Teach PA History
Dear Mrs. Roosevelt
What to Know
Teaching Time

Two 50-minute sessions

Grade Level
Elementary School
  • Economics
  • Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening
  • History
Historical Period
  • The Great Depression and World War II - 1929-1945
This lesson is part of a larger unit on the Great Depression. Prior to this lesson, prepare the class by giving background information on the time period and the events leading up to the Great Depression. The Teacher Background Sheet includes important information and the bibliography contains links leading to information about Eleanor Roosevelt that will be useful. The purpose of this lesson is to give the student an understanding of how the Great Depression impacted the individual citizens from the point of view of the children.


1. Identify problems that children faced during the Great Depression by reading letters written by children to Eleanor Roosevelt. 2. Analyze the letters for commonalities. 3. Apply information learned to decide how Eleanor Roosevelt might have replied to the writer. 4. Work cooperatively within a group. 5. Synthesize knowledge of the Great Depression and of Eleanor Roosevelt in writing activity.

Standards Alignment

  • Economics

    6.1.9. D. Describe the historical examples of expansion, recession and depression in the United States.

  • History

    8.1.6. B. Explain and analyze historical sources.
    8.1.6. C. Explain the fundamentals of historical interpretation.
    8.2.6. B. Identify and explain primary documents, material artifacts and historic sites important in Pennsylvania history from Beginnings to 1824

  • Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening

    1.1.5. D. Identify the basic ideas and facts in text using strategies.
    1.1.5. F. Identify, understand the meaning of and use correctly key vocabulary from various subject areas.
    1.1.5. H. Demonstrate fluency and comprehension in reading.
    1.2.5. A. Read and understand essential content of informational texts and documents in all academic areas.
    1.4.5. B. Write multi-paragraph informational pieces.
    1.5.5. A. Write with a sharp, distinct focus identifying topic, task and audience
    1.5.5. B. Write using well-developed content appropriate for the topic.
    1.6.5. A. Listen to others.
    1.6.5. D. Contribute to discussions.

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