No Food, No Money, No Job—What to Do?
  1. Strand PHIL.I Definitions of Philanthropy
    1. Standard DP 02. Roles of Government, Business, and Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark E.1 Give examples of needs met by government, business, civil society, and family.
      2. Benchmark E.6 Explain why acting philanthropically is good for the community, state, nation, or world.
  2. Strand PHIL.III Philanthropy and the Individual
    1. Standard PI 01. Reasons for Individual Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark E.3 Define stewardship and give examples.

Students explore in detail the origin, activities, and impact of the Civilian Conservation Corps.

PrintTwo Fifty-Minute Class Periods

The learner will:

  • create a graph utilizing C.C.C. information.
  • analyze a statement given by Franklin D. Roosevelt regarding the C.C.C.
  • create a patch illustrating one job of a C.C.C. member.
  • describe the importance of acting philanthropically.
  • Internet access
  • voice recorder with a recordingof FDR statement (providedin Teacher Preparationfor teacher to record in advance)
  • Timer or clock with second hand
  • Index cards
  • Legal-size envelopes
  • Graph paper
  • Tape measurer
  • Bathroom scale
  • Small paper bags (one per student)
  • The Civilian Conservation Corps-A Mind Web (Attachment One)
Home Connection: 

Extend the lesson of Station #4 to a homework assignment. Students take their bags home to collect items related to the functions of trees. They should collect at least one item for each function on the outside of the bag. The items may either be actual or representational. After a week, have the students return the bags. Conduct a group "show and tell" in which students share, compare, and discuss what they collected.

  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Play some songs from the time of the Great Depression. You can find the songs "Wang Wang Blues" and "That's How Much I Love You" at the following Web site: <>. Discuss with the students the feelings generated by the song. How do they feel listening to the music and what did the song writer intend? Ask the students if they ever listen to certain songs when they want to feel better? Why would these songs be appropriate for the Great Depression?

  2. Explain to the students that they just listened to a song written during the depression era. Ask the students to recall how people lived during this time. Did people have enough food or money during this time? How would they feel if they could not go to lunch today because the school did not have food to feed the students? Explain to the class that during the depression, that's how most Americans felt most days. Franklin D. Roosevelt wanted to help all people during this tough time, including boys ages 17 to 24. He introduced the Civilian Conservation Corps which solved two problems: It provided work for young men who didn't have jobs and were a burden for their families and it preserved the land through reforestation and building of parks.

  3. The students will explore the impact of the C.C.C. on the nation and in their own state. Divide the class into five groups. The groups will move through five stations to learn about the C.C.C. The directions are written to the students so the teacher may duplicate the information about each and put the directions at each station.

  4. Station #1 English Language Arts Materials: Prerecording the "Famous Quote" (below) and a copy of The Civilian Conservation Corps-A Mind Web (Attachment One) (one for each group) Directions: Listen to the speech on the recorder and brainstorm ideas on what FDR meant. Discuss why the following statements are particularly relevant to the development of the C.C.C.: "Greatest task is to put people to work," "Recruiting by the government," and "Accomplishing greatly needed projects." Discuss what needs would be met by government, business, or philanthropy in the Civilian Conservation Corps. Famous Quote: Our greatest task is to put people to work. This is no unsolvable problem if we face it wisely and courageously. It can be accomplished in part by direct recruiting by the Government itself, treating the task as we would treat the emergency of war, but at the same time, through this employment, accomplishing greatly needed projects to stimulate and reorganize the use of our national resources. - Franklin D. Roosevelt, 4 March 1933 Station #2 Social Studies Materials: Timer or have a student monitor a clock with a second hand, legal-size envelope, index cards with one job printed on each. Directions: Have the students play a game of charades with the C.C.C. job cards. One student chooses a job card from the envelope, and following the rules for charades acts out the job. The other members of the group try to guess the job within three minutes. Each member should have a turn acting out a job. Continue playing until all the cards are used or the time is up. Save the cards in the envelope for the next group.

    (Print the following jobs on the index cards: fighting fires, planting trees, building roads and trails, assembling fire towers, watching for fires, improving game areas/fish streams, building log structures, stringing telephone lines, and conducting groundwater surveys.) Station #3 Mathematics Directions: Each student should make his or her own graph and calculations in Activities A and B. Both activities can be recorded on the same sheet of graph paper. Activity A: Materials: Graph paper and pencils

    • Miles of Roads Built by the C.C.C.: 125,000
    • Miles of Telephone Lines Strung by the C.C.C.: 89,000
    • Miles of Foot Trails Built by the C.C.C.: 13,100

    The bars of the graph should be proportional and the graph should have accurate title and labels. Activity B: Materials: Tape measurer, bathroom scale (if students do not know their personal information) Use the same paper that the graph is on. Directions: Given that the average enrollee was 18 to 19 years old, 147 pounds, and 5'8" tall, compare your own statistics to the average C.C.C. member. Figure out how many more years, how many more (or less) pounds, and how much shorter (or taller) you are compared to the average in the C.C.C. Be creative in how you clearly present your accurate data.

    Station # 4: Science Materials: Small brown paper bag, markers, index cards with one function of trees printed on each Directions: Give each group member a paper bag with one (prepared) index card and a marker in it. Group members take turns reading and explaining (or leading a discussion of) the role of trees printed on their cards to the rest of the group. Each person uses the marker to list the functions of trees on the outside of the bag. Have the students put appropriate tree-related objects in the bag throughout the week.

    (Print the following functions of trees on the index cards-one per card: home for animals, shade from sun, landscaping in our yards, beautify the forest, oxygen for breathing, wood for homes and other products, wood for paper products, fruit, maple syrup, etc.) Station #5 Stewardship Materials: Paper and pencil Directions: "One example of stewardship is taking care of the environment for future generations." Fold your paper in half lengthwise (like a hotdog bun) and trace the fold to draw a line down the paper. Write the example of stewardship (given above) across the top. On one side of the paper draw what the land might have looked like before the efforts of the C.C.C. On the other side show what it looks like now. Write a brief description below each illustration.


Young men in the C.C.C. wore a patch on their uniforms to indicate what work they did. These patches were worn with pride. Have the students design their own patches on paper. Establish the dimension for the patches and give the following requirements: the patch should symbolically illustrate the work of the Civilian Conservation Corps and include one word that describes how the young men might have felt about their work. Have the students write a paragraph describing the effects of the Civilian Conservation Corps on the people involved and the nation as a whole. They should explain why acting philanthropically is good for the community, the state or the nation. Observe the students as they work in the five stations. Look for group participation, contribution to discussions, and accurate completion of assignments: completed mind web, graph and math calculations, notes on the bag, and illustrations of the land before and after the work of the C.C.C.