K–12 teaching and learning · from the UNC School of Education

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Learning outcomes

The students should learn the effects of the Great Depression, on a personal level, on the lives of North Carolinians.

Teacher planning

Time required for lesson

2 weeks


  • Copies of The Spirit of The Roanoke, North Carolina the History of an American State or another NC eighth grade text book
  • List of causes and effects of The Great Depression
  • Access to the library

Technology resources

  • one computer per group
  • internet access


The students should have already read pages 473-477 in North Carolina the History of an American State.


  1. The teacher will read The Spirit of the Roanoke to the students with discussion of pages five and six. The book can be accessed on the internet at the Eastern North Carolina Digital Library.
  2. Students will be split into groups and given a copy of The Spirit of the Roanoke (or the URL) to use as a template. Each group will be assigned an effect of The Great Depression.
  3. The group must come up with an act or part of a play dealing with their assigned effect. Students may access the web site Federal Writer’s Project to gain voice or ideas for their characters. Here the students can read interviews of people who lived through the Great Depression. Students should be given ample classroom time for research and composition. Students will prepare a bibliography listing all sources used.
  4. After teacher collects the project the teacher may assign the prologue, interludes, and epilogue for extra credit or compose them themselves.


Teacher will assess the acts for historical accuracy making sure students have included the effect assigned to their group.

  • North Carolina Essential Standards
    • Social Studies (2010)
      • Grade 8

        • 8.E.1 Understand the economic activities of North Carolina and the United States. 8.E.1.1 Explain how conflict, cooperation, and competition influenced periods of economic growth and decline (e.g. economic depressions and recessions). 8.E.1.2 Use economic...
        • 8.H.1 Apply historical thinking to understand the creation and development of North Carolina and the United States. 8.H.1.1 Construct charts, graphs, and historical narratives to explain particular events or issues. 8.H.1.2 Summarize the literal meaning of...

North Carolina curriculum alignment

Social Studies (2003)

Grade 8

  • Goal 6: The learner will analyze the immediate and long-term effects of the Great Depression and World War II on North Carolina.
    • Objective 6.01: Identify the causes and effects of the Great Depression and analyze the impact of New Deal policies on Depression Era life in North Carolina.

Theatre Arts Education (2001)

Grade 8

  • Goal 1: The learner will write based on personal experience and heritage, imagination, literature, and history.
    • Objective 1.03: Write, critique, and informally produce original scenes and one act plays.