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Salem-Keizer Public Schools -- Salem, Oregon

20th Century U.S. History

The 30’s


We will cover this decade using the “layered learning” process. There will be three sections to this unit. To get an “A” all three sections must be completed, to get a “B” you must successfully complete levels one and two, and successfully completing level one will get you a “C”. This unit will deal with the six areas that you have identified as being the most important: politics, foreign policy,women and minorities, science and technology, culture, and economics. You need to complete section one before moving to section two, and section two before moving to section three. You will be eligible for ½ the points available from the work that is turned in, and ½ the points will be awarded from your oral defense of your tasks. Any work turned in after the due date will be penalized. Any written assignment that is not typed will automatically receive a 2 point penalty in level one, and a 3 point penalty in levels two and three. Section one will be finished by February 18th, section two on February 25th, and section three on March 3rd.

Section 1: Choose any of the following assignments for a maximum of 140 points. You must have at least 130 point to move to section 2.

Watch the movie The Grapes of Wrath. Complete the worksheet that accompanies this movie. Pick up the work sheet from Mr. Gordon. (20 pts)

In either oral or written form, argue for or against the United States policy of neutrality during the 1930’s. This will be an opportunity to complete a work sample for the state CIM standards. The state scoring standards will be used. 20 pts)

Eleanor Roosevelt and Hillary Rodham Clinton are two of the most active and con-troversial first ladies in our history. Make a Venn Diagram that compares and contrasts the two. You should have at least 10 individual differences for each, and 10 similarities. Accompany this with a one page paper on your conclusions about these ladies.(20 pts) Create a drawing or painting that recreates the pain and hopelessness of the unem-ployed and dispossessed during the Great Depression. This is a rather complicated art project. Choose to do it only if you feel you have the ability to do this, and have theresources to complete it.(20 pts)

Two photographers, Walker Evans with his pictures of the poverty stricken rural South and Dorothea Lange with her photos of the migrants (especially “Migrant Mother”) captured haunting images of the periods “forgotten people”. In 1995 Bruce Springsteen wrote and performed his song, The Ghost of Tom Joad, that said that we still suffering from the same problems that existed in the 1930’s. After viewing the work of the two photographers and listening to the song, create a photo essay of your own that proves Springsteen’s point. You must have parental permission signed and in Mr. Gordon’s hands before you begin to work on this task. Be aware that there could be some risk involved and take all precautions if you choose to do this. I believe it should be done in pairs.(20 pts)

Watch any Marx Brothers movie from the 1930’s, any Abbott and Costello movie from the 1940’s, and any Adam Sandler movie from the 1990’s. Write a two page paper comparing and contrasting humor from the earlier time periods with todays. Use specific scenes from each movie to prove your points.(20 pts)

America took tremendous pride in the victories of Jesse Owens, Mac Robinson, and other black athletes in the 1936 Berlin Olympics, and in Joe Louis’ victory over Max Schmeling in the heavyweight title fight of 1938. Each were seen as “political” victories over Adolf Hitler and his 3rd Reich. Yet African Americans were still second class citizens within this country. Write a letter to President Roosevelt protesting this duality within our country. This may be done in the language of your choice. (20 pts)

President Roosevelt’s New Deal included a “100 day Congress” that passed numerous pieces of legislation. These new laws were considered to be either relief, recovery, or reform. Create a chart showing what laws were passed, under which of the “3 R’s” they were considered to be, and a 1 to 5 (5 being high) rating on how well each worked. Write a one page paper critiquing FDR’s New Deal. (20 pts)

Find political cartoons that deal with FDR’s attempt to “pack” the Supreme Court. After viewing these cartoons draw your own political cartoon on this event or any other of thefirst or second FDR administration.(20 pts)

In 1935 Adolf Hitler banned “jazz” music in Germany. In 1937 Benny Goodman created the big band “swing” sound that was considered even more offensive. Listen to a Benny Goodman album, watch the movie Swing Kids, and write a two page paper that explains what Hitler found to be so dangerous about this music.(20 pts)

There were two disasters in 1937. One was the “Hindenburg” explosion at Lakehurst, New Jersey. The other was the explosion at Consolidated Public School, New London, Texas. Write a one page paper on each event, and a one page paper on why, in your opinion, we remember one and not the other. (20 pts)

Research the Marion Anderson concert at the Lincoln Memorial. Write a two page paper on her struggle with racism, and what Eleanor Roosevelt did to help her and others of her race.(20 pts)

Go to the web site: httpp:// and read the section on “Dear Mrs. Roosevelt”. Write a one page paper on Eleanor Roosevelt’s contribution to the New Deal, and write her a letter as if you were one of the children that is talked about on this site. You are 17 years old, living in Salem in the year 1934. The rest of your situation is up to you.(20 pts)

Do the section reviews from the Addison Wesley book on page 521, and then the sec-tion reviews from Chapter 21 of the same book.(20 pts)

Listen to Mr. Gordon’s lectures, take notes, outline and organize them, and turn them in. You will be given an oral exam consisting of 5 to 10 questions over the content of the lectures.(20 pts)

Section 2:Congratulations on reaching the “B” level of this unit.

In this section there will be a maximum of 30 points. You may choose any one of the four tasks available to you, but only one. It is due on Friday, February 25th.

Woody Guthrie “sang” the depression. He wrote and performed over a one hundred songs with the depression as their theme. You are to put together a “music video” using any one of these songs. You must choose the visuals that you think best show Guthrie’s vision of what was going on. I have both songs and examples. I also have a “formula” for the video if you are interested.(30 pts)

Perhaps nothing is so identified with this time period in pop culture than the crime figures who were so prominent. You are to compile a series of movie clips that feature John Dillinger, Bonnie and Clyde, “Baby Faced” Nelson, and “Pretty Boy”Floyd that answers why they captured the publics attention and, very often, their support. Accompany this with a two page paper that defines just what you are trying to show. As with any video project, your finished product must be no more than a “PG-13”.(30 pts)

Likely the two most magnificent architectural accomplishments of this decade were the Empire State Building and the Hoover Dam. Using the matierial(s) of your choice, create a replica of either of them. Accompany this with a two page paper that details the construction, the amount of man hours, materials, and other specifications that went into the building of the subject of your choice.(30 pts)

Create at least 20 questions to ask someone in an interview about their life during the Great Depression. Clear the questions with Mr. Gordon, and conduct the interview. I would prefer this be done with your grandparents or, if possible, great grandparents. Second choice would be with another of your relatives that is at least 70 years old. If you do not have a relative that fits this criteria, interview any person who does. If you need help, we can set up the interview in local retirement homes. Present the results of the inter- view to Mr. Gordon either on tape or in a written format.(30 pts)

Section 3:You are now at the “A” level of this unit. Following are four tasks. You are to choose one.

Successful completion of this section guarantees you an “A” for this unit. These tasks are worth 30 points each. It is due on March 3rd. Write a one page biography for each of the following world leaders: Joseph Stalin, Benito Mussolini, Mao Tse-tung, Adolf Hitler, Francisco Franco, Hirohito, and Neville Chamberlain. (30 pts)

2.Read Children of the Dust Bowl: The True Story of the School at Weedpatch Camp by Jerry Stanley (Crown Publishers, Inc., 1992) Write a three page review of the book and a three page paper that compares and contrasts this material with the other things you have learned about the 1930’s. (30 pts)

“More so than anything else, the United States determination to remain neutral during the 1930’s led directly to WWII.” Write a five page paper assessing the validity of this statement, using as criteria the Kellogg-Briand Pact, the Nye Committee report, our reaction to the invasions of Manchuria and Ethiopia, advice of famous Americans such as Charles Lindbergh and Joseph Kennedy, and the passage of the Neutrality Acts of 1935, 1937, and 1939. (30 pts) In 1992 historians ranked Franklin D. Roosevelt as the 2nd best President in our history. Write a five page paper assessing the validity of his ranking using leadership, accomplishments, crisis management, political skill,appointments, character, and integrity as the primary areas of criteria. You may draw direct comparisons to other Presidents to prove your points if you choose to. (30 pts.)