Teaching the Great Depression & New Deal

You can find primary sources and online teaching activities for the Great Depression and New Deal on DocsTeach, the online tool for teaching with documents from the National Archives.

On DocsTeach, we have many photographs related to the Great Depression, including images of the Bonus Army, breadlines, and the Dust Bowl.

We have a variety of other primary sources related to the Great Depression as well. Some topics include:

If you’re looking for primary sources for another topic, use our document search page and select “The Great Depression and World War II (1929-1945)” as the historical era.

You can also find teaching activities for the Great Depression and the New Deal on DocsTeach. The online activity Court Packing vs. Reorganizing: The Supreme Court in the New Deal presents students with a 1937 letter written by newspaper publisher Frank Gannett opposing President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s plan to “reorganize the judiciary” (also known as his “court-packing” plan). Students will read and analyze this letter to understand Gannett’s perspective on this controversial issue.

In the map-based activity Where Was the New Deal? students explore the impact of various “Alphabet Soup” programs created during the New Deal. They identify three New Deal programs – the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), and Works Progress Administration (WPA) – locate where projects associated with each took place, and analyze their impact on each region.


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