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Droughts and Dust Bowls

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Civics +11 Age Levels Elementary (9 to 12 years old), Middle School (13 to 15 years old), Post-Secondary
This is a collection of teaching resources about droughts and the Dust Bowl. While it is mainly focused on 20th century American history, there are also some links to articles that cover droughts more broadly across time and cultures. I have included some artists (Woody Guthrie, John Steinbeck, nda Dorothea Lange) who recorded the effects of the Dust Bowl on American society. There is also a selection of lesson plans and videos that explain how farming practices and environmental changes lead to droughts, and how people have responded by changing practices and developing new technologies.

Resources in this collection might be used in Language Arts, Social Studies, or Science classrooms. Questions to consider might include:
-How do people impact their environment?
-How do changes to the environment impact peoples' lives?
-How did government and society respond to the disaster of the Dust Bowl?
-What is government's responsibility in times of natural disaster?
-What steps can be taken to prevent future environmental disasters?

Dust Bowl

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Prayer for Rain

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Blown Soil

Smithsonian American Art Museum

American Farm Hand

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Valley Farms

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Talking Dust Bowl [sound recording]

Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections

Woody Guthrie

National Portrait Gallery

John Steinbeck

National Portrait Gallery

Pare Lorentz

National Portrait Gallery

"Migrant Mother," by Dorothea Lange

National Museum of American History

It Made Me Think of Dorothea Lange

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

U. S. 66 Route Marker

National Museum of American History

View of Ruins of Pueblo 1873

National Anthropological Archives

Dendrochronology: Telling Time by Tree Rings

Smithsonian Archives - History Div

Technology of the Dust Bowl

National Museum of American History