This video is a classroom demonstration of Lesson 30: WhatDunnit? The Great Depression Mystery from CEE’s Understanding Economics in U.S. History publication. In this lesson the students read a brief passage posing the basic question about the Great Depression: Why did it happen? A brief simulation activity shows how unemployment in one part of the economy can lead to unemployment in other parts of the economy. With the aid of a visual, the teacher compares the simulation to the business cycle. The teacher then uses another visual to introduce the role of bank failures in intensifying the depression, and the students fill out a worksheet that helps them understand how the decisions of foreign and domestic banks, the Federal Reserve System and individual depositors brought about the collapse of the American banking system in 1933.
The video starts with an introduction by two educators describing the lesson, followed by a demonstration of the lesson being taught to teachers in the classroom.
This lesson was originally published in CEE’s Understanding Economics in U.S. History, which uses a unique mystery-solving approach to teach U.S. economic history to your high school students through 39 lessons. Visit the CEE Store for more information about the publication and how to purchase it.