The Great Depression

Project Links for Melissa High School English II

Mrs. Rowe’s

English II



What was the Great Depression? From The American Experience by PBS

The Of Mice and Men Fact Sheet How this connects to your reading

Then and Now: What things cost during the Great Depression

Photos and Art

The American Memory Collection Thousands of photos of the Great Depression era from the Library of Congress. There’s a lot to sift through here. Focus on the story you are trying to tell. What aspect of the depression or what geographical location will you show? There are city life photos (factories) and farm life photos. Try clicking “Subject Index”. You might want to check out the links “Children”, “Dust Storms Oklahoma”, “FSA Camps”, and “Hoovervilles”. For more ideas, go to this page. Scroll down to the subtitle The Great Depression.

Migrant Farm Families

Great Depression Art Gallery

A photo essay on the Great Depression and the story of the “migrant mother” photo (above right)

The Civilian Conservation Corp This would be a good subject for a PhotoStory. Here are the photos.

Music and Sound

Hard Times: Music of the Great Depression The song The NRA Blues is awesome!

Sunny Cal tells of how California became a failed dream for many Oklahoma migrants. Click here for the lyrics.

Music from Digital History Great site for historical music but it doesn’t have a lot specific to the Dust Bowl experience. It does have blues and Jazz from the thirties.

Woody Guthrie He wrote and sang thousands of tunes, many about life during the Great Depression. His music is still re-recorded today. You might know his most famous song, “This Land is Your Land”. You can read his lyrics here. The song “Goin’ Down the Road Feelin’ Bad” came to be an anthem for dustbowl migrant farm workers. You can listen to clips of Guthrie’s songs here but you’ll have to pay to download them. You can also hear/download him on iTunes. You’ve got to listen to “Goin’ Down the Road” here at least.

California Gold: Northern California Folk Music from the Thirties The music is really diverse because people of many ethnicities lived and worked in California. You have to poke around in this collection. I found a song called “root, hog or die”. The words seemed really appropriate for the depression. When you find a song you want to use, right-click the blue button next to it and go “save target as”. Save it to your network (H) drive.

Sounds from the Dustbowl Songs and interviews. Check out The Government Camp Song

1930s Old Time Radio

History and News Speeches given during this time including those of Presidents Hoover and Roosevelt

Interviews, Diaries, and Other First-Hand Accounts

Interviews from the PBS special “Surviving the Dust Bowl” Transcripts and audio clips. You have to have Real Player installed on your computer to play the audio clips. If you work on this project at home you will need to rip the audio clip to MP3 format before you use it in Photostory. You could also create your own narration/sound file from the transcript.

American Life Histories: Manuscripts from the Federal Writer’s Project, 1936-1940 Click “Search by Keywords” and try search terms such as depression, work, unemployed, or job. These stories were collected as part of a government program during the depression. Thousands of average Americans were interviewed and their life stories were recorded. You’ll find narratives, transcripts or conversations, and more. Click here to find out more about this project.

The New Deal Network: Documents Try looking at the links for “Migrant Labor”, “Unemployment”, and “California”. You will need to click the link that says “click here for more information” to read the whole story. You can then click “publishing information” to see when and where the document was published.

FDR Cartoons Political cartoons published during Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s time as president. Try looking at “Waiting for the New Deal” and “Farm Issues”.

Dear Mrs. Roosevelt During the Depression, thousands of kids wrote to First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. Read their stories here. This would make a great project! You could show pictures of children and narrate the letters.

Steinbeck Country: California’s Central Valley

Photo Essays of the Depression focusing on young people and their hardships. If you click on the photo “farm work” you can see how flat the land is in the background.

The National Steinbeck Center


Site created by Roberta Niche, Library Media Specialist for Melissa High School. Last updated 9-30-2008.