Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s First Inaugural Address is one of the most important speeches in United States History. Faced with the turmoil of the Great Depression, FDR laid out a plan for resurrecting the failing economy and the alleviating the suffering of the American people. FDR’s programs focused on what historians refer to as the 3 Rs: Relief, Recovery, and Reform; relief for the unemployed and poor, recovery of the economy to normal levels, and reform of the financial system to prevent a repeat depression. In the following lesson plan, students will explore both what FDR said he was going to do and what FDR actually did as the President of the United States. First, students will create lists as a class detailing the socioeconomic issued caused by the Great Depression. This task will set the stage for a close examination of FDR’s First Inaugural Address. Students will observe a primary source photograph of FDR and Herbert Hoover on their way to the inaugural address and then listen to FDR’s speech. Using a graphic organizer, students will read the speech and highlight the improvements and programs he promised to the American people. Students will use their graphic organizer to examine the New Deal Alphabet Agencies established during the first 100 days of FDR’s presidency and their ability to combat the economic and social problems laid out during his First Inaugural Speech. Ultimately, students are asked to produce a summative assessment in the form of a one-page essay, poster, PowerPoint presentation, poem, chart, or project of their choosing. Included in the lesson plan are curriculum standards, Common Core Reading and Writing standards, student objectives, pre, formative, and summative assessments, detailed learning activities, materials and sources used, and graphic organizers to aid student understanding.
Emerging America brings this lesson to you thanks to the outstanding primary sources and materials provided by the Library of Congress and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Aligned to the Common Core and National History Standards.