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OUSD K-12 History / Social Studies Standards
Sample Question: What caused the Depression and what were
its effects on the American people and the role of government?

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Grade 11 : OUSD Sample Assignments
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OUSD Historical Thinking Standards Overview | OUSD Historical Thinking Standards Gr 9 - 12

Historical Thinking Standard
Assignments / Activities
To show evidence of standards, students might

Chronological/ Spatial Thinking




Draw a map to locate the Dust Bowl and routes taken to California

Create a timeline that shows events leading to the Great Depression, the election of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and the subsequent New Deal legislation.

Examining Evidence

Examining primary sources (such as photos, artifacts, and documents)

Relationship between primary sources and historical/ geographical context

Author's intentions / perspective

Read oral histories from Stud Terkel's Hard Times on the Great Depression.

Write captions or news stories to go with textless photographs of Dorothea Lange, Margaret Bourke-White, and Walker Evans.

Examine charts, graphs, and tables that show rising unemployment, GNP, etc. and write text to accompany these charts.

Diversity / Multiple Perspectives

Influences (such as location, race, gender, class, age, sexual orientation)


Using Hard Times, read accounts of people from different economic levels and discuss the uneven impact of the Great Depression.

Present a talk show with the host interviewing people with diverse occupations and backgrounds to discuss how the Great Depression affected them.

Have a debate between Republicans and Democrats over government relief to the unemployed..


Constructing historical accounts

Comparing historical accounts

Moral judgment

View excerpts from I Am a Fugitive (pessimistic) and The Wild Boys of the Road (optimistic) and write film reviews of each.

Write Supreme Court opinions (majority and dissenting views) on the constitutionality of the
acts and agencies created by the New Deal.

Read differing accounts from historians on the causes of the Great Depression.

Determining Historical / Geographical Significance

Connect past and present




Construct a chart prioritizing the causes of the Great Depression including a justification of those priorities.

Examine 10 pieces of legislation and/ or agencies under Franklin Roosevelt's Administration and determine to what extent these increased the national government's power over the states' rights..

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