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Great Depression Activity/Hubbard  

Last Updated: May 18, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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Below are databases that will help you with your project.  Some of these databases require log-in and password.  These are listed on each computer in the library.  Please copy down this information so that you will have it to use at home. 

Use the terms like the Great Depression, Studs Terkel, Hard Times when searching in these databases.




In 1970, Studs Terkel interviewed hundreds of Americans who had survived, and were transformed by, the Great Depression.  His interviews, which appeared in book of oral histories called Hard Times: An Oral History of the Great Depression tell the story of the struggles and triumphs that people faced during this historic crisis.  Hard Times captures the fears, the challenges, the insight and the wisdom of people who would come to be known as The Greatest Generation.

In 1933, in an effort to create jobs during the height of the Great Depression, the United States government paid hundreds of photographers to travel across America and photograph the events of the Great Depression as they saw it.  Part of the Works Progress Administration (WPA) laid out in President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “New Deal for America”, the program’s goal was to create a culturally unifying identity for Americans who shared hardship during this crisis.  These photographers left behind a rich and educative record for you to experience today.

Your task is to combine these two media (Hard Times and WPA photos) to make two captioned photographs that demonstrated your understanding of the Great Depression.

Task Steps:

    • READ and annotate the oral history excerpts from Studs Terkel’s Hard Times that have been provided to you.  Please note that you very likely are the only one in your class to have your particular excerpt, so it is important that you try to capture the gist of the subject’s experience so that your classmates can learn from it. As you read, identify what you think is the best example of the Depression experience contained within the excerpt.
    • WRITE a short summary of the excerpt in paragraph form.  Be sure to identify the subject and the circumstances which that person experienced during the Great Depression.   NOTE:  YOU WILL READ THIS EXCERPT TO THE CLASS as part of a presentation, and YOU WILL PASS IT IN FOR A GRADE, so be sure to be thoughtful and thorough in your work.
    • CHOOSE TWO QUOTATIONS from the excerpt that you think best demonstrate the subject’s Depression experience, or which you think will help your classmates best understand the Great Depression.   These quotations will be captions for the photos you will choose later.
    • BROWSE through the data base of Great Depression photos that you have been provided.
    • SELECT TWO PHOTOGRAPHS which seem to demonstrate the two quotations you have chosen from your excerpt.
    • CREATE two captioned photographs to present to the class.  To create your captions, you may use any software or “meme generator” you wish, but I RECOMMEND PowerPoint for the sake of simplicity.  Powerpoint will enable you to project your photos in class for others to see. Simply paste the photos on two separate PowerPoint slides, add a caption inside the text box on the page, and manipulate the font and position to meet your taste.

Pass in:

1. Paragraph summary

2. (2) photos with captions

3. (2) photo analysis sheets

Present:  your Powerpoint captioned photo and summary.

Due on Friday!!!!!





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