by Edward Dorgan
Lewis S. Mills High School, Burlington
In the depths of the Great Depression, the unemployment rate in the U.S. reached 25%–and higher in some regions. The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) was one of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal programs, and it operated from 1933-1942. Over these nine year, the CCC provided jobs to millions of young men nationwide–most of them ages 18-25–and carried out many environmental and conservation projects, including planting trees, constructing trails and lodges, and building forest roads.
D1: Potential Compelling Question
D1: POTENTIAL SUPPORTING QUESTIONS
- What was the purpose of the CCC?
- Where were CCC camps built in Connecticut?
- What types of work did the CCC workers do?
- How did the CCC program change the lives of Connecticut’s “CCC boys”?
- What are the lasting results (the legacy) from the CCC program in Connecticut?
D2: TOOL KIT
Things you will need to teach this lesson:
D3: INQUIRY ACTIVITY
The activity follows a study of FDR’s first 100 days in office and the passage of a number of New Deal programs by the U.S. Congress.
- Students study the map of the CCC camps in Connecticut established in the 1930s and examine a physical map of the state to determine the significance (if any) of the location of the camps.
- Next, students will examine photographs of some CCC camps in Connecticut and of “CCC boys” in the 1930s. For help guiding students in the examination of photographs, use the Library of Congress’s Teacher’s Guide for Analyzing Photographs & Prints.
- Using the maps, photographs, and additional primary and secondary materials available online (see suggestions below), students will answer supporting and compelling questions about the role and impact of the CCC program in Connecticut.
D4: COMMUNICATING CONCLUSIONS
- Students will create a CCC recruitment poster for young men in Connecticut at the time of the Great Depression.
- Students will compose a letter to their state representative reflecting on the accomplishments of the CCC programs in Connecticut and advocating for the creation of modern day CCC programs to reduce unemployment for today’s young adults in our state.
Place to GO
Shenipsit State Forest, Stafford: Outdoor activities and the Civilian Conservation Corps Museum
American Legion and Peoples State Forest, Barkhamsted: Outdoor activities and historic Nature Museum built by the CCC in 1935. The Museum is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Things To DO
Read the 1935 pamphlet: The C.C.C. Makes Better Men and Forests in Connecticut
Read Connecticut State Parks: A Centennial Overview by The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection: State Park Division
Read History of Forestry in Connecticut by Austin F. Hawes, New Haven, CT
Websites to VISIT
Civilian Conservation Corps Legacy: background history, camp information, and archival photographs from the CCC
Articles to READ
ConnecticutHistory.org: Hidden Nearby: Two Monuments to Sportsmen at Housatonic Meadows State Park by Peter Vermilyea
CCC Legacy website: CCC Brief History
From the National Park Service: The Forest Service and The Civilian Conservation Corps: 1933-42
State of Connecticut: OLR Research Report – Civilian Conservation Corps in Connecticut by Matthew Ranelli