Learn about the New Deal and the election of FDR.
- Students will understand some of the New Deal programs initiated by Franklin Delano Roosevelt and his administration to alleviate the effects of the Great Depression.
- Students will understand the lasting effects of the New Deal programs.
Suggested Grade Level
5th – 8th Grade
Related Standards (from McREL’s Standards Compendium) :
- S. History Standard 24: Understands how the New Deal addressed the Great Depression, transformed American federalism, and initiated the welfare state.
- Language Arts Standards 7: Uses reading skills and strategies to understand and interpret a variety of informational texts.
Overview of Lesson:
- Teacher leads the class in a pre-reading discussion of the New Deal.
- Teacher distributes passages. Students read them and answer the questions that follow. Teacher should ask students to underline or highlight key words as they read. Teachers can also use a portion of their history textbooks.
- Teacher leads the class in a post-reading discussion of the New Deal.
- Teacher assigns one or more of the follow-up activities.
Time Needed for Lesson:
1 class period for reading, responding, and discussions. Doing one or more of the extended activities will add another 2-4 class periods.
Pre-Reading Discussion Questions
- Imagine that another “Great Depression” occurred today. What actions would you expect your government to take? Your community? Your family and friends?
- In response to the effects of the Great Depression, the government instituted a plan that they called a “New Deal.” Based on the name “New Deal,” what kinds of programs do you think are included in this plan?
Post-Reading Discussion Questions
- What words did students highlight in the reading? Possible answers: polio, fireside chats, Inaugural Address, Works Progress Administration, Civilian Conservation Corps, Tennessee Valley Authority, etc.
- What role did a disability play in FDR’s life and in his decision to become president?
- What kind of radio program is implied by the name “fireside chats”?
- How would you summarize the goals of the New Deal programs?
Several activities are available for students to complete as a follow-up and reflection on the lesson. All of the activities have the option of sharing with the class when the are completed.