Hoover Dam

Hoover Dam
Lou Hoover: Science, Medicine, Inventions and tech

Skill: High School/College
Time Required:


Lou Hoover was a highly educated woman and had much experience in civics when she became First Lady.  Unfortunately, she was unable to use her skills due the Great Depression and public perceptions.  President Hoover was often blamed for the depression.  The public’s displeasure was also keenly felt by his wife.  In an effort to end some of their unpopularity President Hoover had the Hoover Dam named after him because construction of the dam would employ 5000 people.  When FDR came into office he changed the dam’s name to the Boulder Dam.  On April 30, 1947, President Truman signed a resolution renaming the dam once again the Hoover Dam.


In this lesson students will learn about the history of the Hoover Dam and how to create a web quest.

Materials Required:

Access to the Internet


Prior to this class elicit assistance from one grade level of elementary teachers.
Notify students that they are going to enter a web quest contest.
Have students review the WebQuest Page, created by two educational technologists from the University of San Diego, to gain an understanding of web quest is.  While at the site have students review ten web quests in the web quest garden and compile a list of what they like and do not like in each web quest.
After the review of web quest, have a discussion regarding what students like and dislike in web quests.
Have students do research to gain an understanding of the history of the Hoover Dam.
Working in pairs, have students create web quests for students in the grade level of the elementary teachers who previously volunteered to assist.
When all web quests are completed have the teachers judge and rank the web quests. 

Extending the Lesson:

To extend this lesson, have students also do a web quest on the Great Depression or the Colorado River.

Sources & Resources:

      Bureau of Reclamation: Hoover Dam 
      Hoover Dam Visitor Center 
      Boulder City/ Hoover Dam Museum 
      PBS: Hoover Dam
Great Depression: 
      University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
      PBS: Great Depression 
      Library of Congress 
      New Deal Network
Colorado River:
      Grand Canyon Explorer 
      Lower Colorado River Association 
      University of Arizona 


Hoover Dam:

   Burchard, Harry.  Hoover Dam: A Historical Novel.  Philadelphia: Xlibris Corporation, 2000. 

   DuTemple, Lesley A. The Hoover Dam.  Minneapolis: Lerner Publications Company, 2003. 

   Lavender, David. Colorado River Country.   New York: E. P. Dutton, Inc., 1982. 

   Mann, Elizabeth.  The Hoover Dam.  New York: Mikaya Press, 2001 

   Moxon, James C.  Lake Mead and Hoover Dam, The Story Behind the Scenery. Las Vegas: KC Publishers, Inc., 1980.

   Stevens, Joseph E.   Hoover Dam, An American Adventure. Norman and London: University of Oklahoma Press, 1988

   Waters, Frank. The Colorado. Athens, Ohio: Swallow Press Books, 1946 (reprinted, 1984). 

Great Depression: 

   Bernanke, Ben S.  Essays on the Great Depression.  Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2000.      

   Gowland, David.  Money, Inflation, and Unemployment.  New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1991.      

   Markham, Jerry W. A Financial History of the United States.  New York: M. E. Sharpe, Inc., 2002.      

   McElvaine, Robert S. (ed.). Down and Out in the Great Depression: letters from the Forgotten Man.  Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1983.
Colorado River: 
   Fleck, Richard F. Colorado River Reader. Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 2000. 
   Ghiglieri, Michael P. and Bradley, George Y.  First Through the Grand Canyon: The Secret Journals & Letters of the 1869 Crew Who Explored the Green and Colorado Rivers.  Caulfield: Puma Press, 2003. 
   Powell, John Wesley.  The Exploration of the Colorado River and Its Canyons.  New York: Penguin Books, 1987. 
   Stegner, Wallace.  Beyond the Hundredth Meridian: John Wesley Powell and the Second Opening of the West. New York: Penguin Press, 1992. 
   Wesley, John.  Exploring The Colorado River: First Hand Accounts by Powell and His Crew. Mineola: Northland Publishing, 1988. 
This lesson was written by Debra L. Clark, Kent State University