In the years following the Stock Market Crash of 1929, America was thrown into a time that challenged its economic, political and social foundations. Although generally not the wage earners in their families, women from all walks of life were significantly affected by what came to be known as the Great Depression. Throughout the 1930's, women supported their families in a variety of ways to help pull themselves, their loved ones, and the nation out of these hard times.
In the days ahead, students will research the lives of both real and fictional female characters of 1930's America. Required resources will include books, web sites, and personal interviews with Drepression-era survivors. Students will choose a female character to assume and produce a letter that could have been written to someone else in that same time period. The letter should demonstrate a familiararity with several elements of life during the Great Depression, including the effects the government and economy had on American society--especially women. The letter will be evaluated on its coverage of elements, form, and creativity (see grading criteria).
A. Conduct background research on the Great Depression, with a focus on the economic effects and the government's reaction to the event. (2 days)
a type of female character from the list below to portray in your
|child from an
teenager from an average family
wife/mother in an average family
an artisan (ie: actress, singer, dancer, artist, writer, etc.)
another type of public figure (ie: gangster, politician, sportswoman, etc.)
professional (ie: teacher, secretary, store clerk, etc.)
D. Plan, draft, and edit a letter about some relevant topic(s). (2 days)
There is much information about the Great Depression and relevant primary sources available on line. Below are just a few examples:
The Great Depression and the
New Deal--Gives a historical overview of the
Depression and its causes, and compares the New Deal with similar
social programs that followed in its wake.
Internet Modern History Sourcebook: The Depression--Divided into three useful topics related to the Great Depression.
New Deal Network--Primary source documents and several articles about the time of the Great Depression (submitted by Kate R, 8th grade, in October of 1999).
Breadline--Companion site for 1999 "Peoples' Century" documentary on PBS includes interviews.
Library of Congress: American Memory Search Page--Use this search engine to find many interviews, primary source documents, and more.
As mentioned above, the letter will be
evaluated on content, form, and creativity:
|1. relevant facts related to culture, economics, and politics of 1930's America||15 points|
|2. grammar and spelling||05 points|
|3. creativity||05 points|