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Great Depression Web Quest

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Library/Media Standards

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Tech Standards

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What was life like during the Great Depression?

Ms. Reyes, ESL

- Introduction

In your literature class, you are reading Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse. This book presents a fictional character who lived during the Dust Bowl in Oklahoma. For this web quest your research will be about life for the people during the Great Depression and in particular the Dust Bowl.

- Task

Each group will teach a lesson about the Great Depression to the class. In order to plan the lesson, each group member must complete reserach using print, database and web resources. After the research is completed, each group will design a lesson that they will present via a PowerPoint presentation to the class as a whole. Finally, each group member will contribute 4 rich test questions to the group's test for students to take after the presentations are completed. To complete the project, each group member will reflect in writing about how this process has helped or hindered their learning.

- Process 1: Groups

The class will be divided into eight groups. Each will have a different group question regarding the Dust Bowl experience during the Great Depression to research and teach.




What was the farmer's experience during the Great Depression?


How did the weather contribute the economic problems during the Great Depression?

Rural Life

What was life like on the plains during the Great Depression?

Urban Life

What was life like in the cities during the Great Depression?


What was the experience of the refugees from the Dust Bowl during their search for work?


How did the crash of 1929 show weakness in the American economy?


How did Roosevelt's New Deal policies ease the difficulties of the depression?

Global Background

What was the relationship like between the United States and Europe during the 1930s?

Every group will create a (n):
- Lesson
- PowerPoint Presentation
- Assessment
- Reflection

- Process 2: Individuals

Every student will contribute to the lesson by:
- Researching one sub-question;
- Creating two PPT slides;
- Developing 1 assessment question for the test to go with their lesson;
- Reflecting in writing upon their learning for the group reflection.

- Timeline

Step 1: Your teacher will assign you to a group and hand out "Worksheet 1: Research ".

- As a group, decide on some subquestions you will ask related to your main question (given in the table above).

Step 2:  You will come to the library to find information to help you answer your subquestions.  Each person will need to find 1 print resource, 1 web resource, and 1 database resource.

- To find a print resource, click on the "Destiny" icon under "resources" on the right side of the page to access the MHS library catalog.  For help using the catalog, open the "Using Destiny" document under "files" on the right side of the page.

- To find a web resource, click on the "Nettrekker" icon under "resources" on the right side of the page to access Nettrekker (a database of internet sites and pages that are pre-screened for student research).  For help using Nettrekker, open the "Using Nettrekker" document under "files" on the right side of the page.

- To find a database resource, click on the "SFPL Databases" icon under "resources" on the right side of the page to access the San Francisco Public Library databases menu.  You will need an SFPL card and Personal Identification Number (PIN) to access the databases.  For help using the databases, open the "Using SFPL databases" document under "files" on the right side of the page.

Fill out your worksheet with the information you find from each of your sources.  Based on the information you have found, you may also want to modify or change your subquestion.

Step 3:  You will use the information on your worksheet to create a bibliography using Noodletools.

- If you have not created a Noodeltools account, click on the "Noodletools visual pathway" document under "files" at the right side of the page, and complete Part 1.

- Once you have a Noodletools account, complete part 2 of the Noodletools visual pathway for your 3 resources.  For each resource, copy what you wrote on your worksheet as the answer to your subquestion in the field labeled "Annotation".

Step 4:  Now you will create a PowerPoint presentation to present your lesson to the group.

- Open "Worksheet 2: PowerPoint" under "files" and fill it out.

- As a group, open the "Powerpoint template" under "files" and copy the information from your Powerpoint worksheets into your template.

- Find images to insert into your slides, save those images, and insert them into the slides. 

- If you have time, you may customize the fonts, layouts, and colors of your slides.

- Dropoff your completed PowerPoint presentation in the School Loop dropbox for this assignment.

Step 5:  With your group, open and complete the "assessment worksheet" under the "files" section.  Turn in your worksheet to your teacher before presentations begin.

Step 6: Teach your lesson to the class!

- Evaluation

Your final lesson will be evaluated according to this rubric.

- Conclusion

After all groups have taught their lessons, you should have a good idea of what the Great Depression was and the impact it had on various parts of society. Take time to reflect on the ways that the current social, economic, and political climates in the USA are similar to and different from those that led up to the Great Depression.  How can the lessons learned by studying this period of history help us to make better decisions and avoid some of the worst consequences suffered by those who came before us?

- Credits

This webquest was originally created by Ms. Powers and Ms. Reyes.  It was updated and modified for School Loop by Mr. McDonell and Ms. Reyes.



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