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OKH 5-7

Page history last edited by Pam Merrill 4 years ago

Oklahoma Academic Standard 5. The student will examine the Oklahoma’s political, social, cultural, and economic transformation during the early decades following statehood.

Objective 5.7  Describe the impact of environmental conditions and human mismanagement of resources resulting in the Dust Bowl and the migration of the “Okies", the national perceptions of Oklahomans, and the New Deal policies regarding conservation of natural resources. 

In a Nutshell

Students should understand that Oklahoma, as well as the entire nation, was experiencing the worst financial disaster ever recorded in American history. However, the midwest was also hit by an environmental disaster that would create dire consequences. Students should analyze how poor farming techniques and other human mismanagement of land and resources were contributory causes of the Dust Bowl. The migration of Oklahomans for better economic opportunities had a major impact on the state of Oklahoma, changing the national perception of “Okies” that resonates still today.

Teacher Action 

Student Action 

  • Assist students in evaluating local and regional problems regarding the human mismanagement of resources that eventually led to the Dust Bowl. 

  • Provide opportunities for students to actively engage in asking and answering geographic questions by acquiring, organizing, and analyzing multiple sources of data and information.

  • Assist students to explain the challenges people have faced and the strategies used to address local, regional, or national historical problems. 

  • Evaluate the extent to which political and economic decisions have had significant historical impact on human and physical environments. 

  • Analyze the connections between historical events and the geographic contexts in which they have occurred, including the causes and processes of environmental changes over time. 

  • Evaluate the extent to which the programs of the New Deal attempted to reverse environmental decisions that impacted human and physical regions of Oklahoma.  

Key Concepts 


  • land and soil mismanagement, degradation, dry-farming, contour plowing, drought, Black Sunday

  • migration, emigrant, transient labor, migrant camps

  • impact of literature, including The Grapes of Wrath, portrayal of “Okies” 

  • New Deal policies, including emergency relief, scientific research, soil and water conservation programs, shelterbelt project, 

  • Farm Security Administration, CCC

  • Students may have the misconception that the Dust Bowl was an environmental event caused exclusively by natural processes associated with drought, which fails to recognize the contributing human decisions and practices.

Instructional Resources

Access suggested instructional resources correlated to standard and objective.

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