What Caused the Great Depression - Grade 10 by drk68785


									              What Caused the Great Depression? – Grade 10

      Ohio Standards             Lesson Summary: In this lesson, students will analyze the
       Connection:               many causes of major political, economic and social
                                 developments during the 1920s and 1930s with emphasis on
                                 the Great Depression. Students will also get a sense of the
Benchmark F                      despair and desperation felt by United States citizens during
Identify major historical        these difficult times.
patterns in the domestic
affairs of the United States
during the 20th century and
                                 Estimated Duration: Three hours and 20 minutes
explain their significance.

Indicator 9                      Commentary:
Analyze the major political,     The Great Depression is a singular event in the history of
economic and social              the United States. One reviewer noted that it is important
developments of the 1920s
                                 for students to understand that while there are constant
a. The Red Scare;                fluctuations in the typical business cycle, the circumstances
b. Women’s right to vote;        surrounding the Great Depression went beyond the
c. African-American              ordinary.
     migrations from the
      South to the North;
d. Immigration restrictions,     Pre-Assessme nt:
     nativism, race riots and    • Show students photographs from the 1920s and the 1930s.
     the reemergence of the
                                    For example, share a photograph of the activity on Wall
     Ku Klux Klan;
e. The Roaring Twenties             Street during the 1920s. Then, show students a photograph
     and the Harlem                 of a man in a pin-striped suit selling apples on the street
     Renaissance;                   during the 1930s.
f. Stock market speculation      • Have the students write a brief explanation of what they
     and the stock market
     crash of 1929.
                                    believe are the two most important reasons behind the
                                    changed conditions shown in the photographs.
Indicator 10
Analyze the causes and           Scoring Guidelines:
consequences of major            Review the student responses to determine the depth and
political, economic and social
developments of
                                 breadth of understanding related to the causes of the Great
the 1930s with emphasis on:      Depression. Use this information to determine the content
a. The Great Depression;         emphasis for the lesson.
b. The Dust Bowl;
c. The New Deal.                 Post-Assessment:
                                 • Distribute Attachment B, Post-Assessment.

                                 After a group discussion of the task, have students write a
                                 one- to two-page paper on five factors they think contributed
                                 to the onset of the Great Depression. Explanation of and
                                 support for each factor must be included.

             What Caused the Great Depression? – Grade 10
Scoring Guideline s:
Students will receive two points for each accurate explanation listed on Attachment C,
Post Assessment Sample Answers, OR one point for each explanation that is partially

Instructional Procedures:
Day One
1. Conduct the pre-assessment activity and discuss.
2. Provide students with a brief introduction to the idea of ‘business cycles’ or the
    expansion and contraction of the economy.
3. Have students read the relevant section(s) of the textbook as homework. Tell them to
    read for information related to the causes of the Great Depression and how it differed
    from normal recessions in the business cycle.

Day Two
4. Distribute Attachment A, Exploration Graphic Organizer, and explain that the
   students are to take no tes on each section of the chart as the lesson proceeds.
5. Ask a series of questions to elicit information about the causes of the Great
   Depression, such as: What was happening with international trade at this time? How
   was the manufacturing industry faring? What was happening in agriculture? How did
   the banking industry react at this time? As students share what they read for
   homework, help them make notes and categorize the information under the headings
   on Attachment A. If the textbook does not address one of the areas listed on
   Attachment A or has insufficient information, provide supplemental information. Use
   Attachment C, Post-Assessment Sample Answers, to provide commentary.

Day Three
6. Continue questioning students and help them finish completing Attachment A. Have
    students check their notes and answer any questions. Summarize points listed for each
    section of the chart.
7. Select excerpts from various historical fiction and non- fiction works about the Great
    Depression that relate to the causes of the Depression outline in the completed
    Attachment A and that show a sense of the despair and desperation of the times. Read
    the excerpts to the class.
8. Display four Depression-era photographs.
9. Tell students to analyze the photos and write a paragraph describing the ir general
10. Have students choose one person from the photos and write a one-page journal entry.
    The journal should be completed from that person’s perspective and should include a
    heading with the person’s name, location and the date. The body of the journal text
    should include a description of a typical day in the life of that person.
11. Give the students 20 minutes to complete this activity and have volunteers share what
    they wrote.

             What Caused the Great Depression? – Grade 10
Day Four
12. Have students complete the post-assessment. Determine student achievement by
    using the scoring guidelines.

Differentiated Instructional Support:
Instruction is differentiated according to learner needs, to help all learners either meet the
intent of the specified indicator(s) or, if the indicator is already met, to advance beyond
the specified indicator(s).
• Have students compare their Attachment A graphic organizers to check for accuracy
    and completeness.
• Provide students with peer note-takers.
• Provide extended time for completion of Attachment A.
• Allow students to choose a different method of assessment (oral, presentational, etc.)

Extensions :
• Have students find a current newspaper article that addresses one of the factors
   contributing to the Great Depression. Have students compare what is currently
   happening related to the selected factor with the conditions that led to the Great
   Depression. Ask students to explain why the country is, or is not, presently in a
• Provide students with the following list of prices for common goods circa. 1932-
   1934. Have students use newspaper ads to compare current prices for the same goods.

   Sirloin steak (per pound)     $0.29         Milk (per quart)               .10
   Chicken (per pound)             .22         Cheese (per pound)             .29
   Bread (20-ounce loaf)           .05         Tomatoes (16-ounce can)        .09
   Potatoes (per pound)            .02         Oranges (per dozen)            .27
   Bananas (per pound)             .07         Cornflakes (8 ounces)          .08

   Discuss with students the role played by inflation when comparing prices from any
   era with today’s prices. Have students compare the relative prices for two goods in
   the different time periods (e.g., a quart of milk costs twice as much as a 20-ounce loaf
   of bread in 1932-1934; today a quart of milk costs ____ relative to the cost for a 20-
   ounce loaf of bread).

Homework Options and Home Connections :
Have students read an article on a recent recession, researching the causes and
government responses. Tell students to look for similarities in the causes of all recessions
and compare them to the causes of the Great Depression. Have them identify
developments during the 1930s that made the Depression unique in American history.

             What Caused the Great Depression? – Grade 10
Interdisciplinary Connections :
• English Language Arts
    Have students read poetry about the Great Depression and do journal- writing on the
    feelings portrayed in the poem(s).
• Fine Arts: Visual Art
    Have students research the Depression era photographs of Dorothea Lange, present
    the subjects of her photography and explain how they convey a sense of the times.

Materials and Resources:
The inclusion of a specific resource in any lesson formulated by the Ohio Department of
Education should not be interpreted as an endorsement of that particular resource, or
any of its contents, by the Ohio Department of Education. The Ohio Department of
Education does not endorse any particular resource. The Web addresses listed are for a
given site’s main page, therefore, it may be necessary to search within that site to find the
specific information required for a given lesson. Please note that information published
on the Internet changes over time, therefore the links provided may no longer contain the
specific information related to a given lesson. Teachers are advised to preview all sites
before using them with students.

For the teacher: Photographs of the 1920s and 1930s, literature selections on the Great
                 Depression, computer, access to Internet.

For the students: Writing supplies, textbook.

• Great Depression
• credit
• speculation
• stock exchange
• buying on margin
• Black Tuesday
• Dow Jones Industrial Average (Dow)
• trade policy
• regulatory policy
• monetary policy
• fiscal policy

Technology Connections :
Photographs may be obtained from Library of Congress, American Memory Website:

             What Caused the Great Depression? – Grade 10
Research Connections :
Marzano, R. et al. Classroom Instruction that Works: Research-Based Strategies for
Increasing Student Achievement, Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and
Curriculum Development, 2001.

       Note taking is a powerful skill that helps students identify important aspects of
       what they are learning.

General Tips :
For an alternative perspective on this era’s events, discuss the “Black Wall Street” of the
time, the Greenwood District of Tulsa, OK. All students can benefit from seeing
“prosperity” in various communities.

Attachment A, Exploration Graphic Organizer
Attachment B, Post-Assessment
Attachment C, Post-Assessment Sample Answers

          What Caused the Great Depression? – Grade 10
                                      Attachment B
                                 Post-Assessment Prompt

Directions : Examine the list below of related factors that helped lead the country into the
Great Depression. Choose five of the factors and write a one- to two-page paper detailing the
role of each one in pushing the country towards the Great Depression. Support your
explanation for each factor.

Related Factors:
• An old and decaying industrial base;
• The overexpansion of farm production;
• The availability of easy credit;
• Unequal distribution of income;
• Hoarding of money;
• Stock market speculation and buying on margin;
• Bank failures;
• Monetary and fiscal policies;
• Trade and regulatory policies.

           What Caused the Great Depression? – Grade 10
                                      Attachment C
                             Post-Assessment Sample Answers

•   An old and decaying industrial base:
    Outmoded equipment made industries less competitive, leading to reduced sales and
    increased unemployment. The unemployed were unable to spend money which further
    reduced demand for goods.

•   The overexpansion of farm production:
    Even as the wartime market for American farm production disappeared, farmers
    maintained production levels. They produced more than they could sell, prices for farm
    goods fell, and farmers found themselves unable to pay debts. As a result, they cut back
    on purchases and investments.

•   The availability of easy credit:
    Creditors made loans with easy terms and people increasingly purchased goods on
    installment plans. Investors also used credit to purchase stocks (buying on margin). As
    debt grew and people lost jobs, they were unable to pay off creditors and defaulted on
    loans. This contributed to eventual bank failures. Consumers also cut spending. When
    stock prices fell, stockholders who bought on margin were unable pay off brokers.

•   Unequal distribution of income:
    A small percentage of Americans received most of the nation’s income during the 1920s.
    Industrial workers and farmers had little money. This kept overall consumer demand low
    and provided no incentive for business expansion.

•   Hoarding of money:
    Individuals mistrusted the banks, withdrew their money from accounts and liquidated
    their assets. The hoarding of money caused a constriction of the available money supply,
    causing interest rates to increase, and stifling business expansion.

•   Stock market speculation and buying on margin:
    Throughout the 1920s, America’s confidence was high and many people began to
    increasingly invest in the stock market. The market on the New York Stock Exchange
    began an unprecedented rise in 1928. By September 3, 1929 the market reached a record
    high of 381 points on the Dow. Then the decline began. Many did not think it would last,
    but on October 24, panic selling began as 12.8 million shares changed hands. Then came
    Black Tuesday, October 29, 1929. The market plummeted. Millions of dollars were lost.
    Many who had bought on margin (credit) were expected to pay back debts with money
    they did not have because the stocks they used to secure the loans were worthless.

           What Caused the Great Depression? – Grade 10
                                Attachment C (continued)
                             Post-Assessment Sample Answers

•   Bank failures:
    Banks that had invested heavily in the stock market and real estate lost their depositors’
    money. A panic started as people lined up at the banks to get their money. Unfortunately
    for many, the money was not there.

•   Monetary and fiscal policies
    Monetary and fiscal policies of the federal government aggravated problematic economic
    conditions during the 1920s. The Federal Reserve kept interest rates low and encouraged
    borrowing (monetary policy). Taxes levied by the federal government perpetuated the
    unequal distribution of wealth (fiscal policy).

•   Trade and regulatory policies
    Trade and regulatory policies of the federal government also contributed to the
    problematic economic conditions during the 1920s. High U.S. tariffs not only made
    foreign goods more expensive, but also encouraged retaliation by foreign countries. As
    foreign tariff walls were erected, there were reduced sales of American goods overseas
    (trade policy). The federal government failed to curb unfair business practices and stock
    market speculation. This contributed to business failures and the stock market crash of
    1929 (regulatory policy).


To top