Much of history is interpreted from an adult point of view. This unit helps students gain an understanding of Dust Bowl history through the eyes of a child. Using Karen Hesse’s Newbery Award-winning Out of the Dust as an introduction to this aspect of the Great Depression, students have the opportunity to identify with the personal experiences of youth in the 1930s.
This curriculum guide is developed to help a teacher and his/her students develop the background information that is necessary to understand the historical events that are described in Out of the Dust. Students will study the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression, along with the impact of Frankin D. Rooselvelt's New Deal.
Students in 7th grade read Out of the Dust as part of a unit on American history; however, students do not often have enough knowledge of this era of history to understand many of the problems that Billie Jo is facing during the novel. I want to make sure that students have the background knowledge to truly understand the trials that she is facing because of the the setting of the novel.