Overview

Author

Audience

Objectives

Materials

Procedures

Extension

Evaluation

Appendix

 

Analyzing HooverÕs Response to the Great Depression: A Primary and Secondary Source Comparison

 

Lesson Overview                                                                                                            

Most high school textbooks describe HooverÕs response to the Great Depression as ineffective, and most Americans associate his name with failed economic policy.  Was it?  Through this lesson, students will analyze primary and secondary sources to learn how Hoover responded to the Great Depression.  Then, they will create their own interpretations of HooverÕs response. 

 

Lesson Author

Name:

Dan Covino

School:

Grinnell High School

 

Lesson Audience

Grade Level

9th-10th

# of Class Periods

2

Class

U.S. History

Length of Period

60 mins.

 

Objectives                                                                                                               Back to Navigation Bar

Student will:

1.  Students will analyze primary and secondary sources to understand the policies Herbert Hoover proposed to combat the Great Depression.

2.  Students will compare and contrast primary documents with secondary sources to assess the strengths and weaknesses of secondary sources.

3.  Students will see an example of how history Ògets madeÓ and begin creating their own history.

 

Materials                                                                                                                 Back to Navigation Bar

Handouts (Handouts embedded in Appendix)

  1. Secondary Sources

i.      Excerpt from Gary B. NashÕs American Odyssey:  The Twentieth Century and Beyond         

ii.     Excerpt from Glen JeansonneÕs The Life of Herbert Hoover—Fighting Quaker, 1928-1933

  1. Primary Sources

i.      Hoover Radio Address, Feb. 12, 1932

ii.     HooverÕs 1931 State of the Union Address (for advanced readers)

iii.   HooverÕs 1932 State of the Union Address (for lower readers)

iv.   HooverÕs Statement on Public v. Private Financing of Relief Efforts

  1. Handout:  ÒYour Turn: How did Hoover Respond?Ó
  2. Written Argument Rubric

 

 

 


Classroom Procedures                                                                 Back to Navigation Bar

Prior Learning (background information, vocabulary)

The student will need to know:

  1. What primary and secondary sources are; how we can distinguish one from the other.

Day 1:

1.  Students work in pairs to read Gary NashÕs interpretation of HooverÕs response to the Great Depression from American Odyssey.  When finished, students will answer the questions found at the end of the document.

 

2.  Review studentsÕ answers to American Odyssey.  Create a chart for sources on the board [see: Fig. 1 below], and write studentsÕ answers to the American Odyssey questions on the column devoted to that source.

 

Fig. 1

 

American Odyssey

Fighting Quaker

According to the text, what policies did Hoover propose to combat the Great Depression?

 

 

 

 

 

 

According to the text, what were the effects of HooverÕs policies?  Were they successful or unsuccessful?

 

 

Do you think the text portrays Hoover in a positive or a negative light?  Why?  Include citations from the source!

 

 

 

3.  Have students read an excerpt from Glen JeansonneÕs The Life of Herbert Hoover—Fighting Quaker: 1928-1933.  Students will answer the questions found at the end of the document.  Note:  This text requires an advanced vocabulary.  Depending on the reading level of your students, you may want to read the text with them, and fill in the paraphrase box as a class.  Or, you can fill in the paraphrase yourself and simply read it with the students.  Alternatively, if youÕre confident in your studentsÕ ability to understand the text, you may assign them to read it individually, or in pairs, and fill in the paraphrase box on their own.

  

4.  Review studentsÕ answers to the Fighting Quaker source, and add studentsÕ answers to the chart.  Discuss the differences between the two secondary sourcesÕ interpretation of HooverÕs response to the Great Depression.  How is it possible for historians to create two completely different versions of the past?  What if we relied solely on secondary sources to understand the past?

 

5.  Have students work in groups, in pairs, or individually (depending on their ability) to read the primary documents and answer the questions found at the end of each.  If working in groups or pairs, teachers should assign one document to an entire group or pair.  Teachers may also require students to fill in the Òparaphrase sectionÓ to assess and reinforce student understanding.  Teachers may wish to model the reading of primary documents by having reading HooverÕs radio address of Feb. 12, 1932, as a class and have the class paraphrase as they read.  After students are done reading, they should fill in the chart below [see: Fig. 2 below] to reinforce their understanding of the primary source they read.

Fig 2:

 

Hoover Radio Address, Feb. 12, 1932

1931 State of the Union Address, Herbert Hoover

1932 State of the Union Address, Herbert Hoover

HooverÕs Statement on Public v. Private Relief Efforts

According to the text, what specific policies did Hoover propose to end the Great Depression?

 

 

 

 

According to the text, what role should the federal government play in the recovery?  What role should individuals and/or local governments play?

 

 

 

 

Which secondary source most accurately reflects your primary text?

 

 

 

 

If you were a historian, would you rely only on the primary documents to interpret HooverÕs response to the Depression?  Why/why not?   

 

 

 

 

 

6.  When students have finished reading the documents, discuss, as a class, what the primary documents said.  Review the questions students answered.

 

7.  ÒTicket out the DoorÓ:  Have students individually answer the following questions and hand in answers before they leave class:

i.  Did the secondary sources agree or disagree with the primary sources? 

ii.  Are the primary sources biased?  If so, how do you know?

iii.  What if we solely relied on this primary source to understand HooverÕs response to the Great Depression?

iv.  Are secondary sources always accurate? 

v.  Why is it important to use a variety of sources when analyzing history?

Day 2:

1.  Assign students to create their own interpretation of HooverÕs response.  (See Handout: ÒYour Turn: How did Hoover Respond?Ó).  Students may use their notes and sources from Day 1 to help them answer the paragraph response question.  This should take the entire period, but if students finish early, have them critique and score their own paragraphs and assign themselves a grade with  justification.

 

 

Extension                                                                                    Back to Navigation Bar

1.  Classes can continue the same sort of primary and secondary source comparison and analysis when studying FDRÕs New Deal.  An essential question for a future lesson could be:  How do the primary and secondary sources reinforce or upset prevailing notions about the success of FDRÕs New Deal?

 

2.  Students will revisit the primary source analysis they conducted when they compare HooverÕs response to the Depression to George W. BushÕs and Barack ObamaÕs responses to the 2008 financial crisis. 

 

 


Evaluation                                                                                                              Back to Navigation Bar

 

Rubric                                                               

The rubric below may be used to grade studentsÕ paragraphs.

                                                         Exemplary (5 pts.)                     Needs Improvement (1-4 pts.)   Unacceptable (0 pts.)

 Topic Sentence

(6 pts.)

Topic sentence introduces the claim argued in the paragraph.

Topic sentence states a main claim but the claim is unspecific or not arguable OR the topic sentenceÕs claim is not referred to in the paragraph.

No main claim evident anywhere in paragraph.

Evidence

(6 pts.)

Multiple pieces of evidence provided to fully support claim. Interprets and uses evidence (quotations/

examples) reasonably.

A few pieces of supporting evidence provided. Interpretation and use of evidence is mostly reasonable.

Very little evidence provided, or evidence provided does not support the claim.

Organization

(6 pts.)

The paragraphÕs content is organized logically and cohesively.

The paragraph is somewhat logical.

The sentences are presented with little reason or logic.

Mechanics

(6 pts.)

Very few spelling, punctuation, and/or grammatical mistakes.   The paragraph has concise prose, active verbs and varied vocabulary.  

Minor spelling, punctuation, and/or grammatical mistakes exist, but do not obstructing readersÕ understanding.  

Students commit numerous spelling, punctuation, and/or grammatical mistakes.

 

 

 


Appendix                                                                                     Back to Navigation Bar

 

Handouts