Roosevelt and the 1936 election: can you write his manifesto?

It is the year 1936 and Roosevelt wants to be re-elected.  Students work in groups to create his campaign manifesto pulling together all the work they have done in previous lessons on the work of the various agencies.  Which policies and achievements would he want emphasising?  This motivating approach culminates in students being able to compare their ideas with the original document and then to discuss the reasons for any differences.

Learning objectives

  • students apply their knowledge of the New Deal actions 1933-6 to a real life situation predicting what might have been included in Roosevelt’s 1936 manifesto
  •  they are able to argue about how the policies and promises would have been prioritised
  •  they gain confidence in the depth of their knowledge by comparing their ideas with what was actually written by Roosevelt’s team.

Step 1

As a warm-up activity students are shown an American cartoon which alludes to many of the New Deal agencies.  Students work in pairs to quickly list all they can see.  To make this a little more demanding they then have to place each agency in one of three boxes which they quickly draw on a scrap of paper: Relief/ Recovery/ Reform.  Which contains the

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