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Economic Development in the 1930s: Balance Agriculture with Industry lesson plan

OVERVIEW

One of the primary goals of Mississippi governors and politicians of the 1930s was to stimulate economic growth in the state. Columbia's mayor, Hugh White, was elected governor of Mississippi in 1935. His political aspirations included developing the economic industrial base of the state through a plan that became known as BAWI (Balance Agriculture with Industry).  Even though few of the firms that were established under White's plan still exist, this economic vision acted as a catalyst in changing economic goals for a historically agricultural state.

CURRICULAR CONNECTIONS

Mississippi Studies Framework:  Competencies 1, 2, 3 and 4.

TEACHING LEVELS

Grades 9 through 12.

MATERIALS AND EQUIPMENT

Mississippi History Now article

Notebook paper and pencil or pen

Chalk and chalkboard

Overhead and transparency

Unlined paper

Colored pencils and markers

Glue and scissors

Mississippi History textbooks as well as reference books

Computer

OBJECTIVES

Students will:

Identify Hugh White.

Describe Hugh White's BAWI plan.

Determine the successes and criticisms of the BAWI plan.

Examine economic activity in the state today.

OPENING THE LESSON

Place the terms agriculture and industry on the chalkboard. Ask for a student volunteer to define the terms. Ask for student volunteers to speculate on how these terms are relevant to Mississippi's economy. Ask for student volunteers to give examples of industry and agriculture in Mississippi today. Explain to the students that they will explore the history of industrial development in Mississippi.

DEVELOPING THE LESSON

1.

Give each student a copy of the generalizations below. Allow students to work with partners in order to complete this generalization activity. Instruct the students to copy the following generalizations from the chalkboard or overhead transparency. Tell the students to use the Mississippi History Now article to find two to three supporting details for each generalization. The students should list the supporting details in complete sentences, in the space provided below each generalization.

a.

Reliance Manufacturing Company was an industrial success due to a partnership between the company and local leadership in Columbia.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

b.

The Great Depression affected the state economy of Mississippi.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

c.

During the Great Depression, Mississippi benefited from national programs.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

d.

The Mississippi Industrial Act encouraged economic development in Mississippi.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

e.

The BAWI plan drew criticism at the state and national level.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

f.

The BAWI plan affected industrial development in Mississippi both positively and negatively.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

2.

After the students have completed the generalizations activity, ask for student volunteers to share their answers. The teacher can record the answers on the chalkboard or overhead.

3.

Give each student a copy of the generalizations below. Allow students to work with partners in order to complete this generalization activity. Instruct the students to copy the following generalizations from the chalkboard or overhead transparency. Tell the students to use the Mississippi History Now article to find two to three supporting details for each generalization. The students should list the supporting details in complete sentences, in the space provided below each generalization.

a.

What may have been the reason why each of these particular cities was chosen for industrial development?

b.

What types of jobs were possibly performed at these firms?

c.

What types of workers were possibly recruited for employment by these firms?

d.

What may have been the reason for closure for most of these firms?

e.

How can economic development positively and negatively affect a community?

4.

Have the students choose a county in the state, or the cities and respective counties found in this article, to research.  Instruct the students to complete a booklet concerning the economic activity of the region.  As a part of the project, students can write letters of inquiry to state agencies as well as the local chambers of commerce, for information to complete the booklet. Students can be placed in groups of three to complete this portion of the lesson or work individually on this project.

5.

Allow the students to display and share their booklets upon completion of the assignment (It may take some time to complete this activity if students write letters to organizations in the area of their research; it could be an out-of-class assignment).

CLOSING THE LESSON

Place the following terms on the chalkboard:  Hugh White, Reliance Manufacturing Company, Mississippi Industrial Act, and Ingalls Shipyard. Ask for student volunteers to explain how these terms relate to the BAWI plan.

ASSESSING STUDENT LEARNING

1.

Class participation

2.

Generalizations

3.

Booklets

EXTENDING THE LESSON

1.

Secure a guest speaker from your local Chamber of Commerce or an economic development board.

2.

Take a tour of a local firm in your area.

3.

Have students research the major employers in their own communities.

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