Franklin D. Roosevelt Activities for High School

Instructor: Heather Jenkins

Heather has a bachelor's degree in elementary education and a master's degree in special education. She was a public school teacher and administrator for 11 years.

When your students are studying the Great Depression, consider using these activities to teach them about President Franklin D. Roosevelt and his contributions to the U.S. recovery from the Great Depression.

President of the New Deal

Which president of the United States won the most presidential elections? Franklin D. Roosevelt, of course. Some of your students may be familiar with Roosevelt's name, but most will have have ever done any research into his life or political career.

A former governor of New York, cousin of President Teddy Roosevelt, and a polio survivor, Franklin Roosevelt greatly impacted the course of United States history during the 12 years he served as president, including handling the Great Depression and World War II.

Let's look at some activities to help students learn about Franklin Roosevelt.

Fire Side Chats

Have students pretend to be radio broadcasters summarizing one of President Roosevelt's fireside chats.

Materials

  • Copies of transcripts of various fireside chats made by President Roosevelt
  • Highlighters
  • Audio recording of a fireside chat by President Roosevelt
  • Index cards

Teacher Directions

  • Define the term 'fireside chats' for students. Discuss how President Roosevelt's fireside chats provided a way to inform and calm Americans during tumultuous times, such as the Great Depression and World War II.
  • Have students listen to an audio recording of one of President Roosevelt's fireside chats.
  • Divide the class into pairs and provide each pair with highlighters and index cards. Additionally, each pair should get a copy of the transcript from a different fireside chat.
  • Students should read their assigned fireside chats and highlight important information.
  • Each pair will pretend to be a radio broadcaster summarizing President Roosevelt's fireside chat for radio listeners. Students can make notes on the index cards for their summaries.
  • When students are ready, have them present their radio broadcasts to the class.

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