This activity is something that I did last year in my US History II class, which has mostly 11th graders. The 3-day lesson fit well into the end of our unit on the 1920’s and the Stock Market Crash and the beginning of the Great Depression. It is designed to provoke student control of the classroom, and includes critical-reading of present day issues, a Socratic Seminar/Fishbowl, and an essay response. I have had trouble teaching about Hoover in the past, and in an effort to make the topic more interesting I tossed around the idea of this lesson with my Department Chair, who loved the idea. He came and watched the first day and saw how into it the students were and proceeded to come back to for the second day. When we got to the end of the second day we were debriefing and decided that a third day was necessary to really assess that how well the students grasped the ideas. The results on the essay response were fantastic, and I will definitely do this lesson again this year.
The advantages of this 3-day, 45-minute per day, lesson plan are that the students are forced to take control of the classroom. It is almost entirely student centered, though the first day involves a short teacher lecture. It also challenges the students to relate the past to the present, discussing the Occupy Wall Street movement and other views of the economy. Students are required to form their own opinions on this incredibly relevant lesson topic, and take real ownership of the class discussion. In a debrief with my students the day after we finished, they commented on how much they loved doing this lesson, as well as how much they learned. The students will be improving their reading comprehension, critical-thinking, discussion, and writing skills. This lesson involves different levels of reading activities so the teacher can differentiate the instruction.
Enjoy! Ryan Davis
Keywords: US History + Economics + Hoover + Government Control of Economy + Economy + 1920's + Great Depression + Trickle-Down Economics + Supply-Side Economics + Occupy Wall Street+ Socratic Seminar + Fishbowl + Writing Assignment
Come visit my store for more great history lessons and activities: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Ryan-Davis-2072