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SIM Materials

Discover curriculum materials for the The New Deal Senate Immersion Module experience at the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate

After nearly four years of a devastating and unprecedented economic depression, the American people elected Franklin Delano Roosevelt to provide relief and restore a sense of stability to the shaken nation.

Congress was tasked with fulfilling President Roosevelt’s promise of a “New Deal” for the common man.

In this historic SIM, students will debate a number of the issues addressed by the Senate of the 73rd Congress during the Great Depression. Students will take on the role of a historic Senator and shape a number of the “alphabet soup” agencies created during the New Deal, including:

(1) The Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA): What form should Federal assistance to the American people take?

(2) The National Recovery Administration (NRA): How should the Federal government regulate specific sectors of the economy moving forward?

(3) The Civilian Conservation Corps. (CCC): Who may enroll in the program designed to put young Americans to work restoring America’s forests, farms, and national parks?

(4) The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA): Who should be responsible for modernizing the American South and how should this be done?

Students will consider the different ideologies and regional concerns of historic Senators, try to pass legislation, and learn about the political and historical outcomes of the early years of the New Deal.

Created in 2018 by the Edward M. Kennedy Institute and Catholic Memorial High School

Reviewed by the University of Massachusetts Boston

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