My students enjoy and engage more with material that they can interact with. This lesson, “Reconstructing the South: A Role Play,” provided all of that. Students were able to question and critically think about their lives during this difficult period as freed slaves. Reading the primary documents and situations and then being allowed to deliberate on topics such as who and how one should own land, voting rights, and protection from the law.
I teach seniors in the inner city of Minneapolis and racial issues are alive and well even today in 2017. With this activity we had a honest conversation of housing discrimination, job discrimination, and overall racism. This lesson led to a much needed and broader discussion among young adults. I was happy to be involved in it.