Nav Bar Home Curriculum Ideas Postcards Research Tools Treasure Hunts Web Links Web Projects Web Picks About

"Three little words, achingly familiar on a Western farmer's tongue, rule life in the dust bowl of the continent - 'if it rains.' "
- Robert Geiger, 1935

When the billowing black clouds of dust rolled and swirled across the plains in the 1930s, the American landscape was drastically changed. With their crops destroyed, a steady stream of humanity trekked westward to the promised land of California. John Steinbeck wrote vividly about the migrant camps in the Grapes of Wrath, Dorothea Lange documented the harsh conditions with compelling photographs, and Woody Guthrie, a refugee himself, sang dust bowl ballads. The stark reality of the Depression Era contrasts sharply with the decades before and after it.
Let’s travel down the highway of time and study first hand eyewitness accounts, photographs, and music archived on a variety of Websites.

These activities are designed to promote critical thinking and analysis of the cultural genres during the 1930s and their impact on future generations.

National History Standards

Era 8: The Great Depression and World War II (1929-1945)

Standard 1: The causes of the Great Depression and how it affected American society.

Standard 1B: The student understands how American life changed during the 1930s.

5-12: Explain the effects of the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl on American farm owners, tenants, and sharecroppers. [Analyze multiple causation]

Updated January 6, 2009
© 1996 - 2009 Linda C. Joseph
All Rights Reserved
All CyberBee Graphics are Trademarked

Graphics by
Darlene Vanasco/Creative Director
Erika Taguchi/Designer & Illustrator
Hosting Provided by Iwaynet