Of Mice and Men:
Back in Time

A Webquest for 10th grade English

Designed by

Gail Snyder

Introduction | Task | Process | Evaluation | Conclusion | Credits | Teacher Page

Imagine that you are able to step back in time - back to the decade of America’s Great Depression, 1930-1939. What would life be like for someone living then? What kind of education would you have? Where would you shop? What would you wear? What would you do for entertainment: go to the movies, watch television, listen to the radio? Now, what if you could become someone other than yourself? 

This is your chance to be someone else, someone different. You will assume the role of a person living in the 1930's. You may be anyone you want: a migrant worker, a dust bowl refugee, a city dweller, or a country farmer. If you wish, you may link your pretend person with someone else's and be brothers or sisters or mother and child. This your chance to assume a role!


In order to assume your new role, you will have to become an investigator. When your investigation is completed, you will make an oral presentation to the class, in character, utilizing Microsoft’s PowerPoint presentation format. You will be expected to know your background, education, occupation (student, farmer, secretary, etc.), geographical location and/or residence, family life, social/community life, entertainment, and any other  information about your life that you want to share. If you have met a famous person, or witnessed an exciting event of the 1930's, make sure you include it in your presentation.

In order to be successful investigators, you will need to research the decade.
Web links have been set up for you in order to aid your investigation. However, before you can begin your investigation, you must make some decisions.

1) Decide on the role that you will assume.
2) If you are planning to link your person with someone else, now is the time to make that decision. Remember, each person will do their own investigation.
3) Once you have made these decisions, begin investigating the decade.
4) Everyone, regardless of role, must begin here with an overview of the 30’s 
5) Record the URL's which you visit through your research.
6) Using the Inspiration web tools, organize the information you have gathered.

Inspiration Web

The 1930's Decade

 Fads & Fashion
 Art & Architecture
 Radio & Film
 Government & Politics
 Prices: Then & Now

Now that you are understanding the decade better, it is time for you to learn more about The Depression. Search through the web sites that follow to learn about The Great Despression, The Dust Bowl, and migrant workers. 

The Great Depression

The Migrant Experience
 Photo History: Arkansas, 1935
 Photo History: Omaha, 1938
 Photo History: Migrant Workers, 1937
 Photo History: New York City, 1938
 Photo History: Tenant Farmers, 1937
 Dust Bowl Memories
 The Dust Bowl
  The Great Depression: History Links
 1930's Timeline
 Surviving the Dust Bowl
 The Great Depression: Cause & Effect

Each element of your webquest will be evaluated. As you work, check the rubric often to make sure you are on target to get the best grade possible. You will be graded in the following areas: research, role playing, and PowerPoint Presentation. A total of 75 points can be earned through this project.









 Little or no historical research
Evidence of historical research which shows an emerging knowledge of 1930's decade.
Evidence of  historical research which demonstrates applicable knowledge of 1930's decade.
  Evidence of  historical research which demonstrates an understanding of 1930's decade. 
Role Playing


No evidence of role playing 
Displays an emerging  knowledge of characteristics of role;
Demonstrates an attempt to recreate a person through appearance.
Displays an applicable knowledge of characterisitics of role; Demonstrates application of role playing through appearance. 
Displays a comprehensive understanding of the characterisitics of the role; Demonstrates the understanding through appearance and manner.
PowerPoint Presentation 

Creates few slides with little content; Displays little  mastery of PowerPoint
   Creates some slides which demonstrate research and an attempt at creative presentation.
Creates multiple
slides which demonstrate complete research and a strong application of PowerPoint format.  
Creates dynamic slides which demonstrate complete research and mastery of all facets of PowerPoint format. 

Now that you have spent some time traveling back in time, what are your impressions of the 1930's? Was it an interesting time to be alive? Do you think life was easier, harder, simpler, or more complicated? What did you think of the price of items and the clothes people wore? Now take some time to write a journal reflecting on these questions. Include any other impressions about your work that you would like to share.

Credits & References

My thanks go out to the wonderful instructors of the eSecondary Academy Western Shore for all of their knowledge and patience in helping me to construct this Webquest. I would also like to thank the other participants in the Academy for their input and insight.

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Last updated on August 15, 1999. Based on a template from The WebQuest Page