Great Depression Unit Plan

Instructor: Shanna Fox

Shanna has been an educator for 20 years and earned her Master of Education degree in 2017. She enjoys using her experience to provide engaging resources for other teachers.

Teaching the Great Depression to high school students can seem overwhelming. Not to worry! Utilize this unit plan to guide your students through the social, economic, and political factors that were part of this important part of American history.

Great Depression

The Great Depression was a ten-year period in American history replete with complex economic, political, and social issues, and it's essential that students are provided a strong framework and a method for organizing the vast amount of information with which they will be presented. This unit plan, which utilizes lesson plans and discussion questions, as well as activity and project ideas, will help you guide your high school students through an in-depth exploration of the many factors that must be considered when studying the Great Depression.

Unit Outline

You can get started by setting some essential questions to guide your path. Then, resources will guide you through providing students with a solid overview to serve as a foundation for the more detailed aspects of the time period. Economics, politics, and society will each be studied as separate segments, as will, due to its complexity, the Dust Bowl. Finally, you'll wrap up by presenting students with essay and project topics to assess their learning. Extensions are also provided, and these will allow you to explore current events or literature that reflect aspects of life during the Great Depression.

Pre-Unit Prep

Before launching into the unit, explore these Great Depression Essential Questions to help guide your instruction. Select a few key questions to include in your lesson plans or to post for students. Consider using some of these questions as you move through each lesson, to spur student thinking and discussion.

Topic Overview

To understand the Great Depression, students must be clear about the concept of a ''depression''. Use this Recession vs. Depression Lesson Plan to lay the groundwork. Then, guide students through the basics using this Great Depression Lesson Plan to give them an overview of the time period.

Next, explore the factors that precipitated and prolonged the Great Depression by engaging students in this Causes of the Great Depression Lesson Plan. Lastly, incorporate some Great Depression Teaching Activities to keep students thinking and applying their knowledge.

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