A Look at Virginians During Reconstruction, 1865-1877

The transition between rebellion to reunification was not smooth after the Civil War. Young historians compare primary and secondary source documents in a study of the Reconstruction era in Virginia, noting the rights that were not readily available to newly freed slaves despite their postwar status in the United States. They then engage in a writing activity that reflects the perspective of a figure from the late 19th century.

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas
  • Apply to a unit on the Reconstruction era or when focusing on primary source analysis
  • Have learners read the background material and attached documents for homework before discussing what they have read in class the next day
Classroom Considerations
  • The lesson notes that class members may be uncomfortable assuming the roles of white slaveowners; keep this in mind when assigning any role-play activities
  • The second part of a six-lesson unit
  • Focuses on life in Virginia during Reconstruction, but could apply to any state's study of the Civil War
  • This resource is only available on an unencrypted HTTP website. It should be fine for general use, but don’t use it to share any personally identifiable information
  • Lesson differentiates each step into the appropriate grade level
  • None
Common Core