Lesson Plans

1:1 lesson

Lesson overview: Freedpeople built and expanded existing institutions during Reconstruction. The foundation for many of their institutions were laid during slavery. Most institutions had their roots in practices begun by enslaved people and included religion, education, benevolent organizations, the press, and the family. Institutions gave newly freed individuals structure and provided many services for families struggling to find their place in society. Today’s lesson titled, “A Seat at the Table”, focuses on the family institution.

Essential Question: How did freedpeople use institutions to create social change during Reconstruction?

Driving Questions: Why was the family unit considered an integral institution for freedpeople during Reconstruction?

Lesson Progression

  • The teacher will introduce Reconstruction 360 and determine prior knowledge about the Reconstruction period through group classroom responses using Padlet. Padlet is an application to create an online bulletin board that you can use to display information for any topic. A QR code is provided under the resources that will link student’s individual tablets/devices to the Padlet application where students can respond to the prior knowledge prompt.
  • The teacher will lead classroom discussion based on the responses individual students post on the first Padlet prompt.
    • Prompt Response #1 - List 5 things you know about Reconstruction. – prior knowledge prompt shown and answered by individual students in the class on their tablets/devices prior to watching the module
  • The teacher will direct students in watching the immersive 360 video/module, “A Seat at the Table.”
  • The teacher will drive the direction the module is shown providing students with an overall view of the immersive features of the 360 module. Please read Teacher Notes for additional information about features in the module.
  • After the module has been shown, the teacher will once again give students a prompt using Padlet. The teacher will lead students in a discussion about the second prompt.
    • Prompt Question #2 - What did you find most interesting about the module, “A Seat at the Table”? – prompt shown and answered by individual students on their tablets/devices after the module is shown
  • The teacher will assign students specific characters from the module. Each character will be represented in one of five groups. Students will gather in groups with other students who have also been assigned the same character. Within that group, each student should answer guided questions that pertain to the character they have been assigned. Answers can be determined as a group, but individuals can add to their answers based on their interpretation of information from the “hot spots”.
  • This endeavor is based on a modified jigsaw activity, first having students work with others who have been assigned the same character, then having them reconfigure to a different group that includes representatives of all the characters in the module.
  • Students will take the information they gleaned from their character’s specific guided questions to help in the creation of a group cluster diagram that connects the role of the specific characters to their place in the family. An example of one type of cluster diagram is included in the resources. Students can create their own cluster diagram by using Word, Google Docs, or the slide program of their choice.
  • The guided questions and the group cluster diagram will provide the background information that each group will need to answer the driving question. Groups are encouraged to view and explore the module when answering guided questions and completing the group cluster diagram. Groups should answer the driving question before beginning the final activity where all group work will be displayed and assessed.
  • Lastly, each group will publish a “Slide Book”. The “Slide Book” will consist of three chapters: Chapter 1 – Character Profiles (Who sits at the table?) – Chapter 2 – Cluster Diagrams - (How are individuals connected at the table?) – Chapter 3 – Answering the Driving Question (Why was the family unit considered an integral institution for freedpeople during Reconstruction?)
  • Groups can create the “Slide Book” using the program available at the school they attend. MS PowerPoint and Google Slides are two common programs.

Character Guided Questions

  • What was the mother’s unique role within this family unit?
  • How did freedom redefine the mother’s role?
  • How were the mother’s past experiences connected to her current situation?
  • How did the mother go beyond her family circle to support her community?
  • What was the grandfather’s unique role within this family unit?
  • How did freedom redefine the grandfather’s role?
  • How was the grandfather’s past experiences connected to his current situation?
  • How did the family unit support the grandfather?
  • What was the father’s unique role within this family unit?
  • What did the father learn as a freed person of color during the Antebellum period that helped make his family more successful during Reconstruction?
  • How were the father’s past experiences connected to his current situation?
  • How did the father go beyond his family circle to support his community?
  • What was the pastor’s unique role in the community?
  • How did freedom redefine the pastor’s role?
  • How were the pastor’s past experiences connected to his current situation?
  • What was the connection between church, family, and community?
  • What was the son’s unique role within this family unit?
  • How did freedom redefine the son’s role?
  • How were the son’s past experiences connected to his current situation?
  • How did the son’s ability to attend school make the community stronger?

Teacher Notes

  • It is suggested that teachers explore the Reconstruction 360 module, “A Seat at the Table'', prior to showing the module in class. On the toolbar of the module there is an “Explore” pull down menu. This menu will show all the people and places emphasized by “hot spots'' placed within the module. Hot spots can be accessed through the explore option or by scrolling over and clicking the people/topics as the module is shown.
  • The answer to some guided questions will require students to make inferences based on their knowledge of Reconstruction and what they learn from exploring the module on the family in Reconstruction 360.
  • Students may be able to use information from different profiles to help answer guided questions about the individual they are assigned.
  • The teacher can decide if extra credit, using the lesson extension, is allowed. A simple rubric has been included in the resources. Teachers can determine the point value of each component of the rubric.
  • The teacher can decide where the Reconstruction Slide Books should be published. There are many options including Google Classroom, Nearpod, and Edmodo. A link that allows teachers to view various options has been included in the resources.

Lesson Extensions

  • Students can add extra credit to their slide book by including information about topics which are “hot spots” but are not individuals. The teacher can decide how many extra chapters can be included by groups. The topics for extra chapters can include:
    • Ad for Missing Relatives
    • Bible
    • Foodways
    • Notebook
  • The students must explain the importance of the included topics and how the topics connect to individual profiles, or the family as a whole.
  • To modify the lesson to a SC perspective and meet 8th grade standard, standard 4, indicators 8.4.CX and 8.4.CC the students can add pages to their “slide book”. The pages should answer one of the following questions. Teachers can determine the number of lesson extensions allowed.
    • Research and find a freedperson from South Carolina whose contributions during Reconstruction are noteworthy. What struggles did they face and how did their work help other freedpersons living in South Carolina during reconstruction?
    • How did the African American experience change in South Carolina during Reconstruction? Give a concrete example of a historical event and/or person that exemplifies this change.
  • A lesson extension rubric is included in the resources. Point allocations can be modified.

SC Standards

Grade 4: Standard 5 – Indicators 4.5.CO, 4.5.P, 4.5.E

Grade 8: Standard 4 - indicator 8.4.E
*If completing the lesson extension - Standard 4 - indicators 8.4.CX, 8.4.CC

US History: Standard 2 – Indicator USHC.2.CC