Marisa Ferraro

I used a modified version of When the Impossible Suddenly Became Possible: A Reconstruction Mixer in my elementary school classroom in order to help students grapple with the concept that many different groups of people post-Reconstruction were actively attempting to fight for and obtain civil rights.

It was extremely beneficial for my students to see that in addition to being a movement for African Americans freed from slavery, Reconstruction impacted all laborers, all women, and the ability to vote throughout the country.

Providing a mixer activity and prompting questions (modified for their level) helped students adopt their roles more fully. I was able to observe student agency increase as they read about their historical figure, and role play has provided a constant benefit to my classroom. In the context of Reconstruction, students were able to grapple with the reality that there were many challenges and unmet goals during Reconstruction that have had impacts on society still today.