Searching for the Cause and Effects of the Dust Bowl

Part of the "The Dust Bowl" Collection


Students will research and analyze the cause and effects of the Dust Bowl

Estimated Time

45 Minutes

Setting Required



  • S5E1. Students will identify surface features of the Earth caused by constructive and destructive processes.
    • a. Identify surface features caused by constructive processes.
      • Deposition (Deltas, sand dunes, etc.)
    • b. Identify and find examples of surface features caused by destructive processes.
      • Erosion (water—rivers and oceans, wind)
      • Weathering
      • Impact of organisms
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.5.2. Determine two or more main ideas of a text and explain how they are supported by key details; summarize the text.


  1. Read aloud the article “Worst US Environmental Disaster” with students, reading for the main ideas and supporting details. Then, read “What Caused the Dust Bowl” for more details to support the main ideas.
  2. Discuss what was found about the causes of the Dust Bowl (citing both weather and farming practices).
  3. List effects of the Dust Bowl (from immediate effects on the animals and humans in the area, to the development of the Soil Conservation act and changes in farm practices).
  4. Compare and contrast the Dust Bowl to the current situation with Ogallala Aquifer.