Today we watched two short episodes from the People's History. "Needles and Pins" showed us life for factory workers in the manufacture of cloth. We also learned that not everyone suffered the same during the Depression. The Eaton family, for example, went on as normal but eventually had to bow to public pressure and reform their labour practices. We have to remember that the relative comfort we enjoy today was not available to most people back then. For example, today we assume that all children will have a chance to complete a secondary school education - grade 8 was a more common benchmark in a time when many kids had to help support their families. "Blown Away" had some clear images of life on the Prairies during the drought and dust bowl that consumed much of the 1930s. Again, we must remember that there was no well-established social safety net to help those who had lost their means of living; the result was hunger and pain.
We also used a summary guide sheet to review the key elements of the CCF's Regina Manifest (1933). We have to see the CCF as a response to the lack of effort the Government was putting towards finding a solution to the suffering. We noted how clear the preamble is in making a distinction between the CCF's "constitutional, non-violent" proposal to replace the "old parties" that relied on the financial support of big business and the Marxist label that "capital" would liked to have given it.
We ended the day by examining a list of vocab terms from the unit and organizing them into logical groupings (chunking is a good way to organize lists) - I heard some good discussions. In this kind of task I like to start with a few terms I immediately recognize, and then slowly add more and more of the outlying words.