Lesson Plan: Overview

Work and Play in South Carolina

Grade Level: 3rd & 5th
CCC Photo

Academic Standards

Standard 3-5: The student will demonstrate an understanding of the major developments in South Carolina in the late nineteenth century and the twentieth century.

3-5.5 Explain the effects of the Great Depression and the New Deal on daily life in South Carolina, including the widespread poverty and unemployment and the role of the Civilian Conservation Corps.

Standard 5-4: The student will demonstrate an understanding of the economic boom-and-bust in America in the 1920s and 1930s, its resultant political instability, and the subsequent worldwide response.

5-4.2 Summarize the stock market crash of 1929 and the Great Depression, including economic weakness, unemployment, failed banks and businesses, and migration from rural areas.

5-4.3 Explain the immediate and lasting effect on American workers caused by innovations of the New Deal, including the Social Security Act, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and the Civilian Conservation Corps.

Social Studies Literacy Elements

G. Make and record observations about the physical and human characteristics of places.

K. Use texts, photographs, and documents to observe and interpret social studies trends and relationships.

L. Interpret calendars, time lines, maps, charts, tables, graphs, flow charts, diagrams, photographs, paintings, cartoons, architectural drawings, documents, letters, censuses, and other artifacts.

Q. Interpret information obtained from maps, aerial photographs, satellite-produced images, and geographic information systems.

S. Interpret and synthesize information obtained from a variety of sources—graphs, charts, tables, diagrams, texts, photographs, documents, and interviews.

Essential Question
1. How did the Civilian Conservation Corps affect recreation in South Carolina?

Historical Background Notes

In 1929, the stock market crash led to the Great Depression.  During this time, most people were without money and without employment.  Many young men found themselves on the streets and were unable to take care of their families.  This affected all states in the United States (U.S.) including South Carolina.  “In the early 1930s, at least 17 counties in South Carolina had an unemployment rate of over 30%” (http://www.palmettohistory.org/exhibits/ccc.htm).  In 1933, Franklin Roosevelt (FDR) put into place the New Deal which was a plan to help the struggling economy of the United States.  He put this plan into action shortly after taking the oath of office as President. 

Part of the New Deal was the creation of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC).  President Roosevelt created this group to give employment to many of the young men who found themselves jobless during this terrible time.  This group, known as the CCC, would be responsible for preservation of land and forests, pest control, construction of dams, and construction of recreational facilities.  According to FDR’s original plan for the CCC, he chose different departments to be in charge of different aspects of the CCC.  For instance, the Department of Labor was in charge of selecting enrollees into the program.  The Army was in charge of constructing camps for the workers to live in, providing medical care at these camps, and moving enrollees to and from the worker camps.  The Department of Agriculture and the Department of the Interior were in charge of choosing camp sites for the state parks.  President Roosevelt was very specific in designing his plan and was determined to find work for these unemployed young men during the Great Depression (CCC Packet).

The enrollees in the CCC were usually between the ages of 17-24.  They were usually men who were unemployed and depending on welfare for survival.  Their enrollment in the CCC created a job for them and provided them with money that they could send back home to their families.  In fact they were required to send a certain percentage of money each month back home to their wives and children.  These men made about $1.00 per day for their labor, and originally they were required to send home $25.00 per month.  In 1940, the plan changed some, and it required that the men send some money home, keep some for themselves, and also deposit some into a government savings account (CCC packet). 

Another thing that the CCC provided for these young men was education.  Many of these men did not have much education past elementary school, and being enrolled in this program gave them the opportunity to get a higher education.  Classes at many different levels were offered, and also vocational classes (typing, landscaping, mechanics, etc.) were options for these young men (http://www.palmettohistory.org/exhibits/ccc.htm). 

In South Carolina, the CCC was responsible for many improvements.  According to the packet of information about the CCC written by the South Carolina Department of Archives & History, the CCC built 18 state parks in South Carolina, including Poinsett State Park, Myrtle Beach State Park, and Cheraw State Park.  They also checked soil erosion and employed about 49,000 young men.  This program really helped to boost the economy of South Carolina because of the increased wages of men living in the state.  The men were now able to purchase land and put money back into the economy.

In 1941, the CCC began to disband because the economy was steadily getting better.  By 1942, the CCC had officially disbanded. Not only did this program give jobs to the many unemployed young men during the Depression, it also did many great things for our country as a whole, as well as South Carolina.

Cultural Institution Partner

The South Carolina Room at the Florence Library

This is where I found the packet called "The Civilian Conservation Corps in South Carolina 1933- 1942," which was created by the South Carolina Department of Archives and History.


Primary Sources

Photographs of CCC camps. Source available online through the South Carolina Department of Archives and History at http://www.palmettohistory.org/exhibits/ccc.htm.

President Roosevelt’s sketched plan for the CCC, p. 123 (transcription, p. 124) from "The Civilian Conservation Corps in South Carolina 1933- 1942" packet created by the South Carolina Department of Archives & History.

Secondary Sources

"The Civilian Conservation Corps in South Carolina 1933- 1942" packet created by the South Carolina Department of Archives & History.

“A Lasting Legacy - The Civilian Conservation Corps and South Carolina’s State Parks.” Source available online through the South Carolina Department of Archives and History at http://www.palmettohistory.org/exhibits/ccc.htm.


• Copies of photographs for students
“Making Inferences with Photographs” sheet for students
• Copy of President Roosevelt’s sketched plan for the CCC, p. 123 (transcription, p. 124)
• Timer

Lesson Plans

This lesson should take approximately 45 minutes.

1. Discuss with the class what it means to make an inference. Also discuss with the class what a primary source is.

2. Discuss with the class how photographs can tell you a great deal even without captions, and that sometimes you can make inferences from what you see in the photos.

3. Explain to the students that they will be split into groups and each group will be given 2 photographs and a “Making Inferences with Photographs” sheet. Explain the directions before splitting them into groups.

4. Split students into groups of 4-5 students to look at the photographs and make inferences. Do not tell them what the photographs are of. They are to fill out the front and back of the handout together as a group.

5. Give the groups about 7-8 minutes to complete the “Making Inferences with Photographs” sheet together.

6. Once the timer has gone off, come back together for a whole class discussion.

7. Create a chart on the board like the one on the handout including a section for people, objects, and activities seen in the photograph. Let each group share a person, object, and activity that they saw and include these on a class chart. After creating the class chart, look at the words and guide students to make an inference about what all of these pictures could be related to. (They should come up with the fact that the pictures all have to do with building/construction of something.)

8. Ask students how many have ever been to a South Carolina State Park? (I asked mine about local state parks – Poinsett State Park, Myrtle Beach State Park, etc.) Explain to them that many of the state parks in South Carolina were created during the Depression.

9. Discuss the Great Depression with the students including President Roosevelt’s New Deal. Explain to them why the Civilian Conservation Corps was created during this time.

10. Look at FDR’s sketched plan for the Civilian Conservation Corps (see Tools section above) and the different departments he put in charge of it. Ask students why they think each of these different departments was involved with the CCC.

11. Explain to students that through these photographs we are able to learn about what kinds of things the CCC did for recreation in our state. This is a pictorial history of men creating state parks for us.

12. To sum up the lesson, find out what other lingering questions students still have about the pictures and discuss them.

Teacher Reflections

Reflective Essay

Student Assessment

Since this lesson was taught in isolation rather than part of a whole unit, I created an “exit slip” type of assessment. This would be a quick way for me to check to see if the students understood what we discussed in the lesson. If I was teaching this as part of a whole unit, I would include questions on my overall assessment dealing with the CCC.

Examples of Students Work

Student Work
Student Work 2
Student Work 3


Brandi Boan
Manning Elementary
Manning, South Carolina