Lesson Plan

Reconstruction Lesson 2

The racial division of the US after the civil war
Jacob K.
Classroom teacher
Belgrade High School
Belgrade, United States
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My Grades 11
My Subjects Social Studies

1. Students will evaluate sharecropping as an economic system and as a social system.

2. Students will understand the deep divide in the South at this time over racial issues relating to the emancipation of African American slaves

Social Studies
Grades 11
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Hook/Intro - Johnson as president

Free, Paid

Show students “Reconstruction and 1876: crash course US history #22” up to 4:20.


2 Johnson opposes congress

Activity: Presenting

Teacher will present pictures from the time and discuss their significance. Focusing first on the struggle between congress and President Johnson over aid to African Americans at the start of reconstruction. This gets students attention because rarely does our congress and president disagree so entirely and especially not over something like civil rights. Transition into talking about the KKK.

3 Discuss Racism

Activity: Conversing

Students frequently have trouble grasping how the KKK could do what it did during reconstruction morally and legally. This is a time to answer questions, and dispel any misconceptions. A student may ask a question to start this, if not it should be started by the teacher with an open ended question such as "Why do you think the KKK was allowed to commit murder without repercussions?"

Student Instructions

Students will need to voice their opinions as well as their questions and confusion.

4 Northern reaction to conflict during early reconstruction

Activity: Presenting

Discuss the Norths reponse to these problems. Topics will include the Military Reconstruction act, carpetbaggers and scalawags, the 14th amendment. Lead into the fact that Johnson is impeached to create interest in the lesson late on.

5 Sharecropping Jigsaw

Students will listen to an interview on youtube, view a set of pictures on instagram or find a sharecropping contract on google scholar. The three sources will give students different perspectives on sharecropping. After gaining these different perspectives students will switch groups and explain what they learned to others in their group. They will then discuss what they learned and what they think of sharecropping as an economic and social system

6 impeachement?

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students will quickly answer the questions "What is impeachment?" and "What reasons can we impeach someone for?" Discuss the answers that come up

7 Steps forward

Activity: Presenting

Show pictures from this time period related to the topics discussed. Discuss Johnson's impeachment, the 1868 presidential race, the election of the first African American congressman, and the 15th Amendment and its reception and problems such as poll taxes and reading requirements if time allows.