This lesson plan explores the lives of various people in Arkansas and the changes their lives went through at the beginning of the Reconstruction Era, and provides images of documents, transcriptions, and online links to primary and secondary resources focusing on the changing rights, racial tensions, and the elections in 1868. Two articles about 1868 racial riots in Conway County, Arkansas, offer students the opportunity contrast varying interpretations of an event, examine how several days with additional information can change a story, and compare it to other race riots in Arkansas and around the world. Students will also examine the 1868 Constitution and laws surrounding the elections to gain a better understanding of the changing rights of citizens. A list of various activities related to the original primary and secondary resources allows teacher the flexibility to choose parts of this lesson plan to use and adapt to the needs of their students. With this lesson plan, students will gain a deeper understanding of how Reconstruction affected the mood, economy and politics of Arkansas and its people.
Creator: Arkansas State Archives
Grades: 5-8 Middle School; 9-12 High School
Time period: Civil War Through the Gilded Age 1861-1900
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