New Deal Lesson Plan for Elementary School

Instructor: Kerry Gray

Kerry has been a teacher and an administrator for more than twenty years. She has a Master of Education degree.

This lesson plan is a tool for helping teachers explain President Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal to elementary students. Students will be able to describe the federal government's role in rebuilding the economy after the Great Depression.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this lesson on the New Deal, students will be able to:

  • Ask and answer questions about Roosevelt's plan to revive the economy during the Great Depression.
  • Summarize the components of the New Deal.
  • Explain the cause and effect relationships that led to the Great Depression and its recovery efforts.


90 minutes

Common Core Curriculum Standards


Quote accurately from a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.


Determine two or more main ideas of a text and explain how they are supported by key details; summarize the text.


Explain the relationships or interactions between two or more individuals, events, ideas, or concepts in a historical, scientific, or technical text based on specific information in the text.


  • bills
  • bonds
  • crops
  • economy
  • Emergency Banking Relief Act
  • executive orders
  • Great Depression
  • New Deal
  • policies
  • poverty
  • prohibition
  • repeal
  • securities
  • Securities Act
  • standards
  • stocks
  • Stock Market


  • Copies of quiz
  • Copies of the lesson
  • Cause and Effect cards (see Cause and Effect Activity)
  • Access to reference materials
  • Paper
  • Pencils

Reading & Discussion Questions

  • Preview vocabulary with students prior to reading the lesson.
  • Read The New Deal Lesson for Kids: Summary & Facts as a class, and discuss the following questions:
    • What began the Great Depression?
    • What were President Roosevelt's goals when he took office?
    • What is the difference between the First New Deal and the Second New Deal?
    • What did the Emergency Banking Relief Act do?
    • What did the Securities Act do?
    • What were the effects of prohibition on the economy?
    • What did the Agricultural Adjustment Administration do to help farmers?
    • What programs were put into place to help homeowners?
    • How did the federal government create jobs?
    • What was the role of the Federal Emergency Relief Administration?
    • Turn and talk: Why do you think some people opposed the New Deal? Do you think Roosevelt made the right decision? Why?
  • Ask if there are any questions, then give the students the lesson's printable worksheet to check for understanding.
  • Check the answers as a class.


Cause and Effect

Materials: access to reference materials, paper, pencils, Cause and Effect cards (one set per pair of students) prepared as follows:

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