Authentic Lessons for 21st Century Learning

"A Chicken for Every Pot"?

The Great Depression and President Hoover

Laura Halstied, Mary Braggs | Published: April 14th, 2022 by K20 Center

Summary

In this lesson, students will examine President Hoover's response to the Great Depression and how that affected the presidential election of 1932. Students will analyze videos, Great Depression slang, and a reading to determine the reasons that Hoover did not win reelection for president. Students will create a fishbone and summarize their learning with the creation of a Six-Word Memoir.

Essential Question(s)

How did the Great Depression impact Hoover's presidency?

Snapshot

Engage

Students use the I Notice, I Wonder strategy to analyze a musical number about President Hoover.

Explore

Students match terms from the Great Depression to their definition and image.

Explain

Students critique the actions that Hoover took during his presidency.

Extend

Students fill out a Fishbone diagram to examine the reasons why President Hoover lost the 1932 presidential election.

Evaluate

Students create a Six-Word Memoir to summarize why President Hoover lost his reelection campaign.

Materials

  • Lesson Slides (attached)

  • Great Depression Slang Cards (one set per pair of students, attached)

  • Hoover and the Great Depression (one per student, attached)

  • 1932 Election Fishbone (one per student, attached)

  • 1932 Election Fishbone Student Example (attached)

  • Pen/pencil

  • Notebook paper

  • Scissors (optional)

  • Sticky notes

Engage

10 Minute(s)

Use the attached Lesson Slides to guide the lesson. Display slide 3 and introduce students to the I Notice, I Wonder strategy. Have students get out a piece of notebook paper and something to write with.

As students watch the following video, ask them to think of one thing they notice and one question they have. Play "The Ensemble Performs ‘Hooverville'" for students, then provide a few minutes for students to write down something they noticed and something they wonder about.

Tell students to share what they wrote down with a student next to them, then ask for volunteers to share what they wrote down. Ask students who Herbert Hoover was and why national events at the time made people so upset with him. Tell students they will learn more about Hoover as they complete the lesson. Use slides 4–5 to review the lesson objective and essential question with students.

Explore

20 Minute(s)

If students are not yet familiar with President Herbert Hoover, consider showing the "60-Second Presidents" video about President Hoover.

Place students in pairs and pass out a set of cards to each pair of students. Introduce students to the Card Matching strategy. Display slide 6 and tell students to examine each card, then match up the cards so that each word is matched with a definition and image. Provide time for students to match the cards. As students finish, review how they matched the cards and provide feedback. Answers are provided on slide 7.

After students have matched their cards, ask students their thoughts about the different items that were given names of the president during the Great Depression and why people might have chosen to name items after the president. What did people think of President Hoover? Why would people have blamed the president for the conditions of the economy?

Explain

30 Minute(s)

Move to slide 8 and pass out the attached Hoover and the Great Depression handout. Introduce students to the Why-Lighting strategy. Tell students to read the handout and as they read, have them highlight the steps President Hoover took to address the economic issues during the Great Depression. After students read and why-light, tell students to discuss with an elbow partner what they chose to highlight. Ask for several students to share what they highlighted and how they think these issues might have affected the way people viewed Hoover as a president.

Move to slide 9 and introduce students to the S-I-T strategy. Have students use the back of the Hoover and the Great Depression handout to write S-I-T vertically on the paper.

As students watch the following video, ask them to look for things that are surprising, interesting, and troubling. Play the "Bonus Army" video and provide some time for students to write down their thoughts. Have students share what they wrote down with an elbow partner, and then ask for volunteers to share their thoughts.

Extend

15 Minute(s)

Tell students they are going to use the information they have learned to determine why President Hoover lost his campaign for re-election in 1932. Move to slide 10. Pass out the attached 1932 Election Fishbone handout and introduce students to the Fishbone strategy. Tell students that the Fishbone is used to assess the causes of an event. Point out that the fish head has been filled in to say, "Effect: President Hoover loses campaign for reelection." Tell students to use their new knowledge of Hoover's presidency from the reading and the Bonus Army video to fill in the fishbone with the causes that led to Hoover losing his reelection for presidency. Have students work in pairs to complete the fishbone, then ask for volunteers to share their causes, continue sharing until all of the causes students have in common have been shared.

Evaluate

10 Minute(s)

Move to slide 11 and introduce students to the Six-Word Memoir strategy. Provide each student with a sticky note. Tell students to summarize why President Hoover lost the 1932 election in just six words. An example of a six-word memoir about Hoover is on slide 10: Economy was suffering, Hoover was blamed.

Ask for a few volunteers to share their memoirs and have students post their sticky note on the classroom door or wall as they leave for the day.

Resources