Activity 4: The Jobs Just Around the Corner
Activities & Media Album: "Stinging Dust & Forgotten Lives: The Dust Bowl" Teacher's Guide to Activities and Media
Teacher Resource Guide: tcpfilms.com/studio/sdfl/SDFL_Lest_We_Forget.pdf
Stinging Dust & Forgotten Lives uses several audio clips of human struggle from the Library of Congress. These clips, recorded by witnesses of the Dust Bowl, present poems and songs that tells a story of human persistence during a time of struggle. After students view the clip, “Job’s Just Around the Corner,” have students complete a scrapbook or visual poem that describes how they would have dealt with living during the Dust Bowl. Tell students that they will be a member of a family whose farm is greatly affected by the Dust Bowl and describe through a scrapbook or poem how they dealt with the harsh conditions. Students will use the items on this site for their scrapbooks or poems.
Prior to assigning this activity, discuss with the students why people during this period would write poems, record stories, or sing songs about their experiences. What is the overall purpose of the Library of Congress keeping archives of these histories?
Scenario 1: Ask students to consider what kind and how much food a family would have acquired and eaten on a daily basis during the Dust Bowl.
Scenario 2: Ask students to be a father or mother of a family in the Great Plains. How would they deal with raising their family during harsh conditions? How would they attempt to solve the problem?
Scenario 3: As conditions worsened for farming families in the drought areas of the Great Plains, many left to find better opportunities. Describe the daily life of one week of a family’s migration to California through a travel journal.
Scenario 4: Ask students to research what the Farm Security Administration camps were, the conditions, and daily life of a person living in the camp. Write a diary, make a scrapbook, or write a poem of their experience in an FSA camp.
Scenario 5: Ask students to make a map using Imogene Chapin’s poem, “The Job’s Just Around the Corner,” to show how she and her family moved from place to place as well as what happened along the way.
Scenario 6: Ask students to search for a photograph of a child their age from the Library of Congress, FSA-OWI website. Have them describe the facial expression, the surroundings, and overall experience of that child from the photograph.
Scenario 7: Ask students to consider that their family had to leave their farmhouse during the Dust Bowl. What would they take with them? What things would they have to do without?
Copyright 2008 Cameron Douglas Craig and Kevin Harker Jeanes