Reconstruction Era Primary Source Text Set

Reconstruction Era Primary Source Text Set
Reconstruction Era Primary Source Text Set
Reconstruction Era Primary Source Text Set
Reconstruction Era Primary Source Text Set
Reconstruction Era Primary Source Text Set
Reconstruction Era Primary Source Text Set
Reconstruction Era Primary Source Text Set
Reconstruction Era Primary Source Text Set
Grade Levels
Resource Type
Common Core Standards
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7 MB|40 pages
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Product Description

This robust primary source text set will engage your students as they explore the Reconstruction era of US History through the speeches, photos, political cartoons, letters, and artwork of the time. Through a careful study of these documents, students will build their own understanding of the progress made toward racial equity in the years after the Civil War, as well as the backlash against those fighting for black rights and representation.

Use this primary source text set for teaching:

  • The Reconstruction Era of US History (1863-1877)
  • Historical context for the rise of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK)
  • The roots of Jim Crow laws
  • Social justice US History
  • Early voter suppression through literacy texts & poll taxes
  • Backlash against black rights activists and white allies (carpetbaggers)

With this primary source set, your middle school (grades 6, 7, and 8) students can explore these historical tensions through an exploration of primary sources. All documents in this file are adapted and excerpted to support for middle school or lower high school readers. This text set can be used as the foundation for debate, argument essay, persuasive writing, historical analysis, document-based questions (DBQs), and whole-class or small-group discussion.

Most primary sources in this file feature:

  • Word banks for vocabulary support
  • Excerpts of longer texts
  • Illustrations for visual contrast (period photographs, artwork)
  • Wide margins for "easy breathing" texts
  • Clear titles and source information for easy citation

Included in this resource:

  • Testimony about KKK terrorism against whites fighting for black rights
  • 5 era political cartoons
  • 5 excerpts from "Black Codes" that predated Jim Crow era laws
  • 10 photos & excerpts from Jim Crow era laws that followed reconstruction
  • 1 letter
  • 2 compiled "literacy tests" from Louisiana
  • 1 recreated printable literacy test for students to take
  • Large-scale versions of KKK documents for printing as a gallery walk
  • 2 speeches from politicians (Thaddeus Stevens - Radical Republican, Andrew Johnson- Democrat)
  • And more!
  • Use these adapted primary sources with:

    • Middle Schoolers studying US History or the Reconstruction Period
    • Low-level high schoolers or struggling readers
    • English Language Learners (ELLs)
    • Students with IEPs
    Total Pages
    40 pages
    Answer Key
    N/A
    Teaching Duration
    N/A
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