ALEX Lesson Plan


Exploring the Reconstruction Era

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  This lesson provided by:  
Author:Janice Murphree
System: Sylacauga City
School: Sylacauga City Board Of Education
  General Lesson Information  
Lesson Plan ID: 15249


Exploring the Reconstruction Era


This unit introduces students to the Reconstruction Era (1865-1877) of American history. Students will discover that Reconstruction failed to alter the South's social structure or its distribution of wealth and power. They will conclude through their research that legislation passed during this period eventually prevailed and brought a change of life for African-Americans and women.

 Associated Standards and Objectives 
Content Standard(s):
TC2 (3-5)
8. Collect information from a variety of digital sources.
Examples: online libraries, multimedia dictionaries
  • Using technology tools to organize information
  • Demonstrating efficient Internet search strategies
  • Example: keyword search
  • Evaluating electronic resources for reliability based on publication date, bias, accuracy, and source credibility
  • SS2010 (5) United States Studies: Beginnings to the Industrial Revolution
    12. Summarize successes and failures of the Reconstruction Era.
  • Evaluating the extension of citizenship rights to African Americans included in the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments to the Constitution of the United States
  • Analyzing the impact of Reconstruction for its effect on education and social institutions in the United States
  • Examples: Horace Mann and education reform, Freedmen's Bureau, establishment of segregated schools, African-American churches
  • Explaining the black codes and the Jim Crow laws
  • Describing post-Civil War land distribution, including tenant farming and sharecropping
  • Local/National Standards:


    Primary Learning Objective(s):

    Students will identify the restrictions placed on blacks by the Black Codes. Students will critique the plans for altering the South's social structure and distribution of wealth and power which disadvantaged African-Americans. Students will discuss legislature passed during the Reconstruction Era.

    Additional Learning Objective(s):

     Preparation Information 

    Total Duration:

    Greater than 120 Minutes

    Materials and Resources:

    Textbook, posters, markers, glue, crayons

    Technology Resources Needed:

    Computer with Internet access, publishing software, word processing software, printer, LCD projector


    Students must have studied the Civil War and must have experience using a word processor prior to this lesson. The teacher should bookmark the websites before the lesson.

    1.)Introduce the lesson by showing the attached slideshow presentation. Have students share their thoughts about the slideshow. Ask students to share what they know about life after the Civil War.

    2.)Review the timeline of the Reconstruction Era with students. Use the website below as a guide.
    (Civil War and Reconstruction Timeline)
    This site gives a timeline of the events during and after the Civil War.

    3.)Discuss the different ideas the government had about the Reconstruction Era. View the website below and have students share their opinions.
    (Presidents V. Congress:)
    This site shares the different opinions of the Presidents and Congress during the Reconstruction Era.

    4.)After discussing the timeline, tell students that they are going to be going on a WebQuest about the Reconstruction Era. The quest is to research one of the Reconstruction Amendments and create an advertisement trying to influence the public to pass the amendment. Have students go to the website and complete the WebQuest. After students have completed their advertisements, have them present them to the class.
    This WebQuest has resources about the Reconstruction Era. Student will find information about the era on this site.

    5.)Then have students visit the website below to learn more details about the Reconstruction Era. After students have finished navigating the site, have them write a journal entry from the point of view of a poor African American during this era. Ask students to include restrictions on them because of Black Codes. Also have them include how the South's social structure and distribution of wealth and power affects them. Give students time to share their journal entries with the class.
    (America's Reconstruction)
    This site gives many details about the Reconstruction Era.

    **Some files will display in a new window. Others will prompt you to download.

    Assessment Strategies

    The teacher will use the evaluation from the WebQuest to grade student advertisements. The teacher will grade students' journal entries for content accuracy.





    Each area below is a direct link to general teaching strategies/classroom accommodations for students with identified learning and/or behavior problems such as: reading or math performance below grade level; test or classroom assignments/quizzes at a failing level; failure to complete assignments independently; difficulty with short-term memory, abstract concepts, staying on task, or following directions; poor peer interaction or temper tantrums, and other learning or behavior problems.

    Presentation of Material Environment
    Time Demands Materials
    Attention Using Groups and Peers
    Assisting the Reluctant Starter Dealing with Inappropriate Behavior
    Be sure to check the student's IEP for specific accommodations.