Lesson overview: It’s 1867 at a polling place in Norfolk, Virginia. Congress has passed the Reconstruction Acts and Southern states must write new constitutions. Voters will choose delegates to the Constitutional Convention and Black men’s votes will be counted for the first time. This lesson reviews the various mindsets of individuals who lived in Virginia in 1867, and the struggles formerly enslaved people faced to fulfill their right to vote and change the institutions that often worked against them and their desire to integrate into a free society.
Essential Question: How did freedpeople use institutions to create social change during Reconstruction?
Driving Questions: Why was the right to vote considered sacred to freedpeople living in Southern states after the Civil War?
This activity is based loosely on the idea that between us all, there are only six degrees of separation. The teacher will place students into eight different groups, giving each group an assertion that is based on the person/topic/hotspot they have been assigned. The goal is to connect the assertion to the driving question using six slides. The teacher can determine which program will be used, and what multimedia combinations (pictures, text, sound, video, etc…) can be used. Slides should not project opinion but use facts to connect the assertion to the driving question.
White U.S. Army Soldier – Federal soldiers in charge of Southern elections were necessary to ensure the enfranchisement of Blacks after the Civil War.
Freedwoman – In a time when no female could vote, Black women were vital to the support of the enfranchisement of Black males.
Confederate Army Veterans – Changes in society, and the fear that was generated by the changes, led to extreme measures by former Confederate veterans and freedpeople.
Black U.S. Army Soldier – Those who fought to preserve the Union and the freedom for all Blacks were often the most vocal in seeking the right to vote.
Poor Freedman – Despite entering society with little to no financial security, freedmen were determined to better themselves and their communities by voting and taking part in the political process that ensured the passage of the 15th Amendment.
Craftsman – Freed Blacks, who gained their freedom before the Civil War, led African American communities during Reconstruction, encouraging voting, providing economic assistance, and helping newly freed people struggling to find their place in society.
Ballot Box – Disenfranchisement of Blacks was the goal of many Southern whites who feared the power of the vote and the freedom it gave freedmen. The ballot box became a literal representation of the fear of Southern whites and the ingenuity of individuals who sought to preserve the rights of freedmen.
Returning Voter – The power of the vote was evident to African Americans before Reconstruction was established.
Please note, the links provided in the resources are current as of the publication of this lesson. Links often change or become inaccessible. It is always advisable to check the viability of the links provided.
Padlet QR code connection to the two group response questions - https://bit.ly/3FYCpIA
My hotspot is:
My Assertion is:
|What I learned from the class prompts||What I learned from my hotspot||Information that would be helpful to know||Facts that connect my assertion to the driving question|
|Focus||The 6 slides had a clear & consistent focus. It was easy to determine exactly the connections the presenter was trying to make. One could easily see how the assertion connected to the driving question.||There were clear and consistent connections between the 6 slides. However, it was harder to see how the assertion connected to the driving question.||There were only 4 or 5 slides present. There was a lack of consistency between the slides. With explanation, one could see the connection between the assertion and the driving question.||There were 3 or fewer slides present. Connections were hazy at best. One had difficulty understanding how the assertion and driving question connected.||There were 3 or fewer slides present. The presentation was not focused and the assertion and driving question did not connect.|
|Support and Elaboration||There was plenty of supporting information, evidence to make the presenter’s point. The presenter thoroughly convinced his/her audience of the connections between the assertion and the driving question.||The presenter provided enough support to show connections between the assertion and the driving question, but some clarification was needed to understand the connection.||There was a fair amount of supporting information, but it was too sparse. The presenter did not sufficiently elaborate on the connections between the assertion and the driving question. The slides added little to the understanding of the connections.||The presenter relied too heavily on the idea that connections were apparent. The slides added nothing to the understanding of the connections.||The slides showed no evidence of a connection between the assertion and the driving question. The assertion and the driving question did not connect.|
|Style||The text and the visual design were clear, interesting, and appropriate to the purpose and audience of the presentation. Fonts, colors, etc. seem well chosen to reflect the presenter’s purpose and aided in one’s ability to process the visual content of the presentation.||The text and visual design were clear and interesting but somewhat inconsistent in style. Although the design may not have distracted from the content it also did not enhance one’s ability to understand the presentation.||The layout and color choices distracted somewhat from the content of the presentation. At times it was unclear what the presenter was trying to convey. The text of the slides was reasonably clear.||Fonts and layout were inconsistent. The “look” of the presentation distracted from its purpose, making it easy to lose focus on the points the presenter was trying to make.||Fonts, and layout seem almost random. The design was confusing and made it difficult to understand and focus on the presentation.|
|Conventions||The presentation was easy to read; the text was free of errors.||There were one or a few errors in grammar, spelling, or usage, but they did not distract from the content. Text was clear and easily readable.||There were several errors in grammar, spelling, or usage. Text was not as readable as it could have been-it was more “cute” than readable. Layout of the slides may not have been consistent throughout the presentation, resulting in some confusion.||There were many errors in grammar, spelling, or usage. The layout was inconsistent. Text varied from slide to slide making the presentation difficult to understand.||The presentation was riddled with errors that detracted from the content. The layout of the slides was very inconsistent and made comprehension difficult, and the text was often difficult to read.|
Grade 4: Standard 5 – Indicators 4.5.CC, 4.5.P, 4.5.CO, 4.5.CE, 4.5.E
Grade 8: Standard 4 – Indicator 8.4.CO, 8.4.CX, 8.4.CC, 8.4.E
US History: Standard 2 – Indicators USHC.2.CX, USHC.2.CC