I recently used a modified version of this lesson in my 9th grade U.S. history course. This simulation led to an “Aha!” moment once the students realized that freedmen and freedwomen were not actually invited to participate in any of the decision-making processes following the Civil War. This then primed students for an inquiry into what extent life changed for freedmen and freedwomen.
I used an excerpt from W. E. B. Du Bois’s “The Propaganda of History” to help students frame their thinking and analyze historical evidence in terms of its “truthfulness” in representing the reality of the experiences of freedmen and freedwomen during the Reconstruction Era.