Grade: Middle

#925. The New Deal

Social Studies, level: Middle
Posted Sun Mar 28 19:39:52 PST 1999 by Richard Atkinson (
University of South Florida Education Major, Sarasota, FL., USA
Materials Required: Overhead projector with appropriate overheads; Letters to Mrs. Roosevelt; Handout titled G
Activity Time: 60 minutes
Concepts Taught: The student will analyze how the Great Depression affected children

SUBJECT : American History
TOPIC : Great Depression/New Deal

OBJECTIVE : The student will analyze how the Great Depression affected children.

1. Bell Work: time required 2 minutes
The following question needs to be on the board before students arrive. They are to write down the answer as they come into class (this is to get them thinking and is part of their participation grade).
Who was the President at the beginning of the Great Depression and which President led the United States out of the Great Depression?
Answer: Herbert Hoover (1929-1933) and Franklin Roosevelt (1933-1945)

2. Set Induction: Ask students to think back to their lesson about the business cycle and the definitions involved (boom, recession, depression, panic). Where do they think America is in its current business cycle? BOOM. Tell them that as late as one month ago President Clinton would agree with them (Clinton quote). Now tell them that you heard some very interesting news this morning on the way to school. The news that you heard is that the state of Florida has over spent its education budget. In an attempt to balance the budget the following actions will be implemented immediately. Time required 10 minutes.
a. All school breakfast/lunch programs will be suspended immediately.
b. Air-conditioners will be shut off and not used until the commissioner of education gives the okay.
c. All extra-curricular activities will be suspended until further notice.
d. All bus service will cease and parents will be responsible for student transportation.
e. All school board personnel salary will be cut in half (the Union has agreed to this and will not strike).
Ask students how they feel about the actions taken by the state of Florida. Have students identify who is affected by this action (write answers on board).

3. Compare past to present: time required 5 minutes
a. Tell students they are now to go back in time to 1928. Herbert Hoover is running for president and America is in a time of economic prosperity (put Hoover quote on overhead now). On September 3, 1929, the stock market peaked with a stock average of 452. By October 1929, the stock market was on its way down. The stock market finally reached rock bottom in July 1932, with a stock average of 52. Ask students why they think the market collapsed. Put student answers on board.
b. Some answers students might give: supply overrode demand, stock market was main economic standard and when prices fell people began to panic, stock prices were totally out of proportion to actual profits. . .

4. Cooperative Learning: Time Required 20 minutes
a. Place students into cooperative learning groups ( have students count off from 1-4. This number will represent what group they are in). At this time point out where each group will form and have the students move to that area (while students are doing this place the groups handout in the appropriate area). After the students have moved to their respective area tell them they will find a set of handouts in their group area. Have students read the appropriate material and answer the questions on the handout. Tell students they have 20 minutes to work on this project. Since this is a group activity all students MUST participate. Teacher involvement with the group will be minimal. The only time the teacher is to assist is if the group can not collectively answer a question, at that time all group members must raise their hand for assistance. Inform groups that they will be required to answer questions in class and should be ready to respond. Tell students that children during this period really liked Mrs. Roosevelt because of what she said ( place Mrs. Roosevelt quote on overhead).

5. Group Presentations: time required 10 minutes
a. The teacher will ask each group to answer questions from the handout. When the groups get to the questions about the letter a member of the group will read the letter to the class (it is only necessary to read the each letter one time).

6. Evaluation: Time Required done outside of class
a. Students are to write a letter to the First Lady, Hillary R. Clinton, requesting assistance during the current hardship of Florida Schools (see activity #2, set induction). This is to be an individual letter (not group work) and is due at the beginning of class tomorrow.

7. Notes: The answer for the bell work can be found on the presidential poster in the back of class.
Students are allowed to write on the handouts or they may use their own paper.

8. Materials:
a. Overhead projector with appropriate overheads
b. Letters to Mrs. Roosevelt
c. Handout titled Great Depression/New Deal

9. References:
a. America: A Narrative History fourth edition volume two, (W.W. Norton and Company, Inc. New York, N.Y., 1996)
b. White House internet site, (, White House history and tours. Last visited February 11, 1999.
c. American History 102: 1865 to the Present, ( Stanley K. Schultz, Professor of History, William P. Tishler, Producer, Shane Hamilton, Web Editor. Last visited February 11, 1999.
d. Jen Smedley's Homepage, ( Last visited March 14, 1999.