The Dust Bowl


  • Sanora Babb, Biography | Ken Burns: The Dust Bowl

    In this short biography, we learn about the life of author, poet, editor, and journalist Sanora Babb. It was Babb's work that would influence John Steinbecks account of the Dust Bowl in his novel, The Grapes of Wrath.

    Grades: 6-12
  • Henry Howard Finnell, Biography | Ken Burns: The Dust Bowl

    Learn about the life of Henry Howard Finnell, a soil scientist who developed farming techniques to preserve the integrity of soil and fight soil erosion during the Dust Bowl. The Dust Bowl was the worst man-made ecological disaster in American history.

    Grades: 6-12
  • Woody Guthrie, Biography | Ken Burns: The Dust Bowl

    Learn about the life of Woody Guthrie, the American folk musician whose ballads, traditional and children's songs, often incorporated political commentary.

    Grades: 6-12
  • Dorothea Lange, Biography | Ken Burns: The Dust Bowl

    Learn about the life of documentary photographer Dorothea Lange, whose images of struggling families, sharecroppers, and migrant workers brought the story of the dust bowl to the American public. Her images were so compelling and critical that the Army impounded them.

    Grades: 6-12
  • Arthur Rothstein, Biography | Ken Burns: The Dust Bowl

    Learn about the life of Arthur Rothstein, a photographer who worked in the federal government's photography unit as part of the Resettlement Administration and later the Farm Security Administration. Rothstein produced some of the most iconic and emotional images of the Dust Bowl, and documented the problems the nation was facing.

    Grades: 6-12

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