Activity Overview

The Dust Bowl of the 1930s hurt not only farmers, but the American economy in general. Crop failures caused great stress on the trade and sale of many consumer goods. In turn, this caused even greater stress on the economy as a whole. Using a spider map, students will identify and explain the significance of the Dust Bowl and its role in the Great Depression using the 5 Ws. This analysis will provide further insight into how many average American workers and farmers were affected by it.

Students should answer the following questions:

  • WHO did the Dust Bowl affect?
  • WHAT was the Dust Bowl?
  • WHEN did the Dust Bowl occur?
  • WHERE did it take place?
  • WHY is the Dust Bowl important to the Depression?

Extended Activity

Have students research and identify the 5 Ws of another major market failure. It can be any event or market failure, whether related to farming and food production, or to the failure of a technology or business. Students should draw connections between the Dust Bowl and the failure or crippling of this modern market.

Template and Class Instructions

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Activity", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)

Student Instructions

Create a storyboard that explains the role of the Dust Bowl in the Great Depression using the 5Ws: Who, What, When, Where, and Why.

  1. Click "Start Assignment".
  2. In the title box for each cell, type Who, What, When, Where and Why.
  3. In the descriptions, answer the question.
  4. Create an image for each cell with appropriate scenes, characters, and items.
  5. Save and exit when you're done.

Lesson Plan Reference

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