Education Technology

NCSS: Investigating Causes of the Great Depression

Published on 07/19/2006

Activity Overview

Students will use the Internet to research causes of the Great Depression. They will synthesize their information into StudyCards(tm) files to discuss in class and use the information to create a list of the causes of the Great Depression.

Before the Activity

See the attached Activity PDF file for detailed instructions for this activity.

Print the appropriate pages from the Activity for your class.

Install the StudyCards(tm) App on the students' graphing calculators following the attached instructions.

Students begin this activity by researching the causes of the Great Depression. A list of Web sites providing information on causes is included in this lesson, but the readability of the sites for a group of students must be determined by the teacher. Teachers with limited Internet facilities may also wish to supplement the web research with other resources such as textbooks and library research materials. Students will also use the StudyCards(tm) Creator software. The teacher should be ready to explain how to use the program. Instructions for using StudyCards(tm) Creator are provided at the end of this activity.

During the Activity

  • Distribute the appropriate pages from the Activity to your class
  • Distribute the StudyCards(tm) file(s) to your class using TI Connect(tm) and the appropriate TI Connectivity cable
  • Follow the procedures outlined in the Activity


  • Students will:
  • Use Internet resources to gather information on the causes of the Great Depression.
  • Explain the causes of the Great Depression by creating and applying categories to the causes uncovered in the students' research.
  • Participate in a simulation to understand the Stock Market Crash of 1929.
  • Explain the economic effects of the Stock Market Crash.
  • After the Activity

    The class will debrief their research using the StudyCards(tm) stack that they created. This activity does not require the computer resources since the students have all their information on their handheld devices.

    1. Have each student explain one of the causes that they discovered in their research. Record the cause on the chalkboard or chart paper. As students discuss the cause, review how many students found the same cause and record this information on the board.
    2. After all the causes that the students discovered are discussed and listed on the board, the next step is to group the causes together into categories. The list should be reducible to four or five categories.
    3. Once categories are created, the students can turn the categories into organizing ideas for an essay that addresses the causes of the Great Depression.
    4. Inform students that in the next activity they will research in depth one of the causes of the Great Depression—The Stock Market Crash of 1929.