Discrimination in America: Investigating the KKK with Primary Sources

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Common Core Standards
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How could such a racist, evil group like the KKK gain power in the South in the late 19th century? Following the end of Reconstruction, a relatively new group called the Ku Klux Klan plagued the countryside, towns, and cities with their violent ways and overtly discriminatory behavior. By researching primary sources from the time period, students will come to understand how the KKK used intimidation, violence, and political maneuvering to obtain authority in the South.

Throughout the lesson students will:

1) Respond to a Bell Ringer that asks them to consider how the KKK and terrorists are similar.

2) Watch a small portion of an online episode about the current tactics of the much diminished Ku Klux Klan and answer questions from the clip.

3) Analyze a Post-Reconstruction political cartoon demonstrating the Ku Klux Klan's increased power over African Americans in the South.

4) Investigate three primary sources from the time period, paying special attention to the tactics of the KKK in their quest to gain power.

5) Synthesize and create a government report that informs the President of the methods used by the KKK to wrongfully obtain authority in the South.

If you are interested in this lesson you may also want to check out this online scavenger hunt lesson about Jim Crow laws!
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Teaching Duration
2 Days

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Discrimination in America: Investigating the KKK with Prim
Discrimination in America: Investigating the KKK with Prim
Discrimination in America: Investigating the KKK with Prim
Discrimination in America: Investigating the KKK with Prim