Effects of the Great Depression

Effects of the Great Depression

I can describe the effects that the Great Depression had on the United States.

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Effects of the Great Depression

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Students will explore the conditions in the communities of the United States during the Great Depression. Students learn how many people were impoverished and evicted from their homes or lost their farms due to foreclosure. They will also learn about the Dust Bowl and explore the ways in which people coped during these hard times. The lesson includes a Venn Diagram and an analysis of several images.

Learning Objective

Students will be able to examine the effects of the Great Depression on American families in terms of the loss of jobs, wealth, and homes.


Students will review what they learned about the causes of the Great Depression. Then they will discuss how they believe the Great Depression affected the daily lives of families and how they think people were able to cope during this time.


Describe how people’s lives were changed thanks to the Great Depression. Have students analyze the photograph by Dorothea Lange, “Migrant Mother.” They should list 3 adjectives to describe the family in the photo. After this, teach students about “Hoovervilles” and ask them to analyze the photo on the board. Outside of cities, explain that rural areas suffered too. Briefly go over the Dust Bowl and its effects on the lives of farmers in Oklahoma, Kansas, New Mexico, and Colorado. Have students use a Venn Diagram to compare and contrast the experiences of farmers and city dwellers during this time.

Continue to describe the effects on the American family, including children who often tried to find work as young teenagers. Explain that they often watched movies and listened to the radio to cope with the difficult times. Describe some of President Hoover’s efforts like the building of the Hoover Dam and the passing of the Emergency Relief and Construction Act.


Check student understanding with ten multiple-choice, fill-in, and true or false questions.


Students will write a journal entry from the perspective of someone living during the Great Depression. The journal entry should describe their daily life and struggles.

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