To review major events of the Civil War and Reconstruction periods.
2 class periods
This activity begins with students interpreting a chart showing electoral results from the elections of 1860, 1864, 1868, and 1872, as well as using their own knowledge of American history, to complete sentences. This can be done individually, but I usually go through it with the entire class and ask students to come up with the answers as we read through the sentences.
Students will then read summaries of the presidential terms of Abraham Lincoln, Andrew Johnson, Ulysses S. Grant, and Rutherford B. Hayes, and underline or highlight key words, names, terms, and ideas. Their ability to recall information about these Presidents will help them during the playing of THE ELECTION GAME which follows.
The class will be divided into two teams. Each team is a political party trying to get its candidate elected President. The victorious party must win a majority of the electoral votes listed below. The list includes those states which belonged to the Union in 1876.
Play begins when a question is asked about the presidential administrations of Lincoln, Johnson, Grant, and Hayes. The first person to raise their hand will be called on. If their answer is correct, their team gets the 10 electoral votes from Alabama, the first state in the list. But if their answer is incorrect, or if they fail to answer immediately when called upon, the other team receives the 10 electoral votes.
The second question determines which team gets Arkansas’ 6 votes, the third question California’s 6 votes, and so on. To win the election, and the game, a team must get a majority of the total electoral votes. In 1876, 185 of the 369 votes were needed. Team totals will be kept on the board.
Easy-to-follow Teacher Instructions and answer key included, along with a 20-question follow up quiz to measure student progress. The quiz can also be given as a homework assignment.