Lesson Plan

North or South: Who killed Reconstruction?

Socratic Seminar
Sabrina R.
Classroom teacher
School For Global Leaders
New York, United States
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My Grades 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
My Subjects Social Studies

Students will be able to...

  • Practice using evidence to make and defend an argument.
Social Studies
Grades 8
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 HOOK/ATTENTION GETTER (Leadership Task):

Free, Free to try, Paid

Direct students to log on to padlet and answer the leadership task.

Student Instructions

Go to the address: https://tinyurl.com/yc83vukv

1.Based on this photo list three things you can infer (guess) about it?

2.What questions does this photo raise in your mind?

3.In the pictures above, what is the message that is being said in regards to the two political parties?

4.Did Reconstruction successfully solve the problems caused by slavery and the Civil War?



Activity: Presenting

Teacher will model the  Debate/Class Discussion by announcing the purpose of the lesson.  It is to facilitate a deeper understanding of the ideas and values of the country during the  Reconstruction shared discussion by the class.  The teacher will model the appropriate discussion skills for the Debate/Discussion. 

Student Instructions

Directions: Complete the Three-Column Chart: Linking Response /Claims, Evidence, and Analysis

Review Discussion Rules:

Students must address each other by name and use “I” phrases.

I agree with _________ because________

I disagree with _______ because _______

What makes you say that?

How does this piece of evidence prove______?  Explain your thinking.

What else might this evidence prove?

Why is this evidence important?

No raising hands (everyone’s favorite rule)

You must back up statements with evidence (with specific examples) discussed in class

No side discussions.

No talking over each other.

Respect everyone’s opinions.

Anyone may ask questions of the group at any time.

Talk to the group, not to the teacher.



Activity: Conversing

During the seminar, the students are to listen carefully to the comments of their peers.  They are to address the entire group when speaking and do not need to raise their hands in order to contribute.  The teacher will pose the opening question North or South: Who killed Reconstruction?  and then ask participants to answer the question, relating their statements to the text.  The front loading in preparation will set the class up to discuss the issue and what the parameters are for the discussion.  If the conversation goes off topic, the teacher will interrupt to refocus the discussion.  If the conversation dies down, the teacher should refer to the listed questions and use them to further the discussion.The teacher will record who participates and each student is to speak at least twice during the Debate/Class Discussion.


Student Instructions

Students are to use the primary documents when they make their contributions to the discussion, continually using evidence rather than merely their own personal opinions. Students are not to attack the different interpretations of their peers, but rather go back to the text to make a contribution


Activity: Assessing

Teacher will handout a Debrief worksheets for students to complete. Teacher will focus on students who are struggling with the task.


Student Instructions

                     Debate/ Discussion Debrief

Directions: Answer the following questions using complete sentences.

1. How did you feel about the Debate/ Discussion?

2. Reflect on your own experience.

3. If you changed your opinion during the discussion, what changed it?

4. Using your own knowledge on this topic or issue, create a question to start a Debate/ Discussion.

5. What was the best part of the Debate/ Discussion? The worst part?

6.Give yourself a letter grade: A B C D F

How would you rate the seminar? (Check one)

___Excellent (Everyone participated, listened, had good ideas, did not interrupt.)

___Good (Generally, everyone participated but the seminar could have better ideas and behavior.)

___Fair (Side talk, interruptions, students distracted.)

___Poor (Lots of side talk, interruptions, and rude behavior.)


Free, Free to try, Paid

Teacher provides students wih the following two exit questions to complete:  

  • North or South: Who Killed Reconstruction?
  • What results of the Reconstruction era are evident in later U.S. history and in modern-day America?  Explain


Student Instructions

Log on to the following link to complete your exit slip use evidence from class and today's discussion to support your response.