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Monday April 9, 2018 at 3:07pm Age: 348 days
Category: Middle School, District


The middle school library helped eighth graders connect with the experience of the Great Depression by challenging students to build a Hooverville, or shanty town, out of cardboard.

For most of our students, the idea of living in a shanty town or city slum is something foreign and unthinkable. But as eighth graders in Mrs. Keppler’s social studies class recently learned, shanty towns became a part of the American experience during the Great Depression. In the midst of intolerable economic and social conditions, unemployed and evicted from their homes, many Americans turned to what materials they could find to build shelters for themselves, mostly around major cities. These desperate communities were known as Hoovervilles, a reference to then-President Herbert Hoover.

"I learned more in depth how the people of the Great Depression lived,” Grace Malone said. “I found out about the conditions in which they had to survive."

"It was an interesting project," Ava Biondollilo said. “It taught us the realities of how hard building adequate shelter was during the Great Depression, with little supplies."

The Hooverville exhibit was also helpful to sixth graders learning about this period of our history through the reading of the children’s novel “Bud, Not Buddy” by Christopher Paul Curtis. One of Mrs. Ferrier’s sixth grade English classes visited and interacted with the eighth graders in their Hooverville, while staying in character.

April is National School Library Month. Our school librarians create meaningful and engaging learning experiences for our students, year-round. Thank your school librarian!

(Photos provided by MVMS Librarian Maggie Spicehandler)