Monday, April 25, 2011

Syracuse and the New Deal

Title: Syracuse and the Great Depression
Students will demonstrate the ability to:
·         Apply what they learned about the Great Depression in Syracuse and its impact on American society. Students will demonstrate their knowledge of the Great Depression and the New Deal by answering questions in a brochure on Syracuse during the Great Depression.
·         Participate in groups, hold discussions, share their ideas, and listen to each other.
The Great Depression first affected the city of Syracuse, NY negatively. After Mayor Martin brought his City Betterment Project to Syracuse, the city flourished. The City Betterment Project was part of the New Deal.
·         The Great Depression affected family life
·         The Great Depression affected the African American community differently
·         People had difficulty getting shoes, clothing, and food during the depression
·         Men were ashamed that they could not provide for their families
·         Improvements brought to Syracuse during Mayor Marvin’s City Betterment Project include: paving, rail removal, new sewers, and new water mains
·         The City Betterment Project brought jobs to Syracuse
·         New Deal: The name given to the new laws aimed at relieving the Depression, which were passed by Congress during the Hundred Days and months that followed. They were policies of social and economic reform introduced in the United States in the 1930’s under the presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt
·         Hundred Days: A special session of Congress that dealt with problems of the depression.
Instructional Phase:
1. Project image of Syracuse before the Great Depression to engage students and explain to them that “Today we will be talking about the people in Syracuse during the Great Depression and the steps Syracuse took to get out of the depression. We will start by reading a short story about some people who lived in Syracuse during the Depression.
·         “I will Carry you till next Summer”
·         “The Dream of a House is Gone”
·         “The Story of William Chiles”
·         “The Story of Frank James”
Each student will be provided with a short story. Divided stories evenly around the students. Read stories then discuss. Discussion questions could include:
·         How would you feel if you were affected by the Great Depression?
·         What would you have done? Explain to students that there was not much people could do. Most people lived say by day trying to put food on their table and support their families.
·         What do you think the living situations were like? How would you have felt if you had to share a house with all of these people? Explain to students that this was a normal occurrence during the Great Depression.
2. Mayor Marvin’s City Betterment Project: Explain to students that they will need to know how the City Betterment Project helped Syracuse. Read through the documents. I’ve done this multiple ways. In the past, I have created a “City Betterment” Museum in the classroom where I enlarged the documents and had students walk around taking notes. Talk with students to see if they have ever been to any of the places that were involved in the City Betterment Project.
3. Closure: Discussion Questions
·         From what you already know about job availability, do you think that you could keep a job that you hated?
·         Has anyone ever heard stories from family members about life during the Great Depression? Invite students to share their stories.
·         How did Franklin D. Roosevelt get the United States out of the Great Depression?
Extending Activity:
Homework: Students will be required to write a paragraph (6-8 sentences) explaining what they would have done to live through the Great Depression. Explain to students that they can use examples from class, but encourage them to be creative. Students should use historical content for support in their paragraph.

*THESE DOCUMENTS WERE TAKEN FROM MAYOR MARVIN'S REFLECTION CAMPAIGN PACKET. I found them in the Central New York History Archive's at the public library on Salina Street.

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