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The Great Depression  

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The Encyclopedia of the Great Depression

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Encyclopedia of the Great Depression - Robert S. McElvaine
ISBN: 0028656865
Publication Date: 2003-11-04
This new two-volume set encompasses nearly two decades of American history, beginning with the farm crisis of the mid-1920s, through the 1929 stock market crash, the gradual recovery during the 1930s with Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal and World War II. This wide-ranging, multidisciplinary encyclopedia features entries on depression-era politics, government, business, economics, literature, the arts, society and culture. While its main focus is on the Great Depression within the United States, the global impact of the economic slow-down is also examined through articles on Canada, Mexico, Australia, Europe, Africa and Asia.


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To Kill a Mockingbird

Research Activity:


Objective:  To research an aspect of the 1930’s in order to gain an understanding of the setting in terms of time and place of the novel.  

Requirements:  In this major assignment you will practice the skill of presenting a 5-minute presentation related to your research.  You will research a social or historic issue from the 1930s at school and at home.  Once you have completed your research and developed a visual, you will organize your ideas and practice your public speaking skills by preparing a class presentation on your research.  Remember, learning to research and present well is hard work!!!  Your group will be assigned one of the following topics:


    1.  Life for Blacks in the South after the Civil War
    1. America and the World in the 1930s (The time period of TKAM)
    1. Lynching and Lynch Mobs:  Citizen Reinforcement of Jim Crow Laws
    1. The Dust Bowl:  The Impact on Economic Prosperity for Blacks and Whites
    1. The Death Penalty and Criminal Law:  The History of the Use of Capital Punishment / Death Penalty in the US
    1. The Rise of Black Identity and Culture after The Civil War
    1. Harper Lee / Mockingbirds
    1. Entertainment / Headlines of the 1930s
    1. Education / Science Innovation in the 1930s
    1. Alabama in the 1930s

Everyone in the group is in charge of finding information for the presentation! 

    • Day 1 - Using the computers, find out anything and everything you can about your assigned topic.  You each have your own computer, but you should sit next to your group members.  Take notes on anything you need. NO PRINTING ALLOWED!!!

    • Day 2 – pull together your information for the visual element of your project and organize it for the presentation.  Your visual will be graded according to the following rubric.

    • Day 3 – presentation day.  Your presenter will be speaking the information from your research aloud to us, teaching us about your topic.  They should reference the visual, but should be able to tell us anything and everything about the topic.  The rest of the group will stand up with them, both for support, and to help present.  Your presentation will be graded according to the following rubric.



  1.  Work Habits (using time wisely):  _______/ 20 pts.

  2. Quality of Information:  ______/50 pts.

  3. List of Sources:  ______/30 pts.

  4. Quality of Presentation:   _______/50 pts.


    Group 1:  Life for Blacks in the South after the Civil War 

    •  Jim Crow Laws: 
    • What were the Jim Crow Laws
    • How, why and where they originated
    • Who was Jim Crow
    • History of the Laws
    • Impact on African Americans
    • What rights did they violate
    • How did whites and the states defend Jim Crow Laws
    • Plessy vs. Ferguson 

Group 2:  America and the World in the 1930’s:  The time period of TKAM.

    •  The Stock Market Crash
    • The Great Depression
    • The impact on Economic prosperity for blacks and whites in America
    • What was “Black Friday”
    • What caused the Stock Market to crash
    • What impact did the Crash have on Americans and life in America?
    • What were some tragic events after the crash?
    • Explain the Great Depression and its importance in history
    • Who was President and what policies affected the Great Depression
    • Who was hit the hardest and how? 

Group 3:  Lynching and Lynch Mobs:  Citizen Reinforcement of Jim Crow Laws

    •  Brief history of lynchings in America
    • Origins of the lynch mob
    • What influence did they have on local governments/people in power
    • How did these mobs come to represent white hatred of African Americans
    • Why were so many white people supportive of them
    • Where were they most prominent?
    • What were the sundown towns
    • How were they connected to the lynchings
    • The KKK 

Group 4:  The Dust Bowl:  The Impact on Economic Prosperity for Blacks and Whites

    •  What was the Dust Bowl
    • Where and when did it take place
    • Who was directly affected
    • What impact did the Dust Bowl have on life in America
    • How is it connected to the Great Depression
    • Could it have been prevented……how?
    • How did Herbert Hoover deal with this natural disaster and the people involved
    • What were “Hoovervilles”
    • Why were they called that
    • Who were the “Okies”
    • Explain the problems that arose in the country in places like CA, as a result of the Dust Bowl, the “Okies” and migrant farming. 

Group 5:  The Death Penalty and Criminal Law:  The History of the Use of Capital Punishment/Death Penalty in the US

    •  Which cases initially used the death penalty in colonial US
    • Was it ever outlawed nationally
    • Why
    • What states currently use the death penalty
    • What crimes can the death penalty apply
    • Has the death penalty been disproportionally used between Blacks and Whites
    • Explain the factors that may contribute to it
    • The Scottsboro Case
    • Who involved
    • What charges
    • When
    • Final decision
    • Why was this case significant
    • Mistakes that were made
    • How does this case illustrate how race impacted the outcomes of court cases 

Group 6:  The Rise of Black Identity and Culture after The Civil War

    •  The Great Migration
    • What was it
    • What started it
    • Where and when did it occur
    • How did the Great Migration change/affect life in place where blacks were migrating from and to
    • What changes do we still see today
    • What effects did it have on blacks who decided to stay and not join the migration 

Group 7:  Harper Lee/Mockingbirds

    •  Details about her life
    • Impact on society
    • Connections to TKAM
    • Themes in novel
    • Why she wrote it
    • Why is it popular today
    • What is a mockingbird
    • Where do they migrate
    • What are they known for
    • Males vs. Females
    • Symbolic meaning behind them 

Group 8:  Entertainment/Headlines of the 1930’s

    •  Sports
    • Disasters
    • “Big” events
    • 21st amendment
    • Crime
    • People
    • Movies
    • Radio/music 

Group 9:  Education/Science Innovation in the 1930’s

    •  Educational reforms- John Dewey
    • Level of education- state laws
    • Literacy
    • Television/radio
    • U.S. Nobel Prize
    • People who impacted
    • Inventions 

Group 10:  Alabama in the 1930’s

    • Culture- way of life
    • Religion
    • History facts
    • Food
    •  Employment
    • Women












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Mrs. Lisa Brakel
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Lisa Brakel, B.S., M.Ed., M.L.S.
(734) 654-6205 Wagar M.S.
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