Period: 1865

Reconstruction Period: 1865 – 1876

Echoes of Enslavement

Teaching Activity. By Ursula Wolfe-Rocca.
Students discover “echoes of enslavement” in their own state — discrete sites of remembering, forgetting, honoring, lying, or distorting — in this lesson based on the book How the Word Is Passed by Clint Smith.
Continue reading

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.
Teaching Activity by Bill Bigelow
Continue reading
Reconstruction montage

Who Killed Reconstruction? A Trial Role Play

Teaching Activity. By Adam Sanchez. 2022. Rethinking Schools
A role play about the demise of Reconstruction that helps students get beyond the question “Was Reconstruction a success or failure?”
Teaching Activity by By Adam Sanchez, Illustrator: Nate Kitch
Continue reading
Carter Reads the Newspaper book cover | The Zinn Education Project

Carter Reads the Newspaper

Picture book. By Deborah Hopkinson. Illustrated by Don Tate. 2019. 36 pages.
This picture book chronicles the young life of Dr. Carter G. Woodson, an Appalachian-born Harvard scholar and advocate for African American history. He founded Negro History Week in 1926 (which grew into Black History Month), the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH), and the Journal of Negro History.
Continue reading
Ellen's Broom (Book) | Zinn Education Project

Ellen’s Broom

Picture book. By Kelly Starling Lyons. 2012. 32 pages.
Story about a young girl during Reconstruction whose parents are finally able to have a legal marriage while honoring a family wedding tradition.
Continue reading

Biddy Mason Speaks Up

Book — Non-fiction. By Arisa White and Laura Atkins. 2019. 112 pages.
An illustrated children's book tells the story of real-life champion for civil rights Bridget "Biddy" Mason.
Continue reading

Black Reconstruction in America

Book — Non-fiction. By W. E. B. Du Bois. Edited by Eric Foner and Henry Louis Gates. 2021. 1097 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.
Continue reading

Black Was the Ink

Book — Fiction. By Michelle Coles. Illustrations by Justin Johnson. 2021. 368 pages.
A powerful coming-of-age story and an eye-opening exploration of the Reconstruction era.
Continue reading

Forty Acres and Maybe a Mule

Book — Fiction. By Harriette Gillem Robinet. 1998. 144 pages.
Historical fiction featuring 12-year-old Pascal, 8-year-old Nellie, and their older brother Gideon, a Union Army aide, as they claim and farm the land promised to them during Reconstruction.
Continue reading

Freedom Road

Book — Fiction. By Howard Fast. 1944. 294 pages.
The politics and economics of Reconstruction told through memorable historical fiction.
Continue reading

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.
Continue reading