It wasn’t until I was in college I realized the Great Depression was a worldwide event. It’s taught quite a lot in US history, but when you reach the 1930s in world history, it’s all, “Let’s get ready for World War 2!” So, while we played this Great Depression dice game as part of our Texas history lessons, which is an overall part of our US history lessons, it still is totally doable for good old generic history lessons.
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Supplies needed for Great Depression dice game
(Update, the store I bought the game from no longer makes the game, so give me a few days and I’ll get a new version created)
Update to the update, the game is now uploaded, the original pictures when my kids were still shorter than me, are still in this post, just somewhat updated.
More Great Depression lesson ideas
- Great Depression movies to watch with your family
- Great Depression simulation: living as hobos
- Grepression Depression simulation
- What happened to the Hindenburg
How to use the Great Depression dice game
If you read my Exploration Dice Game, this is going to be familiar to you. Here’s the setup for you.
Print off the game. I printed it off with 2 pages per 1, to save on paper and ink. Then I cut the pages apart and spread them out around our dining room table. For this game, everyone starts off at the same spot, on the farm.
Of course, once everyone starts rolling, they spread out. Each kid rolls their die twenty times and records all of their results.
It amused me to see what all happened to everyone as they rolled their way around. It actually reminded me of the events in Grapes of Wrath, and n0w that I think about it could be a fun extension activity to the book.
As they worked their way around the table-hopping from soup kitchens to on the road, to a shelter, and finally getting work. In the instructions, they give you an option to stop once your student finds work, but I opted to have them continue because it seemed closer to the events of the Great Depression where jobs were most often very short-term work.
After playing the Great Depression Dice Simulation Game
While you can just play the game and see how you bounce around. This Great Depression Dice Game is best when you talk about it, and then write about it.
My kids were amazed at how much of the time was spent on the road, especially when they looked at images of cars from the time period and how different the cars were. It was hard to imagine riding cross country in those cars, and while it was certainly faster than crossing in a covered wagon, it was nowhere near as fast as our cars are now.
After we’d talked about it for a bit, they looked over the events on their page and chose five of them to write a short story. There’s a suggested rubric in the Great Depression Dice Game printable, so I stuck more or less to that.
It’s a super simple lesson, but the kids LOVE these dice games. Every time we try one of these games I start thinking, how might I make one of my own for this. They seem so simple to make, but in reality, I think the teacher behind these has put super a lot of work into them and has me impressed with her work.