New Deal Programs Lesson Plan

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 provides teachers with activities to support instruction on President Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal programs. Students will learn about events leading up to the New Deal, examples of New Deal programs, and reasons for its opposition.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson students will be able to:

  • discuss cause and effect relationships related to the New Deal
  • identify goals and challenges for some New Deal programs


This lesson will take approximately 45-60 minutes.



Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of how key events or ideas develop over the course of the text.


Analyze in detail a series of events described in a text; determine whether earlier events caused later ones or simply preceded them.


Materials needed: news articles related to the Glass-Steagall Act.

Activate prior knowledge by asking students to do a three-minute quick write listing everything they know about the Great Depression. Provide opportunities for students to share their ideas.

Watch the lesson Franklin D. Roosevelt and the First New Deal: The First 100 Days as a class.

Pause at 0:57.

Have students fold a sheet of paper in half lengthwise to create two columns.

Have students label the columns 'Cause' and 'Effect.'

Ask students to identify the cause of Roosevelt's New Deal program. Have students write the Great Depression and the New Deal in the correct columns and draw an arrow indicating that the cause led to the effect.

Tell students that as the class continues to watch the video, students will search for additional cause/effect relationships to add to their paper.

Continue watching the video. Pause at 01:41.

Have students add to their cause/effect chart. Students will turn and talk with a partner and then add to their chart if necessary.

Briefly discuss the intentions behind the Economy Act, the Emergency Banking Act, and the Glass-Steagall Act.

Divide students into small groups. Provide each group with a news clip about the Glass-Steagall Act, its repeal, and proposed legislation to reinstate an updated version of the act. Have students discuss Glass-Steagall and come to a consensus about what advice they would have given President Roosevelt about this legislation if they could. Students must be able to justify their answers.

Continue watching the video. Pause at 5:13.

Have students add the Agricultural Adjustment Act, the National Industrial Recovery Act, the Federal Emergency Relief Act, the Unemployment Relief Act, the Home Owner's Act, and the Tennessee Valley Authority Act to their cause/effect charts. Encourage students to think of the unintentional consequences of these acts.

Watch the remainder of the video with students.

Use the lesson's printable worksheet to check for understanding.

Activity: Opposing Views

Materials Needed: access to computer/internet

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