How Effective were the Efforts of the Freedmen’s Bureau?

The legacy of Reconstruction and the Freedman's Bureau is complicated. Using an interactive web resource, learners literally weigh the evidence using an online program in primary sources such as labor contracts and marriage records to determine how effective these reforms were. Prompts after the activity ask young historians to discuss the impact of this period.

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas
  • Use documents to fuel a debate on the effectiveness of Reconstruction
  • Have class members investigate primary sources to introduce the topic of Reconstruction
Classroom Considerations
  • Students need to use computers to view the primary sources
  • Activities build analysis and evaluation skills
  • Pictures of documents are intriguing and transcripts make reading them easy
  • While the resource has a place to submit answers to written prompts, it is not clear where the responses go