external image 0590371258.01.LZZZZZZZ.jpgOut of the Dust by Karen Hesse a 6th Grade Research Unit.

Here are some pictures and images from the Great Depression
MoreImages from the Great Depression with some thoughtful questions
Link thisExcerpts from "The Dust Bowl, Men, Dirt and Depression" by Paul Bonnifield.
from the 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

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external image dor67.jpgexternal image top2.gif
Migrant Farm Families of the Dust Bowl
Photos with Original Captions by Dorthea Lange: external image moz-screenshot.png
"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:

What was the Dust Bowl? Read:

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:

external image 03054r.jpgVisions 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 American Memory collections" Library of Congress Learning Page
Also see:

American Memory collections:
//The American Experience: Surviving the Dust Bowl//. Washington, D.C.:PBS Online by WGBH, 1998. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/dustbowl, accessed May 31, 2000.

  1. Students read Out of the Dust, noting Billy Jo's experiences in the Dust Bowl.
  2. Using the Guided Reading Journal, students keep a guided journal noting specific passages relating to:
    • school life
    • community life
    • family life
    • government assistance
    • agriculture
  3. 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.

A Child's Life During the Dust Bowl

a WebQuest