This lesson plan will result in imaginary Works Progress Administration (WPA) interviews similar to those found in American Life Histories: Manuscripts from the Federal Writers' Project, 1936-1940 of the Library of Congress that demonstrate students' interpretation of the question, "Was the New Deal North Carolina's 'Reconstruction'?" All background knowledge on the Reconstruction era should have been completed prior to the introduction of this project.
A written WPA report on an imaginary North Carolina resident who lived during the Reconstruction and Depression eras is the product of this assignment. Students must complete research of the American Life Histories: Manuscripts from the Federal Writers' Project, 1936-1940, select an occupation for future research, and explore additional print and electronic sources. The "interview" must be historically accurate, support a thesis that answers the question, and include an appropriate sensory illustration.
Students will be able to:
- Demonstrate an understanding of the degree to which the Depression/New Deal amended the economic destruction of the Civil War.
- Utilize the American Life Histories, 1936-1940 as both a primary resource and a model for student-written interview documents.
- Identify point of view/bias in historical documents, both text and pictorial.
- Provide historical support for a thesis through the use of creative writing.
Recommended Grade Level
- City & Regional History
- Oral Histories
- Great Depression and WWII, 1929-1945
Jackie Brooks and Deborah Pendleton