Causes and Effects of the Great Depression



Students will list three ways people were affected by the Great Depression



1. If you lived during the Great Depression, what do you think life would have been like? What is Great Depression?
2. We have been learning about the twentieth century and the roaring twenties.
3. Today we are going to learn about the Great Depression. Some of your grandparents may have lived during this time. Today we will learn what caused the Great Depression and how it effected people during the 1930's.
4. A depression is a time when many businesses fail and lots of people do not have jobs. There were many causes for the Great Depression. In the twenties, many people bought stocks and put a lot of money into them. A stock is where people or businesses can buy pieces of a company. The prices were very high in the twenties, but people got nervous and began to sell their stocks. Finally, on October 24, 1929, the stock market crashed. Because of this, many banks, businesses and individuals lost all of their money and had to lay their workers off. During the 1930's 1/4 of the people had no jobs
There was also a drought in the great plains, and the land had been farmed so much that many of the nutrients, and the top soil had been stripped. When the wind began to blow, it blew the topsoil away and created huge dust storms. Because of this, farmers could not grow enough to pay for their homes, and so they were taken away by larger businesses. Some of these people gathered the little they had and traveled west to find work picking oranges or other fruit and vegetables in California and along the way. They traveled on what is called the Mother Road. Some homeless people lived in cardboard boxes that came to be called Hoovervilles because President Hoover was president and he did not want to involve the government to fix the problem. There were also many breadlines, where people stood in line for food. People had to wear a lot of hand me down clothes and do lots of patching and mending. Many people stuffed cardboard in their shoes to cover the holes so they could wear them longer.
5. Show pictures and discuss So, what is the Great Depression? And how did it effect people? What might this picture show? What would you do if you were in this situation? How would you feel?
6. Students will write a quick list about the depression: what started it, and three ways it affected people.
7. Students will take ten to fifteen minutes to write the lists.
8. They will then pair up and share with one another what they have written.
9. Lists will be collected.


Students lists will show their understanding of three ways people were affected by the Great Depression.


Submitted by Jenny M. Cook

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