We recently began a study on the Great Depression. It was inspired by the movie Kit Kittredge: An American Girl. This movie is interesting to both my high schooler and my 9 year old-AND I found myself watching parts of it even though I had seen it many times! 🙂
(As a side note, I would say that one of the characters is a little flirtatious acting. I always like to warn parents and let them decide if a movie is okay for their family.)
As we were watching the movie my daughter asked me, “What caused the Great Depression?” I found this website and began reading. As I read I was shocked to discover that banks were helping people buy stock by letting them borrow up to 75% of the purchase price. In other words a $100 stock could be bought with $25-it didn’t matter that the person didn’t have the other $75-they could borrow it! And the banks were charging up to 20% interest on the loans!
Borrowers didn’t worry about the risk of losing all their money plus the bank’s money because they were certain they wouldn’t lose money in the stock market. As you can imagine, this became a disaster. When the market crashed, suicide and despair swept through the American investing classes. The pressure of having to pay back what they owed and probably having most of their possessions taken from them took a big toll.
As I shared this information on The Great Depression with my children, my older daughter decided that she never wanted to invest! We talked about investing and that it isn’t inherently bad, but borrowing money to invest can be a very bad idea!!
On the more positive side, many people used their ingenuity and hard work to make the best of their circumstances.
Great Depression Unit Study Resources:
Below are the resources we used for our study on The Great Depression (and some resources that we will be using for further study).
Here is the Kit Kittredge movie (along with 3 other American Girl Movies)
|American Girl: 4 Kid Favorites|
http://www.ushistory.org/us/48.asp-this is the history website that explains what the Great Depression was and details the causes of the Great Depression.
Here is a fascinating look at Cooking in the great depression on Youtube:
http://www.kitkittredge.com/-I think my younger daughter will really enjoy this official movie site for the Kit Kittredge movie.
7 Money Saving Cooking Tips from the Great Depression-My high schooler will enjoy reading this.
My high schooler will also be reading the book “The Stewardship of God’s Riches”. It is a compilation of documents, speeches and essays from economic writers. The writers have varied backgrounds-there are writings from Nobel Prize recipients, economists, business leaders and more. There is some information on The Great Depression in this book, and I trust Ray Notgrass to give a true perspective on the subject.
|The Stewardship of God’s Riches|
We enjoy our unit studies! How about you-do you use unit studies in your homeschool?
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