Dirty 30s Diary

We have watched quite a bit of the Ken Burns documentary, “The Dust Bowl,” so you should have a pretty good idea what life was like during the 30s in the Texas/Oklahoma region.

Your job now is to write a diary from the perspective of someone who is living in that place at that time. Use as many details as you can from the video to show that you paid attention and that you understand what life was like. We saw and talked about a lot of factors that impacted people’s lives.

You must write AT LEAST 5 entries on 5 different days (they should NOT ALL be consecutive days! Spread them out! You can have 2 or 3 in a row, but you need to cover 2 or 3 different weeks or months).

Each entry must be AT LEAST 1/2 page (single spaced, written standard size – ie not super huge writing) (more is fine, and will get you a better mark!)

You need to, without stating exactly, tell me what sex and age your character is. For example, don’t say, “I’m a 12 year old girl,” say something like, “other girls my age…” and then provide enough details so that I can guess how old you are. Maybe one of your best friends just turned 12, for example.

That same model applies to the following information, which needs to be found in your diary:

  • You need to let me know who else is in your family/household.
  • You need to talk about what you like to do, and whether you’re in school or working or whatever.
  • You need to talk about the responsibilities/duties that your character has around the house/farm.
  • Tell me what kinds of animals/crops are on your farm.
  • You need to talk about what most days are like (outside, routine, etc.)
  • You need to talk about what happens when the dust storms are really bad.
  • You need to talk about what a day without a storm is like.

BE CREATIVE! HAVE FUN WITH IT (even though life can be pretty depressing for these people at times!) PLAN IT OUT (make some rough notes for yourself, figuring out what kinds of things you’ll cover in each entry.)

You may download these instructions for printing/reference here: Dirty30sDiary

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