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Plessy v. Ferguson













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  1. The students will be able to describe the period of Reconstruction.
  2. The students will be able to describe the concept of sharecropping.

Sunshine State Standards Benchmarks:

 SS.8.A.5.8: Explain and evaluate the policies, practices, and consequences of Reconstruction (presidential and congressional reconstruction, Johnson's impeachment, Civil Rights Act of 1866, the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments, opposition of Southern whites to Reconstruction, accomplishments and failures of Radical Reconstruction, presidential election of 1876, end of Reconstruction, rise of Jim Crow laws, rise of Ku Klux Klan).
Depth of Knowledge:
N/A     Date Adopted or Revised: 12/08

SS.8.C.1.3: Recognize the role of civic virtue in the lives of citizens and leaders from the colonial period through Reconstruction.
Depth of Knowledge:
N/A     Date Adopted or Revised: 12/08 


reconstruction reunite uncertainty relied
distressed sustain lacked salaries
sharecropping portion sustained reinstated


Suggested Activities:

  1. Project the Reconstruction Poster from Thomas Nast up in your room. Check out the Shakespearean references! Class discussion is decoding what you see and trying to ascertain Nast's intent. (Link to a great Reconstruction poster from Thomas Nast, the father of modern political cartoons.)
  2. Have the students complete a vocabulary prediction confirmation activity for the vocabulary words from the passage.
  3. Have the students list the pros and cons of sharecropping from a freed slave's perspective.
  4. Have the students read and discuss the 14th Amendment, which gave citizenship to all people born in the United States. The 13th and 15th Amendments should be included in any class discussion.
  5. Have the students research what some of the laws, or "Black Codes, " were in the southern states to oppress the former slaves.
  6. Check out the Plessy v. Ferguson link. Bounce this Supreme Court Decision off your students.
  7. Have students draw their own political cartoons--either for the time period being studied, or today.

(Note: Actual FCAT practice passages are written at the students' independent reading level. These Florida History selections are written at the students' instructional reading level. Therefore, students should not be asked to complete the questions until after receiving class instruction on the vocabulary and content of the passage. Students should also read the Florida History selection independently before answering the FCAT questions and be permitted to return to the selection for rereading as they answer.)