New Deal
8th Grade New Deal Inquiry
Was the New Deal A Good Deal?
Download Entire Inquiry Here


Staging the Compelling Question
The compelling question may be staged by having students engage in a discussion about the extent to which government should play a role in taking care of its people. This discussion may also serve as an initial understanding step in the Taking Informed Action task for this inquiry.
 
Supporting Question 1- What conditions existed at the onset of the Great Depression?
The first supporting question—“What conditions existed at the onset of the Great Depression?”—launches the inquiry by asking students to place the New Deal in a historical context. By examining the political and economic conditions preceding the New Deal, students should see how a range of circumstances shaped the New Deal policies. The formative performance task asks students to list conditions that existed at the onset of the Great Depression. Through the featured sources, students examine information from President Herbert Hoover’s “Rugged Individualism” speech, an excerpt from a newspaper article about the October 27, 1929, stock market crash, and a chart of consumer loan activity as one measure of economic activity at the onset of the Great Depression.
  • Source A: Herbert Hoover, campaign speech, “Rugged Individualism” (excerpts), 1928 Public domain. Available from the Digital History website: http://www.digitalhistory.uh.edu/disp_textbook.cfm?smtID=3&psid=1334.
  • Source B: Author unknown, newspaper article on Black Tuesday, “Stock Prices Slump $14,000,000,000 in Nation-Wide Stampede to Unload; Bankers to Support Market Today” (excerpt), New York Times, October 29, 1929 From the New York Times, October 29, 1929. © 1929 The New York Times. All Rights Reserved. Used by permission and protected by Copyright Laws of the United States. The printing, copying, redistribution, or retransmission of this content without express written permission is prohibited
  • Source C: National Bureau of Economic Research, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, chart of loans extended to consumers in 101 cities, “All Other Loans, Reporting Member Banks, Federal Reserve System for United States,” 1920-1938



Supporting Question 2-What kinds of programs did the New Deal create?
The second supporting question—“What kinds of programs did the New Deal create?”—directs students to the specific details of the New Deal by enumerating the programs it enacted. The formative performance task calls on students to construct a graphic organizer depicting New Deal programs using the featured source—an excerpt from a speech by President Franklin Roosevelt. Given what students have learned about the conditions that existed on the onset of the Great Depression and the responses of presidents Hoover and Roosevelt, teachers may continue the Taking Informed Action task by extending the conversation begun in the Staging the Compelling Question task about the extent to which government should take care of its people.
 
Supporting Question 3- What were positive effects of the New Deal?
This third supporting question—“What were positive effects of the New Deal?”—begins a two-part exploration of the positive and negative effects of the New Deal. As the formative performance task, students consider the question by creating the first half of a T-chart listing positive effects of the New Deal. Students use information from the four featured sources, which present unemployment figures in the 1930s, information about Public Works Administration projects created under the New Deal, information about the establishment of the Social Security program, and the perspective of an everyday American on the New Deal. Teachers may continue the Taking Informed Action discussion about the extent to which government should take care of its people.


Supporting Question 4- What were negative effects of the New Deal?
The fourth supporting question—“What were negative effects of the New Deal?”—shifts students’ focus to critiques of the New Deal. The formative performance task asks students to complete the T-chart by adding the negative effects of the New Deal. To do so, they can draw on the featured sources, which present information from anti–New Deal editorial cartoons, a chart with information about the national debt as percentage of gross national product from 1929 to 1950, and the perspective of an everyday American on the New Deal. Teachers may continue the Taking Informed Action discussion about the extent to which government should take care of its people.
 
  • Source A: Image bank: Anti–New Deal political cartoons
  • Source B: Chart showing rising national debt, “National Debt as Percentage of GNP, 1929–1950”
  • Source C: M. Santos, Federal Writers’ Project interview in which he critiques the New Deal, “The New Deal Was a Failure” (excerpts), no date Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, WPA Federal Writers' Project Collection. Public domain, http://www.loc.gov/teachers/classroommaterials/presentationsandactivities/presentations/timeline/depwwii/newdeal/failure.html



 
New York State Social Studies Framework Key Idea & Practices 8.5 GREAT DEPRESSION: Economic and environmental disasters in the 1930s created hardships for many Americans. Amidst much debate about the appropriate role of government, President Franklin D. Roosevelt helped to create intensive government interventions in the United States economy and society.
 Gathering, Using, and Interpreting Evidence    Geographic Reasoning    Economics and Economic Systems
 Comparison and Contextualization
Staging the Question Discuss the extent to which government should take care of its people.