America and Unemployment

US citizens in unemployment line

This lesson plan looks at the United States today and the current issue of unemployment. Our lesson plan follows this current event in comparison to the economy’s downfall during the Great Depression. The article in our lesson plan looks at the impact of different plans—past and present—that have been created to try and overcome the issue of unemployment.

In addition to working with the article and having a mini lecture, students will watch a video from This video is a political ad that looks at current citizens who are unemployed and what they will face if they cannot continue receiving government support. Watching this video allows students to look at unemployment from another perspective, and prompts them to answering the essential question: What is the role of government in unemployment intervention? Students will take part in a writer’s workshop to propose a letter to congress taking a stand on the issue of unemployment. At the end of class, students must turn in a slip of paper with their answer to the Essential Question posed on the board.  This answer will be the standpoint that they take when writing a letter in the following class period(s) to their state legislators.  This gives students the opportunity the chance to make connections between sources and viewpoints.

Files for download:

Lesson Plan


Teaching Standard
S.S. Ninth Grade Standard 20.; CCSS.ELALITERACY. WHST.910.1. B
Teaching Area
US History since 1877
Grade Level
Downloadable Files