Reading Like a Historian: New Deal SAC

Resource ID#: 37816 Type: Lesson Plan

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General Information

Subject(s): Social Studies
Grade Level(s): 11
Intended Audience: Educators educators
Instructional Time: 2 Hour(s)
Resource supports reading in content area:Yes
Freely Available: Yes
Keywords: New Deal, WPA, Franklin D. Roosevelt, FDR, Great Depression, sourcing, contextualization, corroboration, close reading
Instructional Component Type(s): Lesson Plan Worksheet Text Resource Data Set
Instructional Design Framework(s): Direct Instruction, Argumentation, Cooperative Learning
Resource Collection: General Collection

Aligned Standards

This vetted resource aligns to concepts or skills in these benchmarks.

4 Lesson Plans

Reading Like a Historian: Atomic Bomb

In this lesson, students analyze primary source documents in an effort to answer the central historical question: How should we remember the dropping of the atomic bomb? First, students are told that they will choose an appropriate photo to accompany a U.N. website commemorating the dropping of the bomb. Students are then introduced to 2 narratives about WWII: "Hiroshima as Victimization" (the Japanese point of view) vs. "Hiroshima as Triumph" (the American point of view). The class is then divided into 2 halves, each of which looks at a variety of source documents-anecdotes, letters, and data-through its side's point of view only. Students then form groups of 4 to choose which image should be used in the "website." Each group shares its image and explains why they chose it. In a final discussion, the class talks about whether the bomb should have been dropped and whether they can second-guess a decision like Truman's.

Reading Like a Historian: Japanese Internment

In this lesson, students analyze primary source documents in an effort to answer the central historical question: Why were Japanese-Americans interned during World War II? The teacher first distributes a timeline, which the class reviews together. Students then view a government-made newsreel from 1942 explaining the rationale for internment. This is followed by 4 more documents, including the "Munson Report," an excerpt from the Supreme Court's decision in U.S. v Korematsu, and the 1983 report of the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians. For each, students answer guiding questions and formulate a hypothesis: according to the document, why was internment necessary? A final class discussion has students determine which document(s) best explain what occurred.

Reading Like a Historian: Social Security

In this lesson, students analyze primary and secondary source documents in an effort to answer the central historical question: Which historical account of Social Security is more accurate? Students begin by responding to a prompt: should out-of-work Americans receive government assistance? The teacher then streams a video on the New Deal and its critics, including Huey Long, followed by discussion. Students then look at the summarized views of 2 historians, Carl Degler and Barton Bernstein. In pairs, students summarize and discuss. They then read 3 primary source documents: 1) a 1935 speech by FDR, 2) the testimony of NAACP spokesman Charles Houston before Congress, and 3) a letter to Mrs. Roosevelt by an anonymous critic of Social Security. For each, students answer guiding questions. In a final class discussion, students corroborate the documents and use them to side with the views of 1 historian-Degler or Bernstein-over the other.

Reading Like a Historian: Zoot Suit Riots

In this lesson, students analyze primary source documents in an effort to answer the central historical question: What caused the Zoot Suit Riots? The teacher first provides background information on the incident and then the class looks at their textbook account and answers brief questions. Students then form pairs and analyze 2 documents: 1) a Los Angeles Daily News account of the riots and 2) a letter from the Committee for the Defense of Mexican American Youth, addressed to U.S. Vice President Wallace. For both, students answer guiding questions on a graphic organizer. A final class discussion contextualizes and corroborates the documents: Is one more reliable? What caused the riots?

Related Resources

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Lesson Plans

Reading Like a Historian: Atomic Bomb:

In this lesson, students analyze primary source documents in an effort to answer the central historical question: How should we remember the dropping of the atomic bomb? First, students are told that they will choose an appropriate photo to accompany a U.N. website commemorating the dropping of the bomb. Students are then introduced to 2 narratives about WWII: "Hiroshima as Victimization" (the Japanese point of view) vs. "Hiroshima as Triumph" (the American point of view). The class is then divided into 2 halves, each of which looks at a variety of source documents-anecdotes, letters, and data-through its side's point of view only. Students then form groups of 4 to choose which image should be used in the "website." Each group shares its image and explains why they chose it. In a final discussion, the class talks about whether the bomb should have been dropped and whether they can second-guess a decision like Truman's.

Type: Lesson Plan

Reading Like a Historian: Japanese Internment:

In this lesson, students analyze primary source documents in an effort to answer the central historical question: Why were Japanese-Americans interned during World War II? The teacher first distributes a timeline, which the class reviews together. Students then view a government-made newsreel from 1942 explaining the rationale for internment. This is followed by 4 more documents, including the "Munson Report," an excerpt from the Supreme Court's decision in U.S. v Korematsu, and the 1983 report of the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians. For each, students answer guiding questions and formulate a hypothesis: according to the document, why was internment necessary? A final class discussion has students determine which document(s) best explain what occurred.

Type: Lesson Plan

Reading Like a Historian: Zoot Suit Riots:

In this lesson, students analyze primary source documents in an effort to answer the central historical question: What caused the Zoot Suit Riots? The teacher first provides background information on the incident and then the class looks at their textbook account and answers brief questions. Students then form pairs and analyze 2 documents: 1) a Los Angeles Daily News account of the riots and 2) a letter from the Committee for the Defense of Mexican American Youth, addressed to U.S. Vice President Wallace. For both, students answer guiding questions on a graphic organizer. A final class discussion contextualizes and corroborates the documents: Is one more reliable? What caused the riots?

Type: Lesson Plan

Reading Like a Historian: Social Security:

In this lesson, students analyze primary and secondary source documents in an effort to answer the central historical question: Which historical account of Social Security is more accurate? Students begin by responding to a prompt: should out-of-work Americans receive government assistance? The teacher then streams a video on the New Deal and its critics, including Huey Long, followed by discussion. Students then look at the summarized views of 2 historians, Carl Degler and Barton Bernstein. In pairs, students summarize and discuss. They then read 3 primary source documents: 1) a 1935 speech by FDR, 2) the testimony of NAACP spokesman Charles Houston before Congress, and 3) a letter to Mrs. Roosevelt by an anonymous critic of Social Security. For each, students answer guiding questions. In a final class discussion, students corroborate the documents and use them to side with the views of 1 historian-Degler or Bernstein-over the other.

Type: Lesson Plan