Great Depression

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The lesson introduces students to the Great Depression in the United States between 1929 and 1939.  Many students may not be aware the depression and its impact on the country and its influence on future decisions of the government.  There are excellent videos of first-person accounts of the Great Depression available in the Additional Resources for the lesson.  The lesson could also be used to compare life today to life during the 1930s, when things were much worse for many Americans.  The Great Depression lesson can be used in conjunction with a New Deal lesson, or other lessons related to events during that era.

Great Depression Lesson Plan Includes:

  • Full Teacher Guidelines with Creative Teaching Ideas
  • Instructional Content Pages about The Great Depression
  • Hands-on homework activities
  • Answer Keys
  • Common Core State Standards
  • Many Additional Links and Resources
  • Built for Grades 4-6 but can be adapted for other grade levels.

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Description

Introduce your students to the Great Depression in the United States, a challenging economic time period between 1929 and 1939.  This lesson details the impact the Depression had on the country and its influence on future decisions of the government.    The lesson could also be used to compare life today to life during the 1930s, when things were much worse for many Americans.  The lesson can be used in conjunction with the New Deal lesson, or other lessons related to events during that era.  Excellent videos of first-person accounts of the Great Depression are available in the Additional Resources for the lesson.

Sample Classroom Procedure / Teacher Instruction: 

  1. Tell students that tomorrow they will only be permitted to eat a small meal the entire day. They may not eat any other food.  Ask:  What do you think it would be like if that is all you had to eat each day?
  2. Allow for responses and discussion. Do you believe this has ever happened in the history of the United States?
  3. Allow for responses and discussion. How do you think this could have happened?  Do you think it could ever happen again?
  4. Allow for responses and discussion. Introduce the Great Depression.
  5. Distribute Great Depression content pages. Read and review the information with the students.  During the content reading, ask students to compare their life today with those during the Depression.  What is the same?  What is different?  Save the final question for the lesson closing.  Use the additional resources to enhance understanding.
  6. Distribute Activity page. Read and review the instructions.  Pair the students.  Encourage students to spend time on each picture, discuss and respond using their own Activity pages.
  7. Once completed, the pairs of students share the responses with the class. For the last question, display the students’ responses in a list.  Encourage students to help people who may be in need today.
  8. Distribute Practice page. Check and review the students’ responses.
  9. Distribute the Homework page. The next day, check and review the students’ responses.
  10. In closing, ask students: Do you believe there could ever be another Great Depression in America?  Why or why not?

Common Core State Standards:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.4.3, CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.4.4, CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.5.3, CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.5.4, CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.6.2, CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.6.4

Class Sessions (45 minutes): at least 2 class sessions

Additional Resources:

Many more teaching resources in Download!

Want more social studies resources? Check out our other Social Studies Lesson Plans!

Additional information

Grade Level

4th Grade, 5th Grade, 6th Grade

Subject

Social Studies

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JD
03/01/2019
John D.
US

excellent

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