The Dust Bowl is an important part of the study of the Great Depression and New Deal. However, there is not always a lot of time to spend for an in-depth study. This allows for students to get an overview of what it is, what caused it, devistation it causes, and the consequences. Students also look at two primary sources - a photograph and a quote - and analyze.
In 1931, a severe drought hit the Southern and Midwestern plains. As crops died and winds picked up, dust storms began. As the "Dust Bowl" photograph shows, crops literally blew away in "black blizzards" as years of poor farming practices and over-cultivation combined with the lack of rain. By 1934, 75% of the United States was severely affected by this terrible drought.The one-two punch of economic depression and bad weather put many farmers out of business. In the early 1930s, thousands of Dust Bowl refugees ? mainly from Oklahoma, Texas, Colorado, Kansas, and New Mexico ? packed up their families and migrated west, hoping to find work. Entire families migrated together (such as the men shown in "Three generations of Texans now Drought Refugees") in search of a better life. Images such as "Midcontinent ? Family Standing on the Road with Car," "Drought Refugees," and "Untitled, ca. 1935 (Worn-Down Family in Front of Tent)" offer a glimpse into their experience on the road, and show that cars provided many families both transportation and shelter on the road. About 200,000 of the migrants headed for California. The state needed to figure out how to absorb the thousands of destitute people crossing its borders daily. One of their tactics was to document the plight of the refugees. In 1935, photographer Dorothea Lange joined the Rural Rehabilitation Division of the California State Emergency Relief Administration (SERA), a section of the Federal Emergency Relief Administration. She was assigned the job of using her camera to document the growing number of homeless Dust Bowl refugees migrating to California. She worked with Paul S. Taylor, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, who was researching conditions of rural poverty in order to make recommendations on how to improve the workers' conditions. The work by Taylor and Lange played an important role in helping to raise public awareness of the crisis. The reports they made for the government included both data and striking images that revealed the desperate conditions in which the migrants lived and confirmed the need for government intervention. Stark images such as "Home of Oklahoma Drought Refugees" resonated with the public, and portraits of drought refugees like "Ruby from Arkansas" and others shown in this topic humanized the migrants for more fortunate citizens. In March 1936, Lange took what became one of her most famous images, "Migrant Mother." This image of a 32-year-old woman became an icon for the suffering of ordinary people during Great Depression.
This list of carefully selected books for grades K-5 highlights nonfiction about climate proxies, those preserved physical characteristics, such as fossils, that scientists use to reconstruct past climates. Also highlighted are a few books that provide information about two past climatic events -- the last ice age and the Dust Bowl. In each issue of the free, online magazine Beyond Weather and the Water Cycle, the virtual bookshelf recommends books that accurately portray the theme drawn from the principles of climate sciences.
- Applied Science
- Forestry and Agriculture
- Life Science
- Physical Science
- Space Science
- Material Type:
- Teaching/Learning Strategy
- Ohio State University College of Education and Human Ecology
- Provider Set:
- Beyond Weather and the Water Cycle
- Jessica Fries-Gaither
- National Science Foundation
- Date Added:
Students analyze Dorothea Lange's photographs and identify key themes in her work. They then create a thematic exhibition pairing Lange's work with work by artists who explore the same themes in other media.
Students examine primary resources, photographs by Dorothea Lange, and a U.S. map to understand the migrant experience during the Great Depression.
This collection uses primary sources to explore John Steinbeck's novel, The Grapes of Wrath. Digital Public Library of America Primary Source Sets are designed to help students develop their critical thinking skills and draw diverse material from libraries, archives, and museums across the United States. Each set includes an overview, ten to fifteen primary sources, links to related resources, and a teaching guide. These sets were created and reviewed by the teachers on the DPLA's Education Advisory Committee.
A Dust Bowl saga of the Joad family's rough passage to California and the rougher treatment they find there, John Steinbeck's novel is tragedy and comedy, story and allegory, editorial and epic. The Big Read Readers Guide deepens your exploration with interviews, booklists, timelines, and historical information. We hope this guide and syllabus allow you to have fun with your students while introducing them to the work of a great american author.
Students pair Dorothea Lange's photographs with passages from John Steinbeck's novel The Grapes of Wrath. Students create an oral group presentation and discuss the relationship between the images and text.
Students analyze one of Dorothea Lange's photographs and make connections to its historical context by creating a one-page written and visual response.
Make connections between Dorothea Lange's images and the history of the Dust Bowl, the Depression, World War II, and large-scale agriculture in the United States. Students learn about the role of photography in news stories and write their own news story.
U.S. History is designed to meet the scope and sequence requirements of most introductory courses. The text provides a balanced approach to U.S. history, considering the people, events, and ideas that have shaped the United States from both the top down (politics, economics, diplomacy) and bottom up (eyewitness accounts, lived experience). U.S. History covers key forces that form the American experience, with particular attention to issues of race, class, and gender.Senior Contributing AuthorsP. Scott Corbett, Ventura CollegeVolker Janssen, California State University, FullertonJohn M. Lund, Keene State CollegeTodd Pfannestiel, Clarion UniversityPaul Vickery, Oral Roberts UniversitySylvie Waskiewicz
The Stock Market Crash of 1929President Hoover’s ResponseThe Depths of the Great DepressionAssessing the Hoover Years on the Eve of the New Deal
By the end of this section, you will be able to:Identify the challenges that everyday Americans faced as a result of the Great Depression and analyze the government’s initial unwillingness to provide assistanceExplain the particular challenges that African Americans faced during the crisisIdentify the unique challenges that farmers in the Great Plains faced during this period
A short history on the environmental impact of the Dust Bowl on farmers in the 1930s. Also included is a local history of Modesto's Airport District, written by Dr. Talitha Agan.