This study challenges you to examine the lives of people living during the Great Depression and to evaluate New Deal programs designed to help them. What problems and misfortunes occurred in people’s lives? What help did they need socially, economically or politically to help them solve their problems? What help did New Deal programs afford? Did the programs work? Were people able to improve their lives with the support of these programs?
You will gain insight into the lives of people who lived during the Great Depression by studying photographs and life histories. You will learn about the New Deal plan for alleviating some of the conditions occurring during the Great Depression and apply your knowledge to the life of someone who actually lived through the Great Depression.
Option A: Complete the three (3) study guide sheets on photographs, life histories and the New Deal and turn them in to your teacher.
Option B:Do activities 1-7 as you see fit and then complete the essay (2 page max) as required in activity #8 and turn the essay only in to your teacher.
Pick a partner.
Examine several photos on Photographs from the Great Depression, a group of photographs selected from America from the Great Depression to WW II, 1935-1945 in American Memory at the Library of Congress
Review the guidelines for critical viewing by using Reading Photographs: Documenting a Decade. This Web site was developed by the Education Department and the New Deal Network to help develop critical viewing skills. Go to the site, take a look, and pick up some pointers that will help you be a careful viewer. Apply what you learn as you study the photographs in this lesson.
Select two photographs and answer the questions on the Photo Study Guide to help develop your understanding of the personal circumstances of people living during the Great Depression. Use "Overview" below to learn more about the Great Depression:
Overview - The Museum of the City of New York's summary of causes leading to the Great Depression helps you to gain an understanding of New York City during the 30s.
With your partner, skim through several of the Life Histories fromAmerican Life Histories: Manuscripts from the Federal Writer's Project, 1936-1940. Select one life history to study further.
Answer the questions on Reading Life Histories, as a way of thinking through the conditions and needs of people who lived through the Great Depression.
Research New Deal programs using a wide variety of Resources to understand what social, economic and political assistance the programs offered and complete the questions on the New Deal Study Guide.
Write an essay that is both informed and creative. In your essay tell how the New Deal programs affected the circumstances of the person or family you examined in your selected American Life History. Use the New Deal Essay Guide to help you construct the essay.