Grade Levels: 6-8, 9-12

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This lesson accompanies the BrainPOP topic Great Depression, and supports the standard of examining the effects of the Great Depression on American families. Students demonstrate understanding through a variety of projects.


Ask students:

  • What do you already know about the Great Depression? What do you want to know more about?


  • Read the description on the Great Depression topic page.
  • Play the Movie, pausing to check for understanding. 
  • Assign Related Reading. Have students read one of the following articles: “Arts and Entertainment” or “Famous Faces” Partner them with someone who read a different article to share what they learned with each other.

Step 3: APPLY and ASSESS 

Assign Great Depression Quiz, prompting students to apply essential literacy skills while demonstrating what they learned about this topic.


Students express what they learned about the Great Depression while practicing essential literacy skills with one or more of the following activities. Differentiate by assigning ones that meet individual student needs.

  • Make-a-Movie: Produce a mini-documentary that explains the relationship between the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression.
  • Make-a-Map: Create a concept map identifying and explaining different effects of the Great Depression.
  • Creative Coding: Code a newscast announcing the stock market crash of 1929.
  • Primary Source Activity: Examine photographs from the Great Depression, then cite details to answer the accompanying questions.

More to Explore 

Time Zone X: Great Depression: Challenge students to put historical events in chronological order in this interactive timeline game.

Related BrainPOP Topics: Deepen understanding of the Great Depression with these topics: Great Depression Causes, New Deal, Stock Market, and Recession.

Teacher Support Resources:

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments