The Great Depression: Jigsaw Method

Carter Junge


Step by Step Instructions

  1. The first part of the lesson, we will be reading pages 64-67 & 78 of Eric Rauchway’s “The Great Depression & The New Deal: A Very Short Introduction.” Reading the book will show students the steps that the United States took to help the country through the economic crisis of the GD.
  2. After reading, we will have a whole discussion answering discussing the following:
    • What social programs were implemented to help people, and by whom?
    • Which program do you think was the most important?
  1. After the discussion, I will split students up into four groups for them to analyze the four different programs that were implemented to help the crisis. Those programs are the Agricultural Adjustment Act (AAA), the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), the Works Progress Administration (WPA), and the Civil Works Administration (CWA). Students will be able to understand these programs and explain their importance to their peers through the jigsaw method. They will complete those questions based on the book using textual evidence.
  2. Students will be able to disrupt the commonplace by looking at the issues everybody had no matter what their jobs status, income, or class was. Students will be able to interrogate multiple viewpoints as they will be put into groups and find out the answers based on textual evidence, as well as discuss the programs and their importance to the government and its people. After a determined amount of time, all students will come back together to explain/educate their peers about what their program/project is and their importance through the answers they found in the text.
  3. Once students all come together, every group will have a few minutes to discuss their answers. In between rotations, we will have a brief conversation about the project/program and go over any important details that were stated or missed.
  4. During each group’s discussion, students will take notes on their answers and highlight key information.
  5. After one rotation (after every group has shared their answers) students will have an understanding of each project/program and know its importance regarding what it did for the government, the people, and how it helped fight the economic crisis.
Video Demonstration

About the author

My name is Carter Junge, and I am a student at Iowa State University. I am double majoring in Secondary Education and History. I was born in Sergeant Bluff, Iowa, but grew up in Sioux City, Iowa after the age of three. I attended Sioux City East High School where I first started taking education classes. Growing up, I learned that I had a soft spot for people, especially kids. I took care of my cousins frequently and developed strong relationships with them while still teaching them the right things to do. Education is important to me because it is more than just students grabbing a pen and paper to write down notes, it is about building personal connections with the students and teaching them life skills like communication and organization.