Teach PA History
Conserving Pennsylvania Resources: New Deal Programs
Equipment & Supplies
  • Overhead projector Transparency Highlighters


Day One:
1. Define "resources."
Students could answer:
~something that can be used for support or help
~an available supply that can be drawn on when needed
~a person, asset, material, or capital which can be used to accomplish a goal

Students may think of environmental natural resources, as well as bibliographical resources they use to complete a paper. Make certain that students understand resources can include people and their skills too. c

2. Next explain that during the Great Depression Franklin Roosevelt created a number of federal programs to conserve our national resources and stem national unemployment. In fact, he created so many, all with abbreviations, that cartoonists could help but poke fun at the "alphabet soup" of agencies. Show Alphabet Agencies. As a class you are going to look at one program developed under the Work Progress Administration (or WPA) known as the Federal Art Project (FAP) and another federal program called the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC).

[For extra credit, students can look up the other programs in the cartoon: TVA, AAA, PWA.]

3. Create small groups of 5-6 students.
Pass out Student Handout 1-CCC Images and Student Worksheet 1-The Civilian Conservation Corps in Pennsylvania.

4. Ask two questions:

What are the tasks these young men are performing?
What is the legacy of this program?

5. Create a list of CCC activities. Photo activities include:

~road work (hand grading, shoveling)
~clearing brush
~chopping wood
~constructing a dam
~charting a course
~lifting stones
~stripping bark from trees
~building cabins, fences, roads

~State park recreational areas/entrances
~dams/fish dams
~roads/hiking trails

6. Read markerCCC Historical Marker Page. Ask students to highlight and add to the list any CCC activities and legacies they encounter.

7. Summarize the CCC legacy:
~conserving our nation's natural resources
~promoting the livelihood of its enrollees

8. Disseminate Student Handout 2-Interview of Richard Hood-Federal Art Program and Student Worksheet 2-The Federal Art Program in Pennsylvania. Ask students to read this for homework and to fill out the "Richard Hood Interview" section of Student Worksheet 2.

Day Two:

9. Review last night's homework assignment and ask students to share several of the Federal Art Program's legacies from Richard Hood's interview. [i.e., preservation of artists" talent, contribution to art revival in the 1950s, contribution to art styles and methods (abstract expressionism and carborundum printing), creation of books documenting the American Art tradition, etc.] See Teacher Guide to Student Worksheet 2- The Federal Art Project in Pennsylvania for the complete list.

10. Next provide students with Student Handout 3-Federal Art Project Legacy in Pennsylvania. These are primary sources that support Richard Hood's interview. Ask students to review these images and complete their homework sheet, Student Worksheet 2-The Federal Art Program in Pennsylvania. Direct students to fill in the "Supporting Images" column and indicate which activity or legacy the image is supporting. This can be done by simply writing the number of the activity or legacy next to the image description. See Teacher Guide to Student Worksheet 2-The Federal Art Project in Pennsylvania for possible responses.

11. Once students have completed this, discuss as a class what students have found (relating images to specific program legacies).

12. Next direct students to pull out their Student Worksheet 1 (from Day One) so that they have both Student Worksheet 1-The Civilian Conservation Corps in Pennsylvania and Student Worksheet 2-The Federal Art Project in Pennsylvania in front of them. Students will choose one of these programs on which to focus.

13. For a final activity ask students to write a letter to one these individuals:

~Gifford Pinchot
~Franklin Roosevelt
~Richard Hood

In the letter students will:
~express their gratitude to the legacy of the program which the recipient helped create or administer
~cite at least three specific examples of the program's legacy today
~describe specifically how they will continue to honor and protect those legacies
~ask one question which relates the program to the dilemma of resources we face today

14. Currently students are to provide ideas of how to honor and protect these program legacies on their own. You may wish to briefly brainstorm some ideas as a class if you feel necessary. Examples may include helping to keep parks free from litter, planting trees, or sponsoring restoration of WPA artwork, supporting talented artists in their community by going to an exhibit of their work, etc.
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