US History: Deconstructing Reconstruction

The United States faced a myriad of difficult questions at the end of the Civil War:  What should they do about the newly freed people? How should the South be treated for the rebellion? How to rebuild the Union? Using primary source documents, including a political speech and a newspaper editorial, learners consider the questions to evaluate the success of the era.

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CCSS: Adaptable
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Instructional Ideas

  • Discuss the plans for Reconstruction using the four-corners debate
  • Analyze included primary source to evaluate the success or failure of Reconstruction efforts 
Classroom Considerations

  • Learners need some background on the end of the Civil War to understand the issues at stake in Reconstruction
Pros

  • Activities build primary source skills
  • Four corners debate keeps class members engaged
Cons

  • Some resource links do not work