The Reconstruction Era and The Fragility of Democracy uses our pedagogical approach to help students examine how a society rebuilds after extraordinary division and trauma, when the ideals of democracy are most vulnerable. The unit presents educators with materials they need to engage students in a deep study of the pivotal era of American history that followed the Civil War. It provides history teachers with dozens of primary and secondary source documents, close reading exercises, lesson plans, and activity suggestions that will push students both to build a complex understanding of the dilemmas and conflicts Americans faced during Reconstruction and to identify the legacies of this history that extended through the 20th century to the present day. These materials will help students examine closely themes such as historical memory, justice, and civic participation in a democracy. The unit includes a variety of interdisciplinary teaching strategies that reinforce historical and literacy skills.
Download writing strategies that supplement our unit on the Reconstruction era. These strategies will help you to guide students through the process of organizing their ideas and crafting a thesis in response to the writing prompts, writing and editing drafts, and sharing their essays and reflecting on the writing process.
Visit The Reconstruction Era website
Find documentary-style videos and lessons about the Reconstruction to bring to your classroom!