What's it all about?

Sometimes the plans put in place by a government are successful and sometimes they are not. It will be up to you to decide if integrating slaves into southern society was successful or not. You will create a written and visual product that explains why you made your decision using information from primary source documents.

Day 1- In your Social Studies classroom, you will brainstorm what you already know about Reconstruction and Reconstruction policies and decide whether you felt integration of slaves into southern society was successful or not.  You can use specific items mentioned in class to help you make your decision.

Day 2 - With your librarian, begin exploring various resources for researching additional primary source documents. Head to the library or bring resources to the classroom.  Use the resources in Steps 2 & 3 to begin your exploration.  Then fill out the primary source note-taking sheet (step 4).

Day 3 - Continue your research and note-taking in your classroom or the library.  Also, at the beginning of the class, be sure to include citations study and the best ways to show your teachers where you found your information!

Day 4 - In your social studies classroom or the library, begin working on your final project (see Step 5 of the Big6+). 

This is your opportunity to defend your position and belief regarding integration of slaves into southern society. 

Day 5 - In your social studies classroom, complete the self-evaluation for all steps in the Big6+ process.  

Big6+ Step 1: What do I need to do?

Students will brainstorm what they already know about Reconstruction and Reconstruction policies (graphic organizer included for the following topics)

  • Freedmen’s Bureau                     
  • Black Codes
  • 13th Amendment
  • 14th Amendment
  • 15th Amendment
  • Civil Rights Act of 1866
  • Reconstruction Acts of 1867
  • Civil Rights Act of 1875

Students will research “Was American Reconstruction policy successful in integrating former slaves into southern society?” 

Political Cartoons



 (The members call each other thieves, liars, rascals, and cowards.)

COLUMBIA: “You are aping the lowest Whites.  If you disgrace your race in this way you had better take back seats.” Source:  Thomas Nast was a political cartoonist who drew for a New York magazine called Harper’s Weekly.  This cartoon was published on March 14, 1874.




Source:  Thomas Nast was a political cartoonist who drew for a New York magazine called Harper’s Weekly.  He supported the North’s side during the Civil War. This cartoon was published in 1865.


Big6+ Step 4: How will I organize my information?

Primary Sources Notes Organizer

How will I cite my information?

Create Citations in NoodleTools

Using NoodleTools Handout

Big6+ Step 5: Synthesis. How can I organize my information? How can I present the results?

Now is your chance to create a product to illustrate what you've learned!  Be sure to include your own personal perspective as well as information about your topic!

Students will compose a written explanation as to why they believe reconstruction was successful or not using at least 3 primary source documents as evidence.  The political cartoon could be one of the 3 primary sources if so determined by the classroom teacher.  The primary sources must be attached to the final submission.

The written component will include the following information

  • A general statement as to whether they feel reconstruction was successful or not (thesis)
  • For each primary source document included:  an explanation of the document, where it was found, etc.  An explanation as to how it supports the student’s viewpoint.
  • A concluding statement explaining how the student thinks the success (or non-success) of reconstruction has affected our society today.  If written format will be from the time period’s perspective, concluding statement will be about how it will affect society in the future.

The written component could take the form of any of but is not limited to the following:

  • Traditional paper with intro, body, conclusion in descriptive style as learned in Language Arts.
  • Newspaper editorial (either from the time period or from today’s perspective)
  • Diary entry from a person alive at that time.  This person could be of any racial background or social status.
  • Informative article in a newspaper from the time
  • Informative blog entry from today’s perspective

Big6+ Step 6: How will I know I did my job well? SELF-EVALUATION