1. Years 9-10
  2. Australian History
  3. Activities
  4. Experiences of the Depression
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Experiences of the Depression

Grade Work Samples
End of Stage 5 (end of Year 10)
Grade A Jo   Shannon  
Grade B Casey  
Grade C Lou  
New Work Samples

Description of activity

Students work in pairs and create a dialogue between two characters who had different experiences of the Great Depression. The characters can be fictitious but their experiences must reflect actual historical circumstances. Possible pairs of characters can be suggested, eg a child from a family that was evicted from their home and a child whose family was not adversely affected by the Depression; an Aboriginal unemployed person and a non-Aboriginal person; a city person and a country person. Dialogues may be presented as a live performance, script, audio tape, videotape, cartoon or story board, or exchange of letters.


This activity is part of Topic 3: Australia between the Wars, in the Mandatory Stage 5 course and focuses on the experiences of different social groups during the Great Depression and the impact of the Depression on their lives. Students have previously learned about the experiences of different groups during World War I. For this activity, students have learned about the causes and effects of the Great Depression and have examined primary source material to investigate the experiences of different social groups.

Teachers should note that the ICT component of Outcome 5.10 below is not a compulsory requirement for this activity. However, this aspect of the outcome would need to be addressed in another activity by the end of the course.


A student:

5.1 explains social, political and cultural developments and events and evaluates their impact on Australian life

5.6 uses sources appropriately in an historical inquiry

5.7 explains different contexts, perspectives and interpretations of the past

5.10 selects and uses appropriate oral, written and other forms, including ICT, to communicate effectively about the past for different audiences

Criteria for assessing learning

(These criteria would normally be communicated to students with the activity.)

Students will be assessed on their ability to:

  • describe the different experiences and perspectives of the chosen individuals
  • explain the impact of the Great Depression on the chosen individuals
  • use relevant historical information from a number of sources
  • select and use appropriate forms to communicate effectively about the past.
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