1) Given the handout called "The Great Depression," in groups, students will generate a five question survey to ask a panel of persons who lived during the U.S. Economic Depression (or who know much about it).
2) Given the information from the panel about the Depression, students will write either essays or poems describing why it is particularly bad for Grandpa to lose his home at this time.
Materials: Handout titled "The Great Depression" (see appendix), A panel of persons (3-6) who either lived through the depression, or who know much about it, reference books (see book list)
1) Teacher separates students into groups, either by counting off, or by using the name cards (made previously for the Decision Tree activity).
2) Each group of students is given a copy of "The Great Depression" to read. Have students within groups take turns reading, paragraph by paragraph, so that everyone participates. If this is not appropriate for your class, a "reader" can be selected.
3) After reading, each group will write a 5-question survey to ask the panel. More than 5 questions might be difficult to have answered because of time restraints (if there are any!). Questions should be related to finding out what life was really like during the Great Depression. If students feel they need more information, have them use books from the book list.Teacher should circulate the room while questions are being written to assure that only appropriate questions are asked. Explain to students that "appropriate" questions for this survey tie directly to the Depression and how it affected people.
4) Have a panel of persons who lived through the Depression come to class and answer students' questions. Many of the people available might be hearing impaired, so be sure that students know to speak up. Teacher might want to arrange for a microphone. Each group of students needs to select a note-taker to take notes while the panel is answering their questions. Each group takes turns asking their questions. If a group's question has already been asked, tell the group to ask another question.
5) Following the panel question/answer time, students will write either an essay or poem (their choice) describing why it is particularly difficult for Grandpa to be losing his home at this time. They should use specific examples from the questions they had answered by the panel. For instance: Losing his home at this time would've been terrible because money was extremely tight for most Americans then. (Given the question: Was money hard to get then?)
1) Collect students' surveys with questions and answers filled out. Check for completeness.
2) Teacher checks students' poems/essays looking for specific examples from the panel's responses (such as feelings, emotions, or specific incidents) that would help explain why it is particularly bad for Grandpa to lose his home at this time.
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