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The Great Depression and the Arts
A Unit of Study for Grades 8-12

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Democracy .. a challenge. Illinois WPA Art Project.
"Democracy .. a challenge." Illinois WPA Art Project. Work Projects Administration Poster Collection (Library of Congress).

Lesson Plans

  1. Documentary Film— "The Plow that Broke the Plains"
    This lesson gives students the opportunity examine a film script to see how the problems and potential solutions to the Dust Bowl were presented by a New Deal agency.

  2. Documenting the Migrant Experience
    In this lesson students assess multiple narratives regarding the migrant experience and identify the point of view from which each narrative was constructed.

  3. Film Study of the Grapes of Wrath
    In this lesson students view the film "The Grapes of Wrath" as a "cultural document" of its time and as a visual document depicting the effects of the Dust Bowl on tenant farmers.

  4. The New Deal's Federal Theatre Project
    This lesson acquaints students with the New Deal's Federal Theatre Project and the social, economic, and political issues which were the focus of Living Newspaper productions of the FTP.

  5. Evaluation Activities
    These concluding activities are meant to draw the lessons in this unit together and provide students an opportunity to synthesize the diverse materials and activities.


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The Great Depression and the Arts

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