The first half of this unit examines what caused the Great Depression and its impact on society. Through analyzing photographs, first-hand accounts, video footage, and secondary sources, students will develop a deep understanding of this monumental catastrophe.
Using this knowledge, in the second half of the unit students will examine how, after his election in 1932, President Roosevelt attempted to solve the problems of the Great Depression through his New Deal policies. Students will work collaboratively to create a modern equivalent of FDR’s fireside chats and in doing so develop an understanding of major programs of the New Deal that provides an insight into how they changed the relationship between the government and its people.
Students will build on this knowledge to explore the arguments for and against the New Deal and the unit will culminate in a summative assessment debate that explores the unit’s essential questions:
Did the New Deal succeed at solving the Great Depression?
Did the New Deal turn the U.S. into a Welfare State?
The unit will work through the History–Social Science Content Standards for California Public Schools - 11.6 Students analyze the different explanations for the Great Depression and how the New Deal fundamentally changed the role of the federal government and its six sections.