia Online
Student Worksheet / Cornell Notes Organizer:
The Great Depression Rap:
Highlands High School Mr. Polcha's class
The Dust Bowl a slideshow of pics from the
Library of Congress, United States
Dust Bowl Blues:
Pictures and song(Woody Guthrie) of the Dust Bowl
Click to see The Great Depression
- a Video from World Book Encyclopedia
Day 1: Traditional Research Resources: Encyclopedias & Non-Fiction Books
Here are Some Search Terms for Encyclopedias
Great Depression (Encyclopedia Volume G)
Dust Bowl (Encyclopedia Volume D
Weather - drought
Hooverville (hint: try this search on
Gale Student Resources Junior
Map of the Dust Bowl
Migrant Farm Families of the Dust Bowl
Photos with Original Captions by Dorthea Lange:
"Dorothea Lange (1895-1965) has been called the greatest American documentary photographer. She is best known for her chronicles of the Great Depression and for her photographs of migratory farm workers. Below are 24 pre-World War II photographs, taken for the U.S. Farm Security Administration (FSA), investigating living conditions of families hired to work in cotton fields and farms in Arizona and California. Many of the families had fled the Dust Bowl, the lengthy drought which devastated millions of acres of farmland in Midwestern states such as Oklahoma."
Day 2: Electronic Resources
From the World Book Encyclopedia Online:
What was the Great Depression? Read:
article from World Book Encyclopedia Online
What was the Dust Bowl? Read:
article from the World Book Encyclopedia
Video of a Dust Storm
What were some of the hardships and difficulties?
What was life like for the average American during the Great Depression?
How did the middle class live? Was their enough food for average Citizen? Did the children have warm clothes and shoes? What will life be like today if we go into a depression?
from a primary source Frosty
" There wasn't much of a middle class. Almost everyone was in the same boat. The middle class lost the money they had in the bank too. There were shanty towns, alright. Cardboard boxes were at a premium. If you were lucky you had wood or metal. Many people starved and most everyone shared what little they had. There was much recycling of everything. If your shirt wore out it was used for a mop or dust rag. The buttons were cut off and reused. Every woman had a "button jar". Every man had a "nail and screw can." Families were torn apart. Men went from town to town to find work. Their families stayed put in their box and waited for him to return. Most people walked wherever they could because gas for cars was too expensive for most to afford. Lots of people moved from the midwest to California for work and there were so many people looking for work and so little work to do that most didn't find much work. Then the government started the WPA and other prorams that put people to work. My Dad worked on the Hoover Dam which was one of those projects. Most children had to "make do" with the clothes they had. No warm clothes and if you had shoes you were really lucky.
2 months ago
My Mom and Dad experienced it and told me about it."
Having Fun -
Family Life During the Great Depression
Going to School
During the Great Depression
What was life like for the
Children of the Depression
from the Library of Congress Learning Page:
Visions In the Dust
A Child's Perspective of the Dust Bowl
Jan King and Rena Nisbet
"Much of history is interpreted from an adult point of view. This unit helps students gain an understanding of Dust Bowl history through the eyes of a child. Using Karen Hesse’s Newbery Award-winning
Out of the Dust
as an introduction to this aspect of the Great Depression, students have the opportunity to identify with the personal experiences of youth in the 1930s. In addition, students examine primary source materials of the period to correlate the fictional text with actual visual, auditory, and manuscript accounts as found in the
collections" Library of Congress Learning Page
American Memory collections:
//America From the Great Depression to World War II: Black-and-White Photographs From the FSA and OWI//
//Voices From the Dust Bowl: The Charles L. Todd and Robert Sonkin Migrant Worker Collection//
//The American Experience: Surviving the Dust Bowl//
. Washington, D.C.:PBS Online by WGBH, 1998.
, accessed May 31, 2000.
Out of the Dust
, noting Billy Jo's experiences in the Dust Bowl.
Guided Reading Journal
, students keep a guided journal noting specific passages relating to:
After reading the novel, as a group examine the cover of
Out of the Dust
, noting the photograph of Lucille Burroughs. She was used to visually depict Hesse's character, Billy Jo. Using the same photoanalysis technique in Step One, discuss with students the possible origins of the photograph. Why was this photograph used? After a brainstorming session, students can review the original image of
Lucille Burroughs with its bibliographic record
found in America from the Great Depression to World War II: Black-and-White Photographs from the FSA and OWI, ca. 1935-1945.
Evaluation & Extension
Student assessment is determined by teacher and peer evaluations based on how closely student-selected images depict text selected in the student's Guided Reading Journal.
Voices from the Dust Bowl: the Charles L. Todd and Robert Sonkin Migrant Worker Collection, 1940-1941
to look for songs that Billy Jo may have played on her piano or that Mad Dog Craddock and the Black Mesa Boys may have sung. (2-3 days)
American Life Histories: Manuscripts from the Federal Writers Project, 1936-1940
to compare the experiences of Billy Jo and her family to those in other parts of the nation during the Great Depression. (2-3 days)
This lesson lends itself for use with other works of historical fiction teamed with other collections within American Memory.
Classes could also read Christopher Paul Curtis’
Bud, Not Buddy
to learn a Michigan child’s perspective of the Great Depression and compare it to
Out of the Dust
A Child's Life During the Dust Bowl
help on how to format text
Turn off "Getting Started"