The Dust Bowl and Great Depression

Classroom Resources Brought to You by KET

In preparation for Mission US' soon-to-be-released 5th game, "Up from the Dust," we've gathered up classroom-ready resources on the Dust Bowl and Great Depression in America. The newest mission will focus on the lives of Frank and Ginny Dunn, twin teens from the Texas Panhandle. The Dunn family faces the "dual disasters" of the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression. The mission will show students why the depression was such a profound national calamity, as well as its impact on average Americans.

Coming soon to www.Mission-US.org.

Organic Farming: Conserving Topsoil

Organic Farming: Conserving Topsoil. Fueled by economic pressure to maximize crop yields and government incentives to produce only one type of crop, contemporary American farmers have been facing a crisis reminiscent of one that hit the Great Plains in the 1930s. In this video segment adapted from Interactive NOVA, learn why more and more farmers are opting for sustainable, organic farming practices to help preserve the valuable topsoil that they rely on for their livelihoods and society relies on for a continuing supply of grains and produce.

PBS LearningMedia. 3-13+.

Taking Care of Farm and Family During the Great Depression

Taking Care of Farm and Family During the Great Depression. Find out how the Great Depression made farm life even more difficult while many rural families found creative solutions to their problems in this video from Iowa Public Television. As the Great Depression began, what was a challenging life on the farm became more difficult. There was very little money on hand to keep the farm going from year to year and to purchase what they could not produce themselves. Many farm families found creative solutions to their problems. Communities came together to help one another whether it was to build a new barn, or bring in harvest.

PBS LearningMedia. 5-12.

Farmers Fear Bankruptcy During the Great Depression

Farmers Fear Bankruptcy During the Great Depression. Learn about the thousands of family farms that were lost due to bankruptcy during the Great Depression in this video from Iowa Public Television. During the Great Depression, thousands of family farms were lost due to bankruptcy. Farmers could not make payments on loans because the cost of production exceeded their profits. Those who were able to stay in business were in constant fear of losing their farm.

PBS LearningMedia. 5-12.

The First Measured Century | Lesson Plan 6: The Great Depression: What would it be like today?

The First Measured Century | Lesson Plan 6: The Great Depression: What would it be like today?. The First Measured Century project presents a unique look at American History, using data to show us where we've been and where we might be going. In this lesson students calculate the percentage decline in factors affecting the quality of life such as wages and unemployment, from before the Depression to the beginning of the New Deal. Find the associated handout here.

PBS LearningMedia. 6-12.

Ken Burns' The Dust Bowl: Interactive

Ken Burns' The Dust Bowl: Interactive. You are about to embark on an experience that will show you what life was like on the southern Great Plains during the Dust Bowl. On your journey you will learn about the changing market and weather conditions and be asked to make decisions about whether to play it safe and keep your farm the same size or expand it for a greater profit. You will also meet several of your "neighbors," who are doing their best to make it. Some will stay on the land, trying to scrap out a living. Others will say "enough" and head west. What choices will you make?

PBS LearningMedia. 6-12.

Dust Bowl Migrations

Dust Bowl Migrations. Throughout the Dust Bowl decade, the Plains were torn by climatic extremes. In addition to dirt storms, residents of the Great Plains suffered through blizzards, tornadoes, floods, droughts, earthquakes, and record high and low temperatures. This set of primary resources from the Library of Congress includes images and recordings that provide insight into the lives of the people that suffered through this horrific disaster. A Teacher's Guide is also included to provide historical context and teaching suggestions.

PBS LearningMedia. 6-12.

Documenting the Dust Bowl

Documenting the Dust Bowl. The Dust Bowl and resulting western migration that occurred in the 1930s is explored in this video segment from the American Masters film Dorothea Lange: Grab a Hunk of Lightning. The agricultural devastation and ensuing migration is documented through the eyes and photographs of documentary photographer Dorothea Lange as she captures the influx on film. The segment discusses the causes and consequences of the Dust Bowl and contrasts the migrant farmers’ hopes of finding an “American Dream” in California with the distraught reality of farm life on the west coast during this time.

PBS LearningMedia. 7-12.

The 1930s - Photo Gallery

The 1930s - Photo Gallery. Explore photos demonstrating the impact of the Great Depression on society and culture, including jazz and sports. Learn more with this gallery from American Experience: "The 1930s."

PBS LearningMedia. 9-12.

Surviving the Dust Bowl - Biography: Hugh Hammond Bennett

Surviving the Dust Bowl - Biography: Hugh Hammond Bennett. Hugh Hammond Bennett, "the father of soil conservation," worked to lessen the impact of the Dust Bowl in the early 1930s. Learn more with this biography from American Experience: "Surviving the Dust Bowl."

PBS LearningMedia. 9-12.

The Great Depression

The Great Depression. The Great Depression was a landmark event in American history. This video takes a look at how the U.S. government responded to this historic financial collapse. Also, how Republicans have dealt with grave economic issues.

PBS LearningMedia. 9-12.

The Great Depression | Crash Course US History #33

The Great Depression | Crash Course US History #33. In which John Green teaches you about the Great Depression. So, everybody knows that the Great Depression started with the stock market crash in 1929, right? Not exactly. The Depression happened after the stock market crash, but wasn't caused by the crash. John will teach you about how the depression started, what Herbert Hoover tried to do to fix it, and why those efforts failed.

PBS LearningMedia. 9-13+.

The New Deal | Crash Course US History #34

The New Deal | Crash Course US History #34. In which John Green teaches you about the New Deal, which was president Franklin D. Roosevelt's plan to pull the United States out of the Great Depression of the 1930's. John will teach you about some of the most effective and some of the best known programs of the New Deal. They weren't always the same thing. John will also tell you who supported the New Deal, and who opposed it. He'll also get into how the New Deal changed the relationship between the government and citizens, and will even reveal just how the Depression ended.

PBS LearningMedia. 9-13+.

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