Project Overview
Language Arts Unit 1
Language Arts Unit 2
Science Unit
Social Studies Unit 1
Social Studies Unit 2

Studies (2)

Unit Introduction

1. The Great Depression and the New Deal

2. Global Affairs and the Beginning of WWII

3. Rubrics



The Great Depression, FDR, and the New Deal

The causes of the Great Depression.

The impact of the Great Depression on the American people and the world.

President Hoover’s action and philosophy in dealing with the Stock Market crash and as the Depression took hold on the country.

The protest of the American public and the election of a new President to guide the country out of the crisis it was facing.

The purpose of the New Deal, its programs and the effectiveness of them.

The criticisms of President Roosevelt and his New Deal.

The role of popular culture in allowing citizens to briefly escape the reality that they lived in.

Vocabulary: ‘fireside chats’, ‘Brain Trust’, ‘Hundred Days’

(taken from Lessons from History)

Multiple causes of the Great Depression impacted its severity and duration.

The Depression had an surmountable effect upon the country’s people, its society, upon culture, ideas and politics.

The New Deal took on the task of answering the economic crisis in a way never attempted before by the government.

The success, failure, and overall significance of the New Deal to the society and politics of the United States is still seen and felt in our society decades later.

Interactive communication
Reflective journaling
Critical thinking and application of knowledge obtained.
Expression of learning style.


1. Class Discussion

a. Great Depression- why it began?
* Four primary causes: overproduction of goods, unequal distribution of wealth, high unemployment, massive poverty.

b. President Hoover
* Took a conservative approach to dealing with the problem.
* How did the recent economic history of the United States play a part in his decision to let the situation fix itself?

2. Reading and Journaling

a. Read excerpts of first hand accounts of people living in the Depression and the hardship it caused, providing an opportunity for students to have empathy for their plight.

b. Free journal writing
* Opportunity for students to express their thoughts and feelings about the reading.

3. Class Discussion

a. 1932- The Depression takes a firm hold on the country, without much improvement taking place. 1932 was a presidential election year, and Franklin Roosevelt focused on how the government could do more to meet the crisis head-on and make a change for America.

b. Read an excerpt of Roosevelt’s “Commonwealth Club Address” from September 23, 1932 (printed “NY Times”- 9/24/32) (available at
* How does Roosevelt’s speech illustrate a plan different than Hoover’s?
* How might this be appealing to voters in the Election of 1932?

c. Election of 1932- a new President and a new hope for the American people.

d. The New Deal- the idea behind it, a new role for government in society.

e. Roosevelt’s first “Hundred Days”
* Legislation, Bank Holiday, Brain Trust, fireside chats, “The only thing to fear, is fear itself”.
* Why was the first 100 days so critical? What made it monumental?

4. DI Activity: MENU- New Deal Programs (see end of lesson for MENU)

a. Students choose one program from the list and address the items on their menu with that program in mind.
* Description of that program, its purpose and its effectiveness
* Opportunity for student analysis and application

5. Class Discussion

a. Go over and share the information the students discovered about their chosen New Deal program.

b. Discuss the criticism of the New Deal overall.
* How did it affect the election of 1936?
* Discuss the prejudice and racism that existed within the New Deal programs.

6. Summation Activity- Think Strip: Reform, Relief, and Recovery (see end of lesson for Think Strip)

a. Provide analysis of the New Deal and how its programs can be classified as either Reform, Relief, or Recovery.

b. Discuss the result of the activity and address any follow up questions.

(Think Strip applies differentiation principles by providing choices that offer students with different learning styles and abilities an opportunity to express their knowledge within their individual ability.)

7. Journal Activity

a. Thoughts and reflections on this period of US history

b. Why was the New Deal important for America?

c. How could it have been made more effective for more Americans?

8. Final Assessment

a. Short answer essay exam.

Pre- Assessment:
Use of discussion, teacher-student interaction at the start and end of each class, to gauge knowledge retained and progression of understandings.

Ongoing Assessment: Observation of students in their work, questions they address, and analysis of journal writing.

Post-Assessment: DI Activities and exam, graded with rubrics (found in section 3).

MENU- New Deal Programs

Directions: Select one of the programs listed and complete this menu

Agricultural Adjustment Act (AAA), Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), Civil Works Administration (CWA), Public Works Administration (PWA), Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), National Recovery Administration (NRA), Social Security Act, Rural Electrification Administration (REA), Works Progress Administration (WPA), Federal Project One, Fair Labor and Standards Act.

Main Dish – Complete All

1. What is the name of your New Deal Program? What date was it implemented?
2. What was the purpose of the program? How did it work?
3. How successful was this program? Explain.

Side Dish – Choose One

1. Create an illustrative poster that could be used as an advertisement to educate the public on your New Deal program.
2. One page paper – How does your program influence our society today? What is evidence of your program today?

Dessert – Extra Credit

Research/interview a family member that lived during the Depression on how the New Deal affected their life.

Think Strip – Relief, Reform, Recovery

All the New Deal programs could be categorized into 3 groups, a form of: Relief, Reform, or Recovery.

Select one of the three choices below to complete this think strip.

1. Select 10 New Deal programs discussed in this unit. Create a 3 column chart: Relief, Reform, Recovery.

a. Classify each of the chosen programs into one of the columns that you feel is most appropriate.

b. For each category, explain why you selected the programs for that column – why do they belong?

2. Select 3 New Deal programs – one that served for Relief, one for Reform, and one for Recovery.

a. Use up to one page to answer the following:
* Compare the programs – why is your classification valid?
* What makes each different from the other?
* How do they all fit together?

3. Create a political cartoon that focuses on one New Deal program.

a. Cartoon should illustrate the program’s success or failure in its role for Reform, Relief, or Recovery.


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