Lesson: Lesson 5 - Reconstruction Exam

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Lesson Objective

By the end of the lesson, SWBAT display what they know about Reconstruction through a written exam.

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.

·       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.

·       Sharecropping was when poor farmers used a landowner’s fields.

·       Sharecropping kept poor people in debt because they always owed the landowners money for things such as food, clothing, farm supplies, and medicine.

·       Sharecropping made it hard for poor farmers to save money and provide a good life for their families.

·       The Freedmen’s Bureau was a way to try to help the newly freed slaves and poor whites get food, clothing, medical care, legal advice in the South.

·       The Freedman’s Bureau was a major part of the Reconstruction in the South.

·       The U.S. government used to force to try to make the South give the former slaves rights

·       President Rutherford B. Hayes ended Reconstruction in 1877 by ordering the soldiers to leave the South.

·       Without protection of the army, the African American newly freed slaves lost their political power.

·       The South based new laws that earned the nickname – Jim Crow Laws.

·       The Jim Crow Laws separated and segregated the white people from the black people.

·       Segregation is the forced separation of races.

·       The Ku Klux Klan were mad that African Americans were taking part in government and they wanted to stop the African Americans from getting power.

·       The Ku Klux Klan threatened African Americans with violence, and killed people to keep them from voting. 

Essential Questions:

·       Why would the United States need to add the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments to the Constitution after the Civil War?

·       Why was the Freedmen’s Bureau necessary for the Reconstruction of the South and newly freed slaves?

·       How is sharecropping good and bad for the former slaves in the South?

·       How did life get worse for African Americans in the South after Reconstruction?

·       How did the Jim Crow laws destroy the hopes of equality for many African Americans.  

Vocabulary: Reconstruction, President Rutherford B. Hayes, Segregation, Jim Crow Laws, Civil War, Amendment, Due Process, Constitution, Bill of Rights, Medicine, Food, Shelter, Legal, Sharecropping, Tenants, Freedmen’s Bureau

Opening (10 minutes):


·       At the start of the lesson ask the Ss to write down one question that they might or may have popped up while studying.

·       T will take those questions and answer them.

·       T will tell the Ss that they will be taking the unit exam.

·       T will them that they will first be finishing an exercise that will help them on today’s test. 


·       Ss will write down their questions.

·       Ss will share their questions

·       Ss will ask questions about the objectives and the test.

Introduction to New Material (5 minutes):


·       T will have the students pull out their study guides.

·       T will tell the Ss that they can use their books and study guides to study and quiz other around them.

·       T will tell the Ss that this study guide will really help them with being able to see how segregation, and the Jim Crow Laws really ended Reconstruction and the efforts of the Freedman’s Bureau.


·       Ss will take out the study guide.

·       Ss will ask questions about the study guide.

Guided Practice (15 minutes):


·       T will monitor the room as the Ss review their study guide.

·       T will then help those Ss that are having a hard time (remedial)

·       T will encourage the Ss that are higher-level thinkers in the class to come up with their own questions that contain answers that use vocabulary in them. (enrichment)


·       Ss will respectfully review their study guides.

·       Ss will ask respectfully ask questions.

·       Ss will share their answers.

Independent Practice (55 minutes):


·       T will hand out the unit exam on Reconstruction.

·       T will go over the directions.

·       T will tell the Ss to complete the following writing prompt if they finish early: “Write a letter to a Ku Klux Klan member explaining why Reconstruction is needed in the South.” (early finishers)

·       T will monitor the room as the Ss complete the exam


·       Ss will take the exam.

·       Ss will sit there quietly when they are done – working on an extension writing prompt.

Closing (5 minutes):


·       As a closing, T will recap the major points of the lesson.

·       T will also preview the next lesson and Unit on America at the turn of the century.

·       T will remind Ss of the project that is due soon.


·       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.


Freedmen’s Bureau Project

Materials: Study Guide, Exam

Teacher’s Reflection:

This test matches up fairly well with the study guide that was handed out at the end of Reconstruction Unit – Lesson 4. In addition, the test is set up in a way that allows the student to develop their thoughts on a particular topic. For instance, instead of having just one question about the Freedmen’s Bureau, there are multiple questions so that a teacher can really tell how much a student knows about a topic. I found that with this exam, the students were successful because these were topics that had been discussed at length during the lessons. In addition, it was very helpful that the students had moments before the test to ask questions and quiz each other. 

Lesson Resources

Reconstruction Unit - Lesson 5 - Reconstruction Exam - Exam and Answers   Assessment
Reconstruction Unit - Lesson 5 - Reconstruction Exam - Lesson Plan   Lesson Plan


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