Paired Texts > The Great Depression
We've identified these texts as great options for text pairings based on similar themes, literary devices, topic, or writing style. Supplement your lesson with one or more of these options and challenge students to compare and contrast the texts. To assign a paired text, click on the text to go to its page and click the "Assign Text" button there.
At the height of the Great Depression, Huey P. Long, a Louisiana senator, delivered this famous speech in which he denounced the rich and argued to "scale down the big fortunes."Pair the “Every Man a King” broadcast speech, given by Louisiana state governor Huey P. Long, with “The Great Depression.” Note the similarities and differences between how the two elected officials chose to address the American audience and their concerns. Did the messages carry different tones or meanings? Did both officials take the same approach to addressing the problems and solutions of the Great Depression?
When Franklin Delano Roosevelt was elected President of the United States, the country was in the grips of the Great Depression. At his inauguration on March 4, 1933, he delivered this famous speech in which he addresses the growing fear that plagued a nation in crisis — "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself."Pair “FDR’s First Inaugural Address” with “The Great Depression” to both provide an in-depth look at this important historical period and also bring it to life.
In this text, President Obama gives his 2015 State of the Union speech and addresses economic issues and recovery.Pair “The Great Depression” with “President Obama’s 2015 State of the Union Address” and ask students to discuss any similar themes or central ideas in both texts. How does learning about the Great Depression inform one’s understanding of the United States’ recent economic recession? Can the two be compared? What can be gleaned from the Great Depression to improve the state of economy?
"Hoover: Feeding the Starving Victims of World War I" describes the the humanitarian efforts led by Herbert Hoover to feed the hungry in the wake of food shortages caused by World War I.Pair “Hoover: Feeding the Starving Victims of WWI” with “The Great Depression” and have students discuss what role Herber Hoover played in both articles. Ask them to discuss if and their opinion of Hoover changed after reading “The Great Depression.” If so, why?
Mike Kubic's article "The Roaring Twenties" explores the ups and downs of this exciting era and the events that led to the Great Depression.Pair “The Great Depression” with “The Roaring Twenties” to allow students to further explore these two key periods in American history. Ask students to identify what could have been done to avoid the Great Depression. How did the Great Depression change life for Americans? What lessons should Americans draw from these two eras?
In "President Roosevelt's First Fireside Chat: The Banking Crisis," President Roosevelt explains the banking crisis and the need for the government's intervention over a radio-broadcast to American citizens.Pair “The Great Depression” with “President Roosevelt’s First Fireside Chat: The Banking Crisis” to give students additional context regarding the events of the banking crisis and the Great Depression. Ask students to further explore how President Roosevelt was able to get the United States’ economy back on track.
In the Franklin D. Roosevelt's radio address "The Forgotten Man," Roosevelt discusses America's economy and how he would like to improve it.Pair “The Great Depression” with “The Forgotten Man” to provide students with additional information on the Great Depression and the state of America’s economy. How do Franklin D. Roosevelt’s ideas concerning America’s economy compare to President Hoover’s approach to the economy? How do the objectives that Roosevelt shares in “The Forgotten Man” compare to his actions as president, as described in “The Great Depression”?
In the informational text "FDR and the New Deal," Mike Kubic discusses President Roosevelt's New Deal program and how it impacted the economy during the Great Depression.Pair “The Great Depression” with “FDR and the New Deal” to provide students with historical background on the Great Depression. How did the Great Depression negatively impact Americans? How did President Roosevelt’s New Deal program attempt to resolve these problems? In what ways was the New Deal successful?
In this text, Betsy Wood explains the debate over children working in the United States and the ratification of Child Labor Laws during the Great Depression.Pair “The Great Depression” with “Abolishing child labor took the specter of ‘white slavery’ and the job market’s near collapse during the Great Depression ” to provide students with additional information about the Great Depression. What made the Great Depression an incredibly difficult period for so many Americans? What were some of the economic reforms that resulted from the Great Depression? Do you think that child labor reforms would have taken place if the country had not experienced the Great Depression? Explain your thinking.