Talkin’ Dust Bowl Blues, Black Sunday & Save the Soil Worksheets
Talkin’ Dust Bowl Blues
Legendary folksinger Woody Guthrie helped stand up for struggling farmers during the Dust Bowl. He used his guitar and his voice to write about the dust storms that drove thousands from their homes. In his first commercial release, Dust Bowl Ballads, Woody’s songs tell stories of life in the Great Plains during times of drought and economic hardship. Visit the above Web site to read the lyrics of his songs. Then work in a small group to create your own Dust Bowl ballads to perform for the class.
WORKSHEET & Sample PDF Activity
Sample PDF Activity
The day of the Black Blizzard, “the sky went dark. Dust was flyin’ everywhere. You couldn’t see nothin’. You couldn’t see your hand right in front of you.” Work with a small group to find out more about the worst dust blizzard of the 1930’s. Create a 5- to 8-minute newscast on the “day of the black blizzard.” Assign reporters to answer the basic WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE, and WHY as they relate to the blizzard. You may want to include an interview section with a firsthand account of the storm. Present music and visual aids as you perform your newscast for the class.
Save the Soil!
To combat erosion and protect the soil, the federal government set up the Soil Conservation Service in 1935. The program taught farmers better ways to manage the soil, such as contour plowing, terracing, and strip cropping. Design an experiment using the scientific method to demonstrate a method of conserving soil. Start with a research question—for example, what is the effect of contour plowing on soil? Do background research to find more information on your topic. Then state your hypothesis or educated guess about your research question. Write a detailed plan or procedure on how you will conduct your experiment. (You may want to start out with an aluminum pan filled with soil, some water, and seedlings to do your experiment.) Finally, conduct your experiment, collect data, and record your results. What was your conclusion? Present your findings to your class.