Constitution Day

Reading the Constitution

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What better way to celebrate this important document, its place within our society and throughout our history, than to closely investigate the words and ideas contained in it. Unlike more recent constitutions, the document is written in the language of ordinary people and is only a few pages.

Helene Johnson, youngest of the Harlem Renaissance poets, is born

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Repeats every year until Sat Jul 07 2035 .
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July 7, 1907

Douglas MacArthur, U.S. Army General and Commander of Allied Forces, WWII, is born

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Repeats every year until Wed Jan 26 2011 .
January 26, 2011
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January 26, 1880
Watercooler photo  Jim Crow site

Remembering Jim Crow

In this podcast and website, produced by American Radio Work with major funding from NEH, the system of racial segregation in the south popularly known as "Jim Crow" is remembered. For much of the 20th century, African Americans in the South were barred from the voting booth, sent to the back of the bus, and walled off from many of the rights they deserved as American citizens. Until well into the 1960s, segregation was legal.

Lesson Plans: Grades 9-12
Curriculum Unit

FDR: Fireside Chats, the New Deal, and Eleanor (5 Lessons)

Created November 19, 2010



The Unit


FDR-Fireside Chats

Franklin D. Roosevelt having a fireside chat in Washington, D.C, April 28, 1935.

Credit: Image courtesy of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library.

The 1930s were an era of profound change in America that especially affected the relationship between the American people and the federal government. It was in these tumultuous times that Franklin D. Roosevelt steered the country through economic perils and major social changes.

Learning Objectives

The New Deal Lesson Plans, FDR and Eleanor

FDR's Fireside Chats: The Power of Words

In this lesson which focuses on two of FDR's Fireside Chats, students gain a sense of the dramatic effect of FDR's voice on his audience, see the scope of what he was proposing in these initial speeches, and make an overall analysis of why the Fireside Chats were so successful.

The Social Security Act

This lesson engages students in the debate over the Social Security Act that engrossed the nation during the 1930s.

African-Americans and the New Deal’s Civilian Conservation Corps

The Civilian Conservation Corps, a New Deal recovery and relief program provided more than a quarter of a million young black men with jobs during the Depression. By examining primary source documents students analyze the impact of this program on race relations in America and assess the role played by the New Deal in changing them.

FDR and the Lend-Lease Act

This lesson shows students how broadly the Lend-Lease Act of March 1941 empowered the federal government—particularly the President—and asks students to investigate how FDR promoted the program in speeches and then in photographs.

Eleanor Roosevelt and the Rise of Social Reform in the 1930s

This lesson asks students to explore the various roles that Eleanor Roosevelt a key figure in several of the most important social reform movements of the twentieth century took on, among them: First Lady, political activist for civil rights, newspaper columnist and author, and representative to the United Nations.

The Lessons

The Basics

Grade Level


Subject Areas
  • History and Social Studies
  • History and Social Studies > U.S. > The Great Depression and World War II (1929-1945)
  • History and Social Studies > Themes > Politics and Citizenship
  • Oral Communication
  • Representing ideas and information orally, graphically and in writing
  • Using primary sources
  • Reading, Writing and 'Rithmetic in the One-Room Schoolhouse

    Created October 6, 2010
    Reading, Writing and 'Rithmetic in the One-Room Schoolhouse

    This lesson ecourages students to explore the similarities and differences of being a student in a one-room schoolhouse versus attending their own well-equipped, modern school.