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Published on April 13, 2008

Author: Woodwork

Source: authorstream.com

Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath: the Great Depression, the Dust Bowl, and the Narrative:  Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath: the Great Depression, the Dust Bowl, and the Narrative A history and literature lesson for eleventh grade A Driving Story-Maker:  A Driving Story-Maker Accountability Georgia Performance Standards:  Accountability Georgia Performance Standards SSUSH17 The student will analyze the causes and consequences of the Great Depression. describe the causes including over production, under consumption, and stock market. describe how speculation that led to the stock market crash of 1929 and Great Depression. c. explain the impact of the drought in the creation of the Dust Bowl. explain the social and political impact of widespread unemployment that resulted in developments such as Hoovervilles. ELAALRL3 The student deepens understanding of literary works by relating them to their contemporary context or historical background, as well as to works from other time periods. The student relates a literary work to primary source documents of its literary period or historical setting; the student: b. Relates a literary work to the characteristics of the literary time period that it represents. iii. Naturalism How we should come away. Lesson Objectives:  How we should come away. Lesson Objectives Students will understand how larger histories relate to the personal stories from such an event. Students will have a more clear understanding of the historical facts relating to the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl. They will know how to relate to elderly people and to distill meaningful information from them by conducting interviews and then presenting their discoveries in a personal, creative way. Students should be able to explain in an essay the historical, cultural, and literary significance of John Steinbeck’s novel The Grapes of Wrath, having read it and discussed it in class. Come in with these things. Prerequisites:  Come in with these things. Prerequisites Students should have a basic understanding of the political and financial causes of the Great Depression, the Dust Bowl, and the large-scale economic, political, and cultural effects of these two events. They should have read Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath for references to the large things going on in the outside world—the Depression and the Dust Bowl—as well as symbols and motifs that convey a national attitude of the time. They should also have basic word-processing skills. What we will use. Materials ------------------------:  What we will use. Materials ------------------------ The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck History textbooks The Internet for personal research Creative supplies of the students’ choice An adult over age 80. Depression-era meal (Poor Man’s Casserole and Hermit cookies) The Hook Anticipatory Set:  The Hook Anticipatory Set I will prepare a Depression-era meal for my students: Poor Man’s Casserole and Hermits. While they eat, we’ll discuss common perceptions of the Great Depression and the students’ own preconceived ideas about the time period. Then we’ll start talking about the facts: what’s truth and what’s myth, and how money drives many parts of culture. Then remind the students that history is all about stories and that though the Depression-era economics and politics make up one large story, there are many smaller stories that were affected by and contributed to the larger one. What we gonna do. Procedures:  What we gonna do. Procedures First I will review the causes and effects of the Depression as they relate to global political and economic movements. Then we will discuss the use of symbolism and motif in the naturalistic novel, The Grapes of Wrath, as an indication of the dominant social attitude of the time. Students will informally present passages that they found that either refer to specific events or policies of the period or produce a mood of hardy hope in the face of downfall—a widespread response that the novel illustrates well. More interaction. Activities:  More interaction. Activities Interview project Students will then interview octogenarians that they know—a relative or a friend—about their experiences living through the Depression. If they have a problem with the assignment, there is flexibility if they will talk to me first. We will come up with the interview questions together as a class based on the things we have learned about the Great Depression, the Dust Bowl, and Steinbeck’s fiction. They can do Internet research with the Federal Writer’s Project (http://lcweb2.loc.gov/wpaintro/wpahome.html) and other sites to supplement their findings. Activities, continued. Interview Project:  Activities, continued. Interview Project Students will then compile all their information from these primary sources and create a presentation: A short story mimicking Steinbeck A 2-D presentation (collage, painting, etc.) A radio show with recorded interviews A poem or a song Their own artistic, musical, or literary project, as long as they consult with me. I will know they’ve got it. Assessment:  I will know they’ve got it. Assessment A quiz showing that they understand the historical background—the facts surrounding the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl. A cogent and well-written take-home essay analyzing a particular theme (of the students’ choice) in The Grapes of Wrath, based on our study of the novel. A thoughtful and polished in-class interview presentation that shows the student has interviewed and researched well, getting to the heart of the personal story—which is, in the end, the person who first shares it. Informing and defining the lesson. Theoretical Rationale:  Informing and defining the lesson. Theoretical Rationale Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences theory and the learning styles theory are behind the various activities and forms of assessment (food, lecture, discussion, personal research, multiple-choice quiz, essay, and a creative presentation). Lesson contains evidence of both objectivism’s teacher-directed approach (lecturing and leading discussions) and Piaget’s and Vygotsky’s subjective Constructivism (letting students do their own research, choose their essay topics, and choose their own interviewees and modes of presentation). The information-processing theory informs the various ways students will study the material—lecture, discussion, and personal research all reach different parts of the brain and help students remember the material). Dewey’s idea that students should engage in solving real-life problems in the classroom is reflected in the interview: I am trying to help bridge the gap between teenagers and their elders by helping the former learn to talk to the latter. Sources:  Sources www.wikipedia.com The Great Depression, the Dust Bowl, The Grapes of Wrath, autarkic, deflation, etc. http://www.wsu.edu/~campbelld/amlit/natural http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/fsahtml/fahome.html www.sparknotes.com http://www.geocities.com/NapaValley/1918/recipes.html

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