Second New Deal 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.

This lesson plan uses a video lesson to list key facts about the how the second New Deal changed the economic climate following the Great Depression. An activity connects students with the public's position on the legislation.

Learning Objectives

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

  • summarize the events that led to a second New Deal in America
  • list the components of the second New Deal
  • discuss the outcomes of the second New Deal


45 to 90 minutes

Curriculum Standards


Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources, attending to such features as the date and origin of the information.


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.


Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary describing political, social, or economic aspects of history/social science.


Compare and contrast treatments of the same topic in several primary and secondary sources.


  • Photocopies of the worksheet from the associated video lesson, one for each student
  • Assorted examples of print materials, political cartoons and propaganda surrounding Roosevelt's second New Deal
  • Small sheets of poster board
  • Markers


  • Begin by writing the following on the board for the class to see: 'New Deal'.
    • By a show of hands, how many of you have heard of the New Deal?
    • Can anyone explain what it was?
  • Tell the class that the New Deal was a plan enacted by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in an effort to end the Great Depression.
  • Write the word 'second' on the board in front of the previously written term.
    • With what you now know about the New Deal, what might the second New Deal be?
  • Play the video lesson Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Second New Deal for the class, pausing it at 0:45.
    • Based on what was stated in the video lesson, what can we gather about the second New Deal?
  • Play the video lesson again and pause it this time at 1:38.
    • How did the second New Deal legislation help America?
    • What was the goal of the Social Security Act?
    • Were there any flaws with the Social Security Act?
  • Resume the video, pausing at 3:13.
    • What was the National Labor Relations Act legislation and what was its goal?
    • What is a union and how does it benefit workers?
    • What types of unfair labor practices were common in this era of history?
  • Play the video lesson again and pause it at 4:24.
    • What type of resistance did Roosevelt's plans face?
    • What was the President's response to the Supreme Court's action?
    • Was the new legislation deemed constitutional?
  • Play the remainder of the video lesson for the class.
    • What was the eventual outcome of the second New Deal?
    • What is a recession?
  • Pass out the paper copies of the worksheet to the class.
  • Instruct the students to work independently to complete the worksheet using what they learned about the second New Deal to do so.
  • When everyone has completed the worksheet, review each question and answer in an open discussion format.

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