In writing Nothing To Fear, the author was able to do a great deal of research by interviewing older members of her own family. Many of the incidents in the book, in fact, are based on true incidents that happened to the people she interviewed. Details like these really bring a story to life. Now, everywhere the author goes, older people tell her their own stories of living through the Great Depression.
See if you can find some relatives or neighbors who lived through the Great Depression. Ask them to tell you about their experiences. Write out questions that you especially want to ask them. Take notes, or ask them if you can audio or videotape your conversation. Ask them if they have any photographs they can show you from that era.
Ask your teacher if you can hold a luncheon or tea at school and invite elderly neighbors and relatives to come in and talk with the class about how the Great Depression affected their families.
Visit your local library and look for books about the Great Depression. Some wonderful pictorial essays have been done about this era. Take special note of the peoples faces in the pictures. What emotions do you see there?
Ask if your library has any newspapers on microfilm from the 1930s. If so, read through some of them. Take special note of prices of food and clothing. Take a look at the classifieds. Are there many jobs available? What do the jobs pay? Now look at the prices of rental apartments and homes for sale.
Based on your research, write a short story about a child your age living during the Great Depression. Include some of the real incidents that people have told you about. After you have revised and done a final draft of your story, make copies for the friends and relatives who helped you with your research.
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