Teacher Lesson Ideas

Works Progress Administration and the Dock Street Theater

Fifth graders learn about the history of the Dock Street Theater in Charleston and its 1930s renovation as a project under the New Deal’s Works Progress Administration (WPA), from primary source newspaper articles and secondary sources describing the theater and the WPA.  The students then examine the costs of labor on a specific part of the renovation, using WPA sources documenting the renovation of Dock Street Theater, and discuss the economic impact the renovation had on Charleston.  Finally, each student creates a poster that includes images of the theater, facts about the WPA and the theater, and a discussion of the positive economic impact of the Dock Street Theater renovations on the city.

Martha Noyes
Midland Park Elementary, SC
2004 Lowcountry Institute

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