Voices from the Dust Assignment

The final step in our look at the Dust Bowl/California migration of the 1930s is to put together the sources and information that we’ve looked at so far and show your understanding of the people, places, time, and issues, along with a healthy dose of creativity and ambition.

You must reference/include AT LEAST one audio file (looked at last time.) This will help you to understand/create a character. You must show an understanding of what was discussed in the file and an awareness of how these people spoke and what they were thinking. You need to include your detailed SUMMARY of your file, as well as a completed Primary Source Analysis sheet (or similar chart/document).

You must reference/include AT LEAST 5 photographs. These help illustrate the place and time you are describing. You need to look at/think about these photos and come up with an explanation of what’s going on in the photos, and how they connect to the character in/from the audio file.

Using this information and these sources, you need to write something from the perspective of or about a character who has moved to California from the Oklahoma area dust bowl of the 1930s. It needs to show a good understanding of the person’s history, current way of life, experiences, and feelings. You need to write as if a person from this time and place is speaking, so try to use the same style of speaking and the same types of words that these people used.

You’ll need to be creative and add in thoughts and ideas of your own, but they must fit in with the research/analysis that you’ve done.

For this, you can create:

  • a scrapbook
  • a journal/diary
  • a magazine/newspaper story
  • a series of letters back and forth
  • a lengthy, detailed obituary with quotes
  • a documentary video or audio recording
  • an original interview (written or recorded)
  • a fictional story (with good details and dialogue)

*other ideas are possible, but MUST BE APPROVED before beginning. If you start on something unapproved, you will have to do this again using an approved topic. No exceptions.

You will be marked on:

  • historical accuracy
  • accurate reflection of speech/people in this time & place
  • insights into / analysis of historical sources
  • creativity
  • overall effort
  • neatness/format

All sources consulted must be documented and included.

If you have questions, ASK!

Tell Mr. Robson what's on your mind!