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.