The setting of Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry is Mississippi in 1933. This was during the worst Depression of the 20th century. The Depression affected everyone in the United States as well as the rest of the world. There were many people out of work and money was very scarce. Below are some grocery items and prices from August 1933, from an ad for the A & P grocery store in Bellevue, Ohio. Using online grocery sites that are provided, look up the prices of the items on the list and type them in the column on this spreadsheet. The difference for each item will calculate automatically. Pay careful attention to the amount of each item. You must find the price of the exact amound that was purchased at the 1933 price.
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Spreadsheet - Download this spreadsheet and research prices of the items on the list.

Online Grocery Sites
Peapod - enter your zip code to get into the site and search for an item
Groceries Express

Use these online grocery sites to help you find current prices. NOTE: Make sure you are finding prices for the exact amount. For example, the price of 10 bars of soap in 1933 was .27 - when you look up the current price of soap, you may need to calculate the price of 1 bar of soap by ten. Don't get hung up on brand names or bargain hunting. Your objective is to find out the difference between what it costs to shop for groceries in 1933 and now. Just find an "average" product price.

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How much more does a trip to the grocery store cost today (twice as much, five times as much)? Use the information you have from the spreadsheet to figure that out.

Why are items so much more costly today? Discuss the reasons for inflation.
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"The biggest financial cuts for school budgets came in teacher salaries. School districts expected teachers to accept lowered salaries and increased workloads, and for the most part teachers did, rationalizing that any job was better than no job at all. From 1929-1930 to 1933-1934 teachers' salaries dropped 13.6 percent on average, from $1,420 to $1,227 annually."

BOOKRAGS STAFF. "America 1930-1939: Education: Salaries". 2005. January 30 2009. <>.

WEEKLY WAGES (general averages)
Manufacturing--Production Worker