Monday, April 25, 2011

Stock Market Crash

Work in Progress
Background Information/Rationale: Since the Great Depression and the New Deal is such a long unit of study I am only going to include my lesson plans for the Stock Market Crash and Hoover’s Response to the Great Depression. Since I first started teaching this unit I have made a great deal of modifications, mostly to include more literacy instruction as well as technology. If you are interested in seeing my other Great Depression lesson plans or ideas please feel free to e-mail me. This is one of my favorite units to teach.
Title: The Stock Market Crash
New York State Standards: 

Common Core Standards: 
Short Term Objectives:
1.      Students will learn what caused the Stock Market Crash and the Great Depression.
2.      Students will demonstrate the ability to summarize the causes of the Stock Market Crash of 1929.
Long Term Objective:
1.      Develop an understanding of Social Studies through exploration and research into family history
2.      Analyze family history and compose a script that incorporates both family history and United States history
3.      Create a digital story incorporating their family history with a specific time period that includes social justice topics
4.      Recognize that history is not merely a series of isolated events but a collection of individual decisions that influence the world today.
Instructional Phase:
Anticipatory Set/ Focusing Event:
1.      Provide students with today’s objectives 
2.      Prediction: The year is 1929. The United States economy has collapsed. Farms, businesses, and banks nationwide are failing, causing massive unemployment and poverty. You are out of work with little prospect of finding a job. 1. What groups of people will be most hurt by the economic crash? 2. What can you do to find a paying job? 3. What can unemployed and impoverished people do to help each other? Provide students with five minutes to write a response.
3.      Vocabulary:
a.       Bankruptcy: Financial failure caused by a company’s inability to pay its debts.
b.      Default: Failure to repay loans
c.       Overproduction: Supply of manufactured goods exceeding the demand
Checkpoint Questions: How can overproduction hurt the economy? When would a company declare bankruptcy? What happens when a company or individual defaults on a loan? 
Activity One: What caused the Stock Market to Crash?
Use with chart, “Causes of the Great Depression”
A great deal of the prosperity in the 1920’s was based on borrowed money and buying stock on margin. When the stock market crashed in 1929 it was followed by a long and severe economic downturn.
There were several signs of economic weakness during the 1920’s. Despite these signs, Herbert Hoover predicted that the United States would soon achieve the “final triumph over poverty” in 1928.  
1.      Older industries, such as coal mining, railroads, and clothing manufacture, were in decline. 
2.      Agriculture was facing decline, farmers could no longer afford to pay back their loans. Many of the banks that loaned to farmers went out of business.
3.      Overproduction: Supply  exceeds demand
4.      Housing and automobile manufacturing were in decline
5.      Consumer spending on decline
6.      Place this information on story chart: People were buying on margin and purchasing stocks by paying only a fraction of the cost and owing the remaining balance. These people hoped the prices would be higher when they’d be ready to sell. As stock prices started to decline brokers who had lent people the money began to recall their loans. Most people could not afford to pay so they had to sell their stocks. As a result, stock prices dropped even more. On October 29, 1929, also known as Black Tuesday, people rushed to sell their stocks they found that no one was buying. Millionaires lost their entire fortune overnight.
Checkpoint Question: What happened on Black Tuesday?
Activity Two: What happened after the Stock Market crashed?
Students will break into groups and read firsthand accounts from the Great Depression to fill in the  chart. Each student will be given a different story to read. Once students have finished reading they should share their information with other group members.
Impact on Families:
Checkpoint Question: How did the Great Depression affect people living across the United States? 
Activity Three: The Bonus Army
Divide these documents between people in the class to read silently. As they read have them answer the following question.
What was the goal of the Bonus Army?
Checkpoint Question: What was the goal of the Bonus Army?
Extending Activity/Homework:
Create a comic strip illustrating the main points from today’s lesson. This can be done digitally or by hand. It must include the following words: Buying on Margin, Stock Market Crash, unemployment, bank failure, debt, and poverty.   

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