Reconstruction Period: 1865 - 1876

Frances Harper, William Sylvis, Isaac Myers, and John Roy Lynch pictured. They were leaders of the Reconstruction Era in US history

When the Impossible Suddenly Became Possible: A Reconstruction Mixer

Teaching Activity. By Adam Sanchez and Nqobile Mthethwa. 25 pages. A mixer role play that explores the connections between different social movements during Reconstruction.
Time Periods: 19th Century, Civil War Era: 1850 - 1864, Reconstruction Period: 1865 - 1876
Themes: African American, Reconstruction, Democracy & Citizenship, Laws & Citizen Rights, Organizing, Racism & Racial Identity, Slavery and Resistance
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Reconstructing the South: A Role Play

Teaching Activity. By Bill Bigelow. 17 pages. This role play engages students in thinking about what freedpeople needed in order to achieve—and sustain—real freedom following the Civil War. It's followed by a chapter from the book Freedom's Unfinished Revolution.
Time Periods: 19th Century, Reconstruction Period: 1865 - 1876
Themes: African American, Reconstruction, Democracy & Citizenship, Laws & Citizen Rights, Racism & Racial Identity, Slavery and Resistance
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California map

The Expansion of Empire

Teaching Activity. By Gayle Olson-Raymer. 15 pages. Questions and teaching ideas for Chapter 12 of Voices of a People's History of the United States on internal dissent over American expansionist policies.
Time Periods: 19th Century, Early 19th Century: 1800 - 1849, Civil War Era: 1850 - 1864, Reconstruction Period: 1865 - 1876, Industrial Revolution: 1877 - 1899
Themes: Imperialism, US Foreign Policy, Wars & Related Anti-War Movements
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Indian Removal

Teaching Activity. By Gayle Olson-Raymer. 18 pages. Questions and teaching ideas for Chapter 7 of Voices of a People's History of the United States on the American policy of "Manifest Destiny" and Native American resistance to their own displacement.
Time Periods: 19th Century, Early 19th Century: 1800 - 1849, Civil War Era: 1850 - 1864, Reconstruction Period: 1865 - 1876, Industrial Revolution: 1877 - 1899
Themes: Imperialism, Native American, Racism & Racial Identity
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The Reconstruction Era and the Fragility of Democracy (Website) | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's History

The Reconstruction Era and the Fragility of Democracy

Teaching Guide. By Facing History and Ourselves. 2015. A collection of lessons, videos, and primary sources to teach about Reconstruction.
Time Periods: 19th Century, Reconstruction Period: 1865 - 1876
Themes: African American, Reconstruction, Democracy & Citizenship, Laws & Citizen Rights, Racism & Racial Identity
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Strikers and Populists in the Golden Age

Teaching Activity. By Gayle Olson-Raymer. Questions and teaching ideas for Chapter 11 of Voices of a People's History of the United States on the Gilded Age.
Time Periods: 19th Century, Reconstruction Period: 1865 - 1876, Industrial Revolution: 1877 - 1899
Themes: Labor, Social Class
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Teaching a Peoples History of Abolition and the Civil War (Book Cover) | Zinn Education Project

Teaching a People’s History of Abolition and the Civil War

Teaching Guide. Edited by Adam Sanchez. 181 pages. 2019. Rethinking Schools. Students will discover the real abolition story, one about some of the most significant grassroots social movements in U.S. history.
Time Periods: 19th Century, Civil War Era: 1850 - 1864, Reconstruction Period: 1865 - 1876
Themes: African American, Reconstruction, Laws & Citizen Rights, Organizing, Racism & Racial Identity, Slavery and Resistance
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The First Vote

Freedom’s Unfinished Revolution: Teaching a People’s History of Reconstruction

Background Reading for Teachers. By Bill Bigelow. 4 pages. A review of Freedom's Unfinished Revolution, a collection of primary documents for high school on the Civil War and Reconstruction.
Time Periods: 19th Century, Reconstruction Period: 1865 - 1876
Themes: African American, Reconstruction, Laws & Citizen Rights, Racism & Racial Identity, Slavery and Resistance
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Students Bring Reconstruction to Life 1 (Material) | Zinn Education Project

How My Students Brought Reconstruction to Life

Article. By Amy Trenkle. One of the teachers who piloted the Make Reconstruction History Visible project with her students shares the process she used.
Time Periods: Reconstruction Period: 1865 - 1876
Themes: African American, Reconstruction, Democracy & Citizenship, Racism & Racial Identity
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Tourgee Marker (photo) | Zinn Education Project

Students Secure Marker for Reconstruction Era Lawyer Albion Tourgée

A group of students at Kent State University-Ashtabula helped secure local recognition for Reconstruction era lawyer and writer Albion Tourgee, including a historical marker at his birthplace.
Time Periods: Reconstruction Period: 1865 - 1876
Themes: African American, Reconstruction, Democracy & Citizenship
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Why I’m Rooting for Tommy Lee Jones

Article. By William Katz. 2013. An opportunity to highlight Congressman Thaddeus Stevens' fight for equality.
Time Periods: 19th Century, Civil War Era: 1850 - 1864, Reconstruction Period: 1865 - 1876
Themes: Slavery and Resistance
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Black Reconstruction in America

Book – Non-fiction. By W. E. B. Du Bois. Introduction by David Levering Lewis. 2014. 623 pages. Originally published in 1935, Du Bois’ Black Reconstruction was the first book to challenge the prevailing racist historical narrative of the era and in sharp, incisive prose, tell the story of the Civil War and Reconstruction from the perspective of African Americans.
Time Periods: 18th Century, 19th Century, Civil War Era: 1850 - 1864, Reconstruction Period: 1865 - 1876, Industrial Revolution: 1877 - 1899
Themes: African American, Reconstruction, Democracy & Citizenship, Racism & Racial Identity
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Cause: Reconstruction America, 1863-1877

Book – Non-fiction. By Tonya Bolden. 2014. 138 pages. One of the few non-fiction texts on Reconstruction aimed at young readers, Cause is a strong alternative to the textbook treatment of the era.
Time Periods: Reconstruction Period: 1865 - 1876
Themes: African American, Reconstruction, Racism & Racial Identity
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Dark Sky Rising (Book) | Zinn Education Project

Dark Sky Rising: Reconstruction and the Dawn of Jim Crow

Book - Non-fiction. By Henry Louis Gates Jr. with Tonya Bolden. 2019. Readers trace the rise and fall of racial equity during Reconstruction as increasingly violent white supremacy and new forms of oppression take hold at the turn of the 20th century.
Time Periods: 19th Century, Reconstruction Period: 1865 - 1876, Industrial Revolution: 1877 - 1899, Turn of the Century: 1900 - 1909
Themes: African American, Reconstruction, Civil Rights Movements, Democracy & Citizenship, Organizing
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The Era of Reconstruction, 1861-1900

Book – Non-fiction. By National Park Service. 2017. 165 pages. A theme study on the history of the Reconstruction era.
Time Periods: 19th Century, Civil War Era: 1850 - 1864, Reconstruction Period: 1865 - 1876, Industrial Revolution: 1877 - 1899, 20th Century
Themes: African American, Reconstruction, Democracy & Citizenship, Racism & Racial Identity
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Freedom’s Shore

Book – Non-fiction. By Russell Duncan. 1986. 192 pages. Freedom’s Shore tells the incredible story of Tunis Campbell, a Northern abolitionist minister who heads South after the Civil War to help freedpeople in Georgia.
Time Periods: Reconstruction Period: 1865 - 1876
Themes: African American, Reconstruction, Democracy & Citizenship, Racism & Racial Identity
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A Peoples History of the United States Book | Zinn Education Project

A People’s History of the United States: 1492 – Present

Books - Non-fiction. By Howard Zinn. 2005, with a new introduction by Anthony Arnove in 2015. 784 pages. Howard Zinn's groundbreaking work on U.S. history. This book details lives and facts rarely included in textbooks—an indispensable teacher and student resource.
Time Periods: Colonization: 1492 - 1764, Revolution & Constitution: 1765 - 1799, Early 19th Century: 1800 - 1849, Civil War Era: 1850 - 1864, Reconstruction Period: 1865 - 1876, Industrial Revolution: 1877 - 1899, Turn of the Century: 1900 - 1909, World War I: 1910 - 1919, Prosperity, Depression, & World War II: 1920 - 1944, Cold War: 1945 - 1960, People’s Movement: 1961 - 1974, Post-Civil Rights Era: 1975 - 2000, 2001 - Present, All US History
Themes: African American, Reconstruction, Civil Rights Movements, Democracy & Citizenship, Economics, Education, Immigration, Imperialism, Labor, Laws & Citizen Rights, Native American, Organizing, Racism & Racial Identity, Slavery and Resistance, Social Class, US Foreign Policy, Wars & Related Anti-War Movements, Women's History
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