Lesson One: Dust and Depression
- How did everyday life change for people living in the 1920s?
- Why were times so hard for farmers and ranchers?
- How did South Dakota try to strengthen its economy?
- What happened after the stock market crashed in 1929?
Imbedded Information in the Student Lesson:; state cement plant; Chinese ring-necked pheasant
Changing Times Crossword Puzzle
Divide students into teams and have them create a short radio program about a family living in the 1920s. As part of the project, have students create a radio commercial for a "new" electric iron, stove, vacuum cleaner, refrigerator, or washing machine. When students have scripted their show and commercial, have each group perform for the class. As an alternative, each group could record its performance on tape and play it for the class, more closely simulating the radio experience for the audience.
Discuss with the class what economic hard times meant to individuals and their families. Discuss how the loss of a job affected people. Have the class study the Great Depression photographs in the student lesson. Then have them write a short story about the era. As another resource for the students, encourage them to interview older adults who lived through the era.
Take the students on a field trip to a retirement center. Before going, have the students compile a list of questions to ask the residents. Sample questions include: What do you have today that you did not have as a child? How did you travel from one place to another? What did you experience during the Dust Bowl? Did you have electricity and running water in your house sixty years ago? The students can take notebooks to record the answers. Back in the classroom, have the students compare the residentsí early experiences to their own modern lives.