Dear Educator, 

Dirt is a perfect vehicle for teaching about the Depression and Dust Bowl and about the important issues of survival in times of crisis. Guiding questions, activities and lesson plans are available for grades 5-high school for literary and historical lessons.


While Dirt is a fictional story taking place in the Dust Bowl of 1933, there are many life lessons to be learned. The incidents and devastation portrayed are true to the era.  The quest of survival for the children, Sam and Birdie, is ultimately successful, with pain, determination and growth.


This unique book details the lives of two children struggling to survive on their own during one of the most devastating period in recent American history. A solid history of the living conditions and the psychological impact of weather and human ignorance gives the reader a look at how inner strength, even in children, can impact the lives of many others.


The Dust Bowl 

Oklahoma 1933






        Click on tabs to view an introduction to the guiding questions, activities and lesson plans. 




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S.L. Dwyer