Your task is to create a letter in the voice of a person growing up in the 1930s. This letter will be written to a person living in the year 2007. Before you begin your research, consider the name, gender, race, and age of the “character” you will become. Also, decide the audience for your letter. This might be a friend, family member, or teacher.
Your writing must cover the following topics:
Causes and Effects of the Great Depression
Family, New Deal, and Standard of Living
School and Friends
Social and Political Events in the 1930s
Begin your research by exploring the resources listed below. As you explore the sites, record facts. Remember to avoid copying word for word. The Great Depression from PBS
The Great Depression from the Department of Humanities
Photographs of the Great Depression from the Library of Congress
“I Remember…..” Reminiscences of the Great Depression” from the Michigan Historical Center
Then and Now: Prices from the Michigan Historical Center
How the Great Depression Affected Children from the Digital History web site.
Hint: There are three frames within this site. When you have completed a frame click on the arrow to the right. When you have collected information about each of the topics, you are prepared to begin the writing process. Remember, you are writing from the perspective of a person living in the 1930s. You are explaining your life to a person living in 2007. Your letter should include enough detail and description for your reader to gain a sense of what your life was like.
Your letter should be a minimum of five well-developed paragraphs. The letter should have the following: (A–D)
City, State (imaginary)
Date (Month, Day, Year in the 1930s)
Your letter should focus on the following aspects of your life:
In the introduction to your letter, identify two causes of the Great Depression. Utilize the web sites in the Resource section. Explain how the Great Depression has affected you and your family. Use specific details from the web sites (For example, how did Black Tuesday affect your family or relatives?) What is your standard of living?
Describe your family. Who are your brothers, sisters, relatives? What do your parents and relatives do for a living?
Choose one of your relatives that has a job set up by FDR’s New Deal. (For example, an uncle might be employed by the WPA). Choose a specific program within the New Deal—do not simply reference the New Deal in general. Describe the job with details. What is the purpose of the organization?
Describe your school, classes, and teachers. Who are your friends?
Describe the town where you live. Who are your neighbors? Describe important celebrations, events, and people. Where do you like to hang out or play?
What is happening in the nation politically and economically? Look carefully at the date of your letter. Include specific details from the resources.
What is happening in the nation’s culture? Tell about music, radio programs, movies, sports. (Minimum of two specific details from the timeline according to the date of your letter.)
What are your dreams for the future?
What do you think the world will be like?
How do you think the events of the Great Depression will affect you?