Reconstructing a Failed Democracy

Arianna Bonner, Social Studies, Martin Luther King, Jr. MS

Curriculum Unit (pdf)


This Curriculum Unit is about democracy in America during the period of
Reconstruction. This Unit will ask students to define the word democracy. Through
their understanding of democracy, students will be able to analyze the government in
America during Reconstruction. This unit of study will ask students to evaluate how
democratic the nation was during Reconstruction. Students will look at primary and
secondary sources to help them analyze the success of the country in rebuilding a
democratic nation. The two foundational questions that students will need to answer by the end of the unit are:  (1) What are the characteristics of a successful democracy? (2)Was the United States successful in rebuilding a democracy after the Civil War? Students will be able to develop their own arguments in response to these questions and utilize evidence from their research to help them support their claims. The unit will help scaffold students to a constructed response essay that will help develop their skills in evaluation and analysis.