The American Journey © 2007

Chapter 17: Reconstruction and Its Aftermath

Web Lesson Plans

In this chapter students have read about the rebuilding of the South and the work of bringing the nation together. This period also saw changes in the lives of African Americans. The Thirteenth Amendment abolished slavery. The Freedmen's Bureau provided food, medical services, and schools to many of the newly freed African Americans. For the first time African American men were allowed to vote and hold elected office. In this activity students will learn more about the first African American members of the United States Senate.

Lesson Description
Students will visit the site of the U.S. Senate. They will visit the page "Breaking New Ground-African Americans Senators" and read about four African American senators. They will also read a historical essay about Hiram Revels and his service in the United States Senate. After answering several questions, students will create a newspaper story about Senator Revels.

Instructional Objectives
  1. The learner will be able to explain when African Americans first had the opportunity to serve in the Senate.
  2. The learner will be able to describe some issues that Senator Revels supported.
  3. The learner will be able to summarize the life of Senator Revels in a newspaper story.
Student Web Activity Answers
  1. in 1870 during Reconstruction
  2. There have been four African American senators.
  3. There was nearly a 100-year gap when there were no African American senators. The first two African American senators, Hiram Revels and Blanche K. Bruce, served in the 1870s and early 1880s. The next African American senator, Edward Brooke, did not serve until almost 100 years later, in the 1960s and 1970s. The last African American senator and the only woman, Carol Moseley-Braun, served in the 1990s.
  4. He was an outspoken opponent of racial segregation and supported African Americans who were denied office in Georgia. He was also a representative of African American interests throughout the nation.
  5. Students' newspaper stories will vary.
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