Herbert Hoover Lesson Plan

Instructor: Dana Dance-Schissel

Dana teaches social sciences at the college level and English and psychology at the high school level. She has master's degrees in applied, clinical and community psychology.

What was Herbert Hoover's role in the Great Depression? This lesson plan explains this question with the help of an informative video lesson and activity.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • outline the presidency of Herbert Hoover
  • list key policies introduced by Herbert Hoover during his presidency


60 to 90 minutes

Curriculum Standards


Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of the source distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.


Identify key steps in a text's description of a process related to history/social studies (e.g., how a bill becomes law, how interest rates are raised or lowered).


Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary specific to domains related to history/social studies.


  • A worksheet created using the quiz from the associated video lesson


  • Begin by writing the following on the board: 'Who was the President of the United States at the start of the Great Depression?'.
  • Give students some time to respond to the question during a brief class discussion.
  • Now play the video lesson President Herbert Hoover and the Great Depression, pausing it at 1:32.
    • Did anyone guess Herbert Hoover?
    • What might be some potential downfalls of 'associationalism'?
  • Play the video lesson again and pause it at 2:38.
    • Why would it be beneficial to convert foreign investments to gold?
    • Why did the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act backfire?
  • Play the rest of the video lesson for the class now.
    • What types of federal assistance programs would have been limited during this time?
    • Why might Communism have seemed appealing to some at this time in America's history?
    • What were the implications of Hoover's rejection of the Bonus Army?
  • Pass out the worksheet and ask students to work independently to complete it.

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