Lesson: Lesson 1 - 13, 14, 15, Amendments

48 Favorites

Lesson Objective

By the end of the lesson, SWBAT identify and analyze the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments. By the end of the lesson, SWBAT explain the concept of due process of law.

Lesson Plan

 Key Points:

·       The 13th Amendment declared that slavery would not be allowed to exist in the United States.

·       The 14th Amendment declared that the states could not limit the rights of citizens. States could not take away life, liberty, or property without due process of the law, or deny equal protection of the law.

·       The 14th Amendment gave citizenship to all people no matter their color of skin.

·       Due process is the principle that the government must respect all of a person's legal rights. They cannot refuse certain legal rights to people.

·       The 15th Amendment gave all men the right to vote, no matter what their skin color was or if they had been enslaved.

Essential Question: “Why would the United States need to add the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments to the Constitution after the Civil War?”

Vocabulary: Civil War, Due Process, Constitution, Bill of Rights, 13, 14, 15, Amendments

Assessment: During the guided practice, students will be playing a quiz show like game where they have to look at scenarios and either state what Amendment is being denied. In addition, during independent practice, students will be thinking critically about whether or not they believe the establishment of the 13, 14, and 15, Amendments actually helped make America a more equal place to live. Finally, students will be completing a writing prompt in addition to writing their own scenarios that articulate a violation of a certain Constitutional amendment.

Opening (5 minutes):


·       At the start of the lesson T will put the following starter on the board: “Discuss with your group why a person would need rights?”

·       T will gain the Ss attention by bringing up again some of the facts about a totalitarian regime like North Korea (lack of freedom of speech, loud speakers in the apartments to blast propaganda, restricted movement, no fair and fast trials) to contrast what a world would look like without rights.

·       T then ask the groups why a person would need rights.

·       T will listen to the responses.


·       Ss will share our heir responses.

·       Ss will listen their fellow Ss talk about why they need rights

·       Ss will listen to the information about North Korea.

Introduction of New Material (20 minutes):


·       T will show a brief PowerPoint on due process of law and the establishment of the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments (Technology).

·       The PowerPoint will also reiterate just how destructive the Civil War and what it specifically did to the Southern landscape.

·       T will tell the Ss to fill out a graphic organizer as the T goes through the presentation.

·       T will emphasize that due process is the idea that the government must grant all the rights of a U.S. citizen and can not deny you any of your rights.

·       T will go over the different Amendments talking about how the events of the Civil War affected the way people think – and forever changed America’s view on slavery and rights for all.

·       T will have informal checks for understandings such as, “In your own words, what does due process mean?”


·       Ss will listen to the PowerPoint presentation

·       Ss will fill out the graphic organizer

·       Ss will ask and answer questions pertinent to the presentation.

Guided Practice (15 minutes):


·       T will then introduce the Ss to a quiz show like game entitled “Amendment Fever!” (technology)

·       T will tell the Ss that Ss will work in their groups working as teams to answer the questions in this game related to the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments, in addition to due process.

·       T will present questions such as: “A Southern plantation owner after the war decides to keep his slaves and not let them free, what Amendment is being broken?” – Answer: 13th Amendment

·       T will have students explain their answers.

·       T will supplement their answers with further information or follow up questions.

·       T will informally observe the student’s abilities to answer the questions. 


·       SS will play the game in groups.

·       Ss will actively explain their answers and engage in conversation about the topics.

·       Ss will ask questions on topics they do not understand.

Independent Practice (45 minutes):


·       T will then transition to having the Ss make a flashcard flipbook on the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments. In addition, Ss will make a flashcard on due process.

·       T will display the following directions on the board (included on the PowerPoint): DIRECTIONS: You should have four note cards. The first note card is your cover. On the second note card, you will write 13th Amendment on one side, and write what it is and draw a picture to along with it on the other side. Do the same with the rest of the note cards for the 14th and 15th Amendments!

·       T will then have the Ss work on the following writing prompt: “Do you think that the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments will solve all of the problems for former slaves in the South. Explain, and be sure to give me a definition of the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendment in your writing.”

·       T will review with the class and use the rubric on the writing prompt template to grade the writing.

·       T will have early finishers write different scenarios like those displayed in the PowerPoint presentation.

·       T can use those scenarios at a later date to refresh the students’ memories about these particular amendments.

·       T will help a group of students who are struggling to grasp the idea of the Amendments with the writing (remediation)


·       Ss will make flashcards.

·       Ss will do the writing prompt to the best of their abilities.

·       Ss will ask clarifying questions.

Closing (10 minutes):


·       As a closing, T will ask the Ss to share out some of their predictions on the future of former slaves in the South.

·       T will remind the Ss to hold on to their flashcards because they will help them study for the test.

·       T will tell the Ss that they are next time going to hear about some of the programs that the U.S. Government set-up after the Civil War to try get the South back on its feet, and help freed slaves. 

·       T will ask the Ss if they have any last questions.

·       T will have the students read a chapter in their textbook about the Freedmen’s Bureau to prepare them for the upcoming lesson.

·       T will have the students that did not finish their class work to complete that as homework.


·       Students will listen to the T talk about the next lesson.

·       Ss will ask any last minute questions.

·       Ss will write down their homework assignment.

Homework:Freedmen’s Bureau reading and/or finish writing and scenarios.

Materials:  LCD, Graphic Organizer, Writing and Scenario Template, Note Cards, Markers

Teacher’s Reflections:

The students had fun with this lesson. They loved the simple “Amendment Fever” game. It was a quick and simple way to test what they learned from the Intro of New Material portion of the lesson. In terms of the writing, I found that like all other writings that I had in class, the students’ ability levels differed greatly. Some students were able to make connections from lessons leading back to the Sherman’s March to the Sea and how the economic damage would last for generations and although former slaves had more rights their lives would still be challenging, while others could barely write more than the definitions that they copied on their graphic organizers. That’s why I found it particularly helpful to work with the students that were struggling writers because they were able to verbally articulate their thoughts much better than they were able to write them. That way, we took what they said, and as a group, put them into writing.  

Lesson Resources

Reconstruction Unit - Lesson 1 - 13, 14, 15, Amendments - Writing Prompt Scenario Template   Writing Assignment
Reconstruction - Lesson 1 - 13, 14, 15, Amendments - Lesson Plan   Lesson Plan
Reconstruction Unit - Lesson 1 - 13, 14, 15, Amendments - Graphic Organizer (Mac)   Notes
Reconstruction Unit - Lesson 1 - 13, 14, 15 Amendments - Key Note (Mac)   Smart Board
Digital History of Reconstruction
Reconstruction Unit - Lesson 1 - 13, 14, 15, Amendments - Graphic Organizer.doc  
Reconstruction Unit - Lesson 1 - 13, 14, 15, Amendments - PPT.ppt   Smart Board


Something went wrong. See details for more info
Nothing to upload