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Lesson Topic: Life During the Depression

Course: U.S. History

California Academic Content Standards-based Learning Plan Format
Content Standard(s):
11.6 Students analyze the different explanations for the Great Depression and how the New Deal fundamentally changed the role of the federal government.
3. Discuss the human toll of the Depression, natural disasters, and unwise agricultural practices and their effects on the depopulation of rural regions and
on political movements of the left and right, with particular attention to the Dust Bowl refugees and their social and economic impacts in California

Learning Outcome(s): (What do you want students to know/be able to do? How will students demonstrate this?)
Students will learn how the Great Depression impacted the lives of Americans. I expect students to learn how to
analyze primary sources, in particular photographs, to infer what it was like for people to live through the Great
Lesson Rationale: (How does this lessons activities access prior knowledge? Promote metacognition? In what ways are the
activities in this lesson developmentally appropriate?)
The content of this lesson builds on what the students have already learned about the Great Depression,
including its principal causes and the steps taken by the Federal Reserve, Congress, and President Hoover to
solve the countrys economic problems. This lesson will show the effect that the Depression had on peoples dayto-day lives.
Formative Assessment (Process): (What evidence will you look for while lesson is being taught?)
Students will use a Photo Analysis Worksheet which consists of tables where they will make notes on observations, make
inferences, and raise questions about the photographs they analyze. I will walk around and observe students during this
process to make sure they are following directions and completing it correctly, in addition to meeting the learning goals of the
Summative Assessment (Product): (What evidence of student learning will you collect?)
The handout also includes a prompt that asks students to write a paragraph regarding what the photos revealed about what
like was like for people during the Great Depression. This written response will provide me with clear evidence of students
progress toward the academic learning goals.
Teacher Actions
Student Actions
The video is emotionally moving and
5 min. I will introduce the lesson and show the Students will listen to my introductions
students a short youtube video clip on
Dorothea Lange, a famous photographer
from the Great Depression era.

and watch the video clip.

should generate students interest on

the topic of how peoples lives were
affected by the Great Depression.





I will also use direct instruction to

demonstrate for students how to use the
Photo Analysis Worksheet, a graphic
organizer, to examine photographs. I will
provide an example for the students by
analyzing a photograph in front of the
whole class. I will explain, step by step, how
to complete the assignment and walk them
through the process.
I will ask students to analyze a photograph
that I have preselected in groups of 4. I will
ask them to use the graphic organizer that I
provided to complete this task. I will time
them while they work on this portion of the
assignment. During this time, I will walk
around and encourage students to get
started and provide scaffolding to help
them complete the task through prompting
and answering any questions that they
I will present to the class the next
photograph that I have preselected and I
will ask students to analyze it on their own.
I will ask them to complete including the
observations they noted, the inferences
they made and the questions that arose. I
will ask the students on the left to share
first and the students on the right to take
notes on the information their partner
shared. After 5 minutes, I will ask the
students to switch roles. I will provide
sentence frames as a scaffold.
I will ask students to complete a quick-write
as a performance task. I will ask them to
write a paragraph response to the following
question: What did the photographs reveal
about what life was like for people during
the Great Depression? I will ask them use
the information on the graphic organizer

Students will listen and ask questions if

they need to. They will participate in the
demonstration by helping me complete
the various tasks of the assignment.

Modeling for the class how to utilize

the Photo Analysis Worksheet, a
photographs will help students learn
how to do this so that they can then
complete this assignment on their own.

Students will collaborate with their group

members to analyze a photograph. They
will use a graphic organizer to analyze the
photo theyve been provided with.
Students will work with their groups to
study their photographs and to infer or
photograph reveal about what life was
like during the Great Depression.

Having students analyze a photograph

in small groups will provide them with
the opportunity to practice this skill in
a group setting where they can receive
help and learn from each other. This
exercise will build the foundation for
the activities that will follow, where
each student will have to work
individually to analyze the next

Students will take their newfound

knowledge from the practice they had and
apply it by individually analyzing a
photograph. They will use the graphic
organizer to do this.

knowledge theyve gained and apply
the skill they learned to analyze
photograph on their own will provide
me with evidence on who has
mastered this task. Furthermore, this
will help prepare students for the

Students will write a paragraph response

to the following question: What did the
photographs reveal about what life was
like for people during the Great
Depression? They will use the information
from the photo analyses they completed
individually and with their groups to finish

Having students reflect on the

photographs theyve seen will give
them an opportunity to gather their
organize them. Asking them to write a
paragraph is a good culminating task
because it will provide me with

from photo analyses they completed earlier

to help them answer the writing prompt. I
will provide students scaffolding in the form
of sentence starters and walking around
and offering assistance to help them
complete this task.

this task.

evidence of their learning and

understanding. Having the students
write what they know is a good way to
assess what they understand since it
is the most cognitively demanding of
the four tasks of listening, speaking,
reading and writing.