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Black Tuesday

Learn about the stock market crash that began on October 29, 1929, and then explore related activities.

This worksheet includes several FutureFit Extension Activities that highlight 21st Century skills like critical thinking, service mentality, and creativity. These FutureFit Extension Activities are designed to reinforce the concepts included in the worksheet activity while integrating real-world skills. They can be used as in-class independent practice or group activities, or assigned for take-home or independent work.

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FutureFit Extension Activities

Get Real

10-15 minutes
Materials needed:
5 index cards or scrap papers, “Hooverville” sign for classroom wall

Give each student 5 cards and ask them to number their cards 1-5. Have them write the following on the respective cards:

  • Card 1: Their dream job and how much they will be making at the age of 30
  • Card 2: How much money will be in their saving account when they are 30 years old
  • Card 3: How much money they will have invested in the stock market when they are 30 years old
  • Card 4: Whether they will rent or own their home at the age of 30
  • Card 5: 5 goals or aspirations they have for their adult life

Ask students to look at Card 3 – Explain that all their money they invested has been lost in a stock market crash similar to the crash in 1929. Have them crumple up or rip up their investments.

Ask students to look at Card 2 – Explain that even though they thought their saving was safe at the bank, the bank actually invested all the money in the stock market and it is now gone. Destroy this card also.

Card 1 – If they are selling something or providing an unnecessary service (such as hair stylist, CPA, sales clerk), they are now unemployed. If they have a necessary job (such as teacher, doctor, police officer), then they still have their job but they now make half of their original income. Have them write “FIRED” or their new salary on their cards.

Card 4 – If they have been fired, they cannot make rent or pay the mortgage. They are now homeless and have to move out of their home. Have them leave their desk to join “Hooverville” along the wall of the classroom. If their salary is reduced, and they have rent to pay, they can stay in their home. If they have a mortgage for their home, then the bank has foreclosed on the house and they are now homeless also and must move to “Hooverville.”

Card 5 – Ask them to look over their goals. Which ones require money? Cross those off.

Ask students to reflect on how it may have felt to go through the stock market crash in 1929. As partners, have students share their simulated experience and their feelings.

Reflect

(10-15 minutes):
Ask students to write a short story about how it would feel to be the “breadwinner” of a family of 4 (2 adults and 2 children) during the stock market crash in 1929. They may create a fictional life for themselves and describe how their life changed after the stock market.

Excerpted from

The 20th Century
Teacher Created Resources
This comprehensive book presents highlights of each decade from the 1900s to the 1990s. It examines the political, economic, social, cultural, scientific, and technological advances of the twentieth century and introduces students to the individuals who made history in each decade.
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