Author:
Educurious .
Subject:
U.S. History
Material Type:
Lesson, Lesson Plan, Module, Teaching/Learning Strategy, Unit of Study
Level:
Middle School, High School
Tags:
  • Journalism
  • PBL
  • Project-Based Learning
  • Reconstruction
  • Social Studies
  • US History
  • journalism
  • journalism ethics
  • journalism-ethics
  • reconstruction
  • wa-social-studies
    License:
    Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial
    Language:
    English
    Media Formats:
    Downloadable docs, Text/HTML

    Education Standards

    Reporting on Reconstruction's Legacy

    Reporting on Reconstruction's Legacy

    Overview

    Students learn about the efforts of Ida B. Wells and other Black female journalists who used investigative reporting to challenge ideas and people that perpetuated social and political injustices. Students look to Black female journalists today by learning about Natasha S. Alford’s feature stories on race in Puerto Rico, and draw on past and present examples of journalism to help them respond to the unit driving question: How can journalism challenge inequality and injustice? Students use the tenets of investigative reporting to explore the achievements and challenges of the era, then work to shine a light on the possibilities of racial equity by writing and publishing a feature story about an issue of injustice today.

    Educator Welcome

    Dear Educator,

    We understand the joy every teacher experiences when they discover what lights up a student, and how that breakthrough can make way for a powerful shift in student learning. We’re thrilled to partner with you in bringing project-based learning (PBL) to your classroom, and we think you’ll love these lessons, which were created in collaboration with educators, learning scientists, and experts in the field.    

    Whether this is your first voyage into PBL or you’re a seasoned pro, we’re sure you’ll agree that this approach sparks interest, ignites possibility, fuels a love for learning in students, and brings wonder to the classroom.

    We believe Open Educational Resources (OER) promote equitable access to standards-aligned, high-quality instructional materials for all educators to adapt and use. Contact us at info@educurious.org to learn more about how Educurious can support district or school adoption of this curriculum and the development of PBL teaching practices. Explore Educurious.org to discover other PBL courses and order printed materials.

    As you join your students on this learning journey, we’d love to hear from you. We want to experience your students’ curiosity, celebrate their projects, and hear about your successes, as well as what we can do better. Click here to share your thoughts. Thank you for taking us along on your adventure.  

    Onward!

    Your friends at Educurious

    Acknowledgements

    Icon

    Unit Credits & Acknowledgments

    Reporting on Reconstruction’s Legacy

     

    Unit Credits & Acknowledgments

    This resource was made possible with the generous funding and support from the Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources (TPS) Western Region at Metro State University.

     

    The Educurious Team:

     

    Unit Development Team:

    • Writer: Chris Carter
    • Educurious Reviewer: Sara Nachtigal
    • External Reviewer: Natasha Warsaw
    • Editor: Kristina Hawley

    Production Team:

    • Erik Robinson, Haewon Baik

    Project Manager:

    • Haewon Baik

    Educurious Leadership:

    • Jane Chadsey, CEO

    Unit Poster Image Credits:

    Poster created by Educurious with Canva.

    License & Attribution

    Creative Commons Attribution License

    Except where otherwise noted, Reporting on Reconstruction’s Legacy by Educurious is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. You are free to share this material (by copying and redistributing it in any medium or format) and adapt it (by remixing, transforming, or building upon it). However, you must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate whether changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your adaptation. You may not use this material, or any adaptation of it, for commercial purposes. Please take care that adaptations do not introduce cultural bias.

    All logos and trademarks are the property of their respective owners. All art, illustrations, and photos in this work are used with permission and are not included in the open license. This resource contains links to websites operated by third parties. These links are provided for your convenience only, and do not constitute or imply any endorsement or monitoring by Educurious. Please confirm the license status of any third-party resources and ensure that you understand their terms before use.

    If you adapt this work, please note the substantive changes, retitle the work, and provide the following attribution: “This resource was adapted from Reporting on Reconstruction’s Legacy, which was produced and published by Educurious and is licensed under CC BY-NC 4.0.

     

    Unless otherwise noted, Reporting on Reconstruction’s Legacy © 2022 by Educurious is licensed under  CC BY-NC 4.0. 

    Unit At A Glance & Teacher's Edition Download

    Unit at a Glance       

    3 weeks (16 hours)                                   

    Download full PDF Teacher's Edition Here

    Driving Question: How can journalism challenge inequality and injustice?

       

     

    Module 1: Finding Underreported Stories

    What were the goals of Reconstruction?
    Lesson 1.1:

    Casting Freedom (85 min)

    Lesson 1.2:

    The Dawn of Freedom (95 min)

    Lesson 1.3:

    The Reconstruction Amendments (80 min)

    Lesson 1.4:

    The Rise and Fall of Interracial Democracy (75 min)

     

    Module 2: Turning a Light on Truth

    How can journalism help us uncover the deeper truths of Reconstruction?

    Lesson 2.1:

    Investigative Journalism (105 min)

    Lesson 2.2:

    The Letter (90 min)

    Lesson 2.3:

    The Woman’s Era (105 min) 

     

    Module 3: Writing with Courage

    How can we report on Reconstruction’s failures and advance its goals?

    Lesson 3.1:

    Mind Map Your Feature Story (90 min)

    Lesson 3.2:

    Write Your Feature Story (115 min)

    Lesson 3.3:

    Review and Revise (90 min)

    Lesson 3.4:

    Publish and Discuss Feature Stories (60 min)

       

     

    Students research and write feature stories that explore the legacy of Reconstruction and propose solutions to the systemic problems that continue to divide America.

    Unless otherwise noted, Reporting on Reconstruction’s Legacy © 2022 by Educurious is licensed under  CC BY-NC 4.0. 

    Module 1: Finding Underreported Stories

    Remote Module Overview

    Module 1: Finding Underreported Stories

    Reporting on Reconstruction’s Legacy

    Unit Driving Question

    How can journalism challenge inequality and injustice?

    Module Driving Question

    What were the goals of Reconstruction?

     

    Module Overview

    Module Overview

    When the Civil War ended in 1865, nearly four million enslaved people were set free as a war measure. However, this did not make slavery illegal. It took amending the U.S. Constitution before slavery was abolished. The ratification of the 13th Amendment and other events marked a period of time in the United States known as Reconstruction.

    To introduce this unit, students learn the story of the Statue of Freedom that sits atop the U.S. Capitol dome in Washington, D.C. Students consider what freedom means to them, then consider other views and perspectives on freedom from people all over the world. In Lesson 1, students redesign the Statue of Freedom to reflect a more expansive and modern view of freedom and are introduced to the unit final product: Writing a feature story that challenges inequality and injustice. In Lesson 2, students listen to and read transcripts from interviews with formerly enslaved people to learn how they viewed freedom at the end of the Civil War. Then, students begin planning for their feature story by talking with people in their community about the equity issues they care about most. In Lesson 3, students learn about the three amendments ratified and added to the U.S. Constitution that abolished slavery, gave Black Americans equal rights, and enfranchised Black men. Then, students begin exploring online resources that will help them better understand the equity issue they are interested in by exploring it at the national and local levels. In Lesson 4, students analyze Congressional and demographic data to seek to understand the rise and fall of interracial democracy in the United States. This sets students up to think about the white backlash that occurred after Reconstruction. Finally, students draw on what they learned about their focal equity issue to develop a question they will research in Module 2 and write about in Module 3.

    Lesson 1.1: Casting Freedom (85 minutes)

    Learning Targets: 

    I can:

    • Gather information on how different people view freedom differently today.
    • Use the information gathered and your lived experiences to reimagine the Statue of Freedom.
    • Contribute my understanding and questions to the class Know & Need to Know chart.
    In this launch lesson, students explore the meaning of freedom. After listening to people from around the world explain what freedom means to them, students reflect on the topic and share their response. Then, students are introduced to the story of the Statue of Freedom that sits atop the dome of the Capitol building in Washington, D.C., and work in their editorial teams (i.e., project teams) to redesign the statue in a way that reflects how their team understands and views freedom today. Finally, students learn about the unit project and reflect on what they know and need to know about writing a feature story that challenges inequality and injustice.
    Lesson 1.2: The Dawn of Freedom (95 minutes)

    Learning Targets: 

    I can:

    • Discuss different perspectives on race consciousness and freedom after the Civil War, during Reconstruction.
    • Read excerpts from interviews with formerly enslaved people for evidence of race consciousness and freedom.
    • Learn about what issues are important to people in my community and why.
    In this lesson, students learn about the expansion of freedom in the South at the end of the Civil War. Students examine ideas about race consciousness and emancipation by looking for evidence of each in interviews with formerly enslaved people, then they discuss what they learned about their ideas of freedom and the future. Finally, students begin planning their feature story by asking people in their community what equity issues are important to them and why.
    Lesson 1.3: The Reconstruction Amendments (80 minutes)

    Learning Targets: 

    I can:

    • Understand the purpose and function of the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments.
    • Apply the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments to recent events to explain the failures of Reconstruction.
    • Search news headlines for articles on the issue you selected for evidence of race consciousness.
    In this lesson, students learn about amendments to the U.S. Constitution that abolished slavery, granted citizenship to formerly enslaved persons, and prohibited disenfranchisement based on race. Students listen to Professor Christopher E. Manning of Loyola University Chicago and filmmaker and historian Henry Louis Gates Jr. explain the Reconstruction Amendments and how their goals have yet to be fully realized. Then, students analyze recent events for evidence of the failures of Reconstruction by reading/engaging with primary and secondary sources. Finally, students continue planning for their feature story by searching for themes of race consciousness in recent news stories about the issue they are researching.
    Lesson 1.4: The Rise and Fall of Interracial Democracy (75 minutes)

    Learning Targets: 

    I can:

    • Learn about the emergence and disappearance of Black Americans in Congress.
    • Investigate historical records for evidence of interracial representation in Congress.
    • Develop a unique question to research that probes at the deeper truths of an issue.
    In this lesson, students listen to a podcast to learn about Black Americans being elected to Congress and the disappearance of Black Americans from elected office over time. Then, in editorial teams, students examine congressional data and population data for evidence of racial representation in government during Reconstruction and over time. Editorial teams use historical context and evidence they collect to discuss how Congress does or does not reflect the racial demographics of the United States. Finally, students continue planning for their feature story by developing a research question that will guide their inquiry and information gathering.
    Module Assessments (C3 Framework dimensions)
    LessonDeveloping Questions and Planning InquiriesApplying Disciplinary Tools and ConceptsEvaluating Sources and Using EvidenceCommunicating Conclusions and Taking Informed Action
    1.1Class Know & Need to Know chartCasting Freedom Notes OrganizerReimagining Freedom Group Slide Deck (slides 4–7)Reimagining Freedom Group Slide Deck (slide 9)
    1.2Feature Story Checklist & NotebookDawn of Freedom Notes OrganizerDawn of Freedom Notes Organizer 
    1.3Feature Story Checklist & NotebookReconstruction Amendments Notes OrganizerReconstruction Amendments Notes Organizer 
    1.4Feature Story Checklist & NotebookInterracial Democracy Notes OrganizerInterracial Democracy Notes Organizer

     

    Vocabulary
    • emancipation: the act of freeing of someone from slavery
    • interracial democracy: a system of government in which people from different racial backgrounds work together to pass laws and guarantee rights
    • race consciousness: the awareness that people in power give or deny privileges and benefits to other people based on their race
    • Reconstruction Amendments: the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments of the U.S. Constitution

    Unless otherwise noted, Reporting on Reconstruction’s Legacy © 2022 by Educurious is licensed under  CC BY-NC 4.0. 

    Lesson 1.1: Casting Freedom

    Module 1 Icon

    Unit Driving Question:

    How can journalism challenge inequality and injustice?

    Module Driving Question:

    What were the goals of Reconstruction?

    Learning Targets

    I can:

    • Gather information on how different people view freedom differently today.
    • Use the information gathered and my lived experiences to reimagine the Statue of Freedom.
    • Contribute my understanding and questions to the class Know & Need to Know chart.

    Purpose

    In this launch lesson, you will explore the meaning of freedom. After listening to people from around the world explain what freedom means to them, you will reflect on the topic and share your response. Then, you will be introduced to the story of the Statue of Freedom that sits atop the dome of the Capitol building in Washington, D.C., and work in your editorial teams (i.e., project teams) to redesign the statue in a way that reflects how your team understands and views freedom today. Finally, you will learn about the unit project and reflect on what you know and need to know about writing a feature story that challenges inequality and injustice.

    Lesson Steps

    1. Expand our definition of freedom: Freedom means different things to different people. Listen to people from 23 different countries respond to the question, “What does freedom mean to you?” Then, respond to the same question in your Casting Freedom Notes Organizer.
    2. Reimagine the Statue of Freedom: Learn about the people and ideas that influenced the design and casting of the Statue of Freedom that sits atop the dome of the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C. Use this historical context and draw on the perspectives of the people in your editorial team to reimagine the Statue of Freedom in the Freedom Reimagined Group Slide Deck.
    3. Discuss the idea of freedom: View each other’s designs and discuss how the new designs challenge the historical view of freedom.
    4. Create a class Know & Need to Know chart: Review the unit poster, hear from a journalist about the power and importance of interviewing when telling stories, and identify what you know and still need to know about the content and final product of this unit.

    Explore More

    Teacher Preparation Notes

    Pacing
    Lesson Timing:85 minutes
    Standards
    • C3

    D.1.5.6-8: Determine the kinds of sources that will be helpful in answering compelling and supporting questions, taking into consideration multiple points of views represented in the sources.

    D4.3.6-8: Present adaptations of arguments and explanations on topics of interest to others to reach audiences and venues outside the classroom using print and oral technologies…

    • CCSS

    CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.8.1.C: Pose questions that connect the ideas of several speakers and respond to others' questions and comments with relevant evidence, observations, and ideas.

    CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.8.1.D: Acknowledge new information expressed by others, and, when warranted, qualify or justify their own views in light of the evidence presented.

    Lesson Resources
    For StudentsFor EducatorsMaterials
    • n/a
    Lesson Overview
    In this launch lesson, students explore the meaning of freedom. After listening to people from around the world explain what freedom means to them, students reflect on the topic and share their response. Then, students are introduced to the story of the Statue of Freedom that sits atop the dome of the Capitol building in Washington, D.C., and work in their editorial teams (i.e., project teams) to redesign the statue in a way that reflects how their team understands and views freedom today. Finally, students learn about the unit project and reflect on what they know and need to know about writing a feature story that challenges inequality and injustice.
    Teacher Preparation
    For Step 2, organize students into editorial teams (i.e., project teams) and add guidance to slide 5: In this unit, students work in teams of 3–4 to support each other as they research and write unique feature stories about equal rights and justice in America. Consider the supports students will need in this unit to work effectively in teams. Read the article "Build Better Teams for Project-Based Work" by Tom Vander Ark for ideas.

    Plan when you will do each step: Depending on your school schedule, or for larger classes, you may not have enough class time to complete the launch lesson in one day. Consider completing Steps 1–2 the first day and Steps 3–4 the second day.

     

    Lesson Steps in Detail

    Step 1: Expand our definition of freedom(15 min)

    Purpose: Students begin expanding their idea of freedom by hearing people around the world and their own classmates explain what freedom means to them. This prepares students for Step 2, when they will use their expanded understanding of freedom to redesign the Statue of Freedom.

    [Slide 2] Reflect and share ideas of freedom.

    • Distribute the Casting Freedom Notes Organizer, review the directions, and invite students to respond to the question:
      • What is freedom?
    • Organize students into pairs to share their responses.
    • Invite students to share responses with the whole class.
    • Remind students to record ideas they hear in their Casting Freedom Notes Organizer.

    [Slide 3] Explore other perspectives of freedom.

    • Introduce a clip from the National Geographic series A Story of Us, and ask students to take notes on the next question in their Casting Freedom Notes Organizer:
      • What does freedom mean to people around the world?
    • Play the National Geographic video: "What Does Freedom Mean to You?" [2:31].
    • Invite students to share out their notes on this question.
    • Because the video moves quickly, encourage students to record any additional ideas they hear from classmates in their Casting Freedom Notes Organizer.

     [Slide 4] Facilitate a whole-class discussion on freedom.

    • Invite students to return to the notes they have taken so far, then ask:
      • Why do you think freedom means different things to different people?

    [Slide 5] Kick off today’s lesson. Share key features of today’s lesson, including a brief purpose statement, agenda, and what students will submit at the end of the lesson.

    [Slides 6–20] Introduce and orient students to the activities and expectations for Steps 2–4. See steps below for details.

    For remote implementation:

    • Engagement: Use Google Docs, Jamboard, or another online tool to record student ideas publicly, which students can return to later in this lesson and unit.
    • Sharing ideas: Use a quick poll, discussion forum, or chat waterfall for students to respond to the discussion questions.
    Step 2: Reimagine the Statue of Freedom(30 min)

    Purpose: Students learn the story behind the Statue of Freedom that sits atop the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C. Using this historical context and their expanded understanding of freedom, editorial teams reimagine the statue to reflect views of freedom today. This learning experience helps students understand the value of multiple perspectives and gives them practice applying these perspectives to create something new.

    [Slide 6] Introduce students to a symbol of freedom: the U.S. Capitol building.

      • Explain to students that they will watch a short video of elected officials and Capitol architects sharing what the Capitol building represents to them. While they are watching, they should take notes on:
      • What does the Capitol building represent to different people?
      • Play the video "In Celebration of the U.S. Capitol Dome" up to [1:42], stopping after Mitch McConnell speaks; the full video is [12:31].
    • Invite students to share their responses to the question.

    [Slides 7–8] Share the story of the Statue of Freedom and Philip Reid.

    • Slide 7. Introduce Philip Reid by way of sharing facts from the Architect of Congress:
      • “As an enslaved worker Reid was paid directly for his work on Sundays; his owner received the payment for his work the other six days. He was paid at $1.25 per day, higher than the other laborers who received $1 a day.” 
      • “Reid worked most weeks without a break between July 1, 1860, and May 16, 1861: over that period, he was paid $41.25 for 33 Sundays at $1.25 per day, for ‘Keeping up fires under the moulds.’”
    • Slide 8. As students watch, they should take notes on the following question:
      • What was the irony of Philip Reid’s involvement in the casting of the Statue of Freedom?
      • Play the video "Lady Freedom," stopping at [5:15] after the statue is placed atop the dome; the full video is [9:12].
    • Give students a moment to respond to the question, then invite students to share their responses.
    • Explain to students that the placement of the Statue of Freedom marked the beginning of a period of time in the United States known as Reconstruction (1865–1877), when the nation worked to unify the North and South and to provide formerly enslaved African Americans with new political and social protections, rights, and freedoms.

    [Slide 9] Teams analyze the two initial designs and the approved design of the Statue of Freedom.

    • Organize students into their editorial teams, which they will work in for the duration of the unit.
    • Give students a moment to introduce themselves, if they do not already know one another.
    • Talking points:
      • You have two tasks today. For the first task, you will analyze photographs of the three designs of the Statue of Freedom to seek to understand how Jefferson Davis, later President of the Confederate States of America, viewed freedom in the United States as he oversaw the initial design of the statue.
      • For the second task, you will draw on your notes from today to discuss and reimagine the Statue of Freedom to represent how people view freedom today.
    • Share the Freedom Reimagined Group Slide Deck, so each team has a copy.
    • Review the directions for Part 1, the helpful tip for zooming in, and the slides students will update.
    • Model for students how to add text to the slides.
    • Note how much work time teams have to complete Part 1.

    [Slides 10–16] Teams share out their analysis.

    • Slide 10. Ask students what objects are included in the first design—Freedom Triumphant—and what they represent.
    • Slide 11. Answers provided: The laurel wreath symbolizes victory, the sheathed sword represents war, the shield with stripes and stars represents the United States, and the olive branch symbolizes peace and friendship.
    • Slide 12. Ask students what was added in the second design and what those additions represent.
    • Slide 13. Answers provided: The star-crested helmet, or “liberty cap,” is a symbol of freedom from the Roman Empire and the American Revolutionary War; the sword suggests she is ready to protect the nation; E pluribus unum [out of many, one] encircling the globe represents differences and unity; the laurel wreath in hand symbolizes victory; and the fasces [a bundle of rods and a blade] represent the authority and power of the government.
    • Slide 14. Ask students what was added in the approved design and what those additions represent.
    • Slide 15. Answers provided: A helmet with an eagle’s head and a bold arrangement of feathers suggests a connection to Indigenous peoples, and U.S. represents the United States.
    • Slide 16. Have students turn and talk. Ask:
      • Based on what we know about the designs of the Statue of Freedom, what can we infer about how people viewed freedom during and after the Civil War?
    • Invite students to share out.

    Teams reimagine the Statue of Freedom.

    • Explain to students that reimaging freedom is something we must strive to do throughout our lives because our understanding of freedom is constantly expanding and should be inclusive of the diverse identities, experiences, and perspectives that make up who we are as a nation.
    • Review the directions for Part 2 and the slides students will update.
      • In teams, use your completed Casting Freedom Notes Organizers to discuss and reimagine the Statue of Freedom today.
      • Use arrows and text to indicate what you would change and why.
      • Be prepared to share and explain your designs to the class.
    • Model for students how to add text and arrows to the slides, then note how much work time teams have to complete Part 2.
    Step 3: Discuss the idea of freedom(15 min)

    Purpose: Students see how different teams used multiple perspectives to reimagine what freedom means and symbolizes today to many people. This prepares students to think about what young people can do to expand their understanding of freedom in America today.

    • Invite a student from each team to share their team’s reimagined Statue of Freedom.
    • As students learn about each design, remind them to take notes in their Casting Freedom Notes Organizer.
      • How have views of freedom changed and stayed the same over time?

    [Slide 17] Facilitate a discussion on freedom’s continuity and change.

    • Have students turn and talk:
      • How have views of freedom changed and stayed the same over time?
    • Invite pairs to share out what they discussed.
    • Remind students to record ideas they hear in their Casting Freedom Notes Organizer.

    For remote implementation:

    • Sharing ideas: Use a quick poll, discussion forum, or chat waterfall for students to respond to the discussion questions.
    Step 4: Create a class Know & Need to Know chart(25 min)

    Purpose: Prepare students for the unit by introducing the driving questions and final product, as well as gathering initial student thinking through a Know & Need to Know chart.

    [Slide 18] Introduce the unit poster. Point out the driving questions and final product. Talking points:

    • Unit driving question: How can journalism challenge inequality and injustice?
    • Module 1 driving question: What were the goals of Reconstruction?
    • Module 2 driving question: How can journalism help us uncover the deeper truths of Reconstruction?
    • Module 3 driving question: How can we report on Reconstruction’s failures and advance its goals?
    • The final product for this unit: Students research and write feature stories that explore the legacy of Reconstruction and propose solutions to the systemic problems that continue to divide America.
    • Remember, in this unit we are learning about a time when a new nation was struggling to uphold and defend the democratic ideals it set forth in the Declaration of Independence; the U.S. Constitution; and first ten Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, known as the Bill of Rights.
    • Depending on our lived experiences, some of us may feel closer to these issues and some may feel more removed from them. Our goal in this unit is to better understand the stories of justice and injustice, and of equality and inequality, in America, and work to share those stories as a way to educate others and promote meaningful dialogue on progress and opportunities.

    [Slide 19] Introduce the idea of journalism as a powerful way to tell underreported stories and change the world.

    • Explain to students that, like the story of the Statue of Freedom, there are other stories that are underreported or even unreported.
    • Explain to students that to further understand the power and purpose of underreported stories, we will hear from two journalists from the Pulitzer Center.
    • As students watch the video, have them take notes on:
      • What are underreported stories?
    • Play the video "What are Underreported Stories?" in its entirety [3:26].
    • Invite students to share out their responses.

    [Slide 20] Review the unit’s project management tool and rubric.

    • Distribute the Feature Story Checklist & Notebook and review Page 1 of the directions with students.
    • Point out the three phases of their project work: planning, research, and writing & sharing.
    • Explain to students that they will each write their own feature story, but they will work in editorial teams to support each other as they learn about impact of Reconstruction over time.

    [Slide 21] Create a class Know & Need to Know chart.

    • Create a class Know & Need to Know chart to engage students in activating what they already know about the unit topic and the product (a feature story)—as well as raising questions they want to answer.
      • Create the chart using a Think-Pair-Share discussion if meeting synchronously.
      • As needed, explain the key features and expectations of project-based learning (PBL).

    For remote implementation:

    • Engagement: Use a Google Doc or other online tool for students to record their ideas, which can then be used for formative assessment.
    • Sharing ideas: Use a quick poll or discussion forum for students to respond to the discussion questions.
    Teacher Tip: Tracking and Resolving Questions with a Know & Need to Know Chart A Know & Need to Know chart provides an opportunity for students to track how their thinking changes over time on a whole-class level. For project-based learning units, the chart helps leverage students’ ideas about the connections between the content they are learning and their project work. To learn more about Know & Need to Know charts in PBL, read about different tactics and pedagogical considerations at the Opening Paths Consulting website and how to use students’ questions for planning and assessment from PBL Works.

    Unless otherwise noted, Reporting on Reconstruction’s Legacy © 2022 by Educurious is licensed under  CC BY-NC 4.0. 

    Lesson 1.2: The Dawn of Freedom

    Module 1 Icon

    Unit Driving Question:

    How can journalism challenge inequality and injustice?

    Module Driving Question:

    What were the goals of Reconstruction?

    Learning Targets

    I can:

    • Discuss different perspectives on race consciousness and freedom after the Civil War, during Reconstruction.
    • Read excerpts from interviews with formerly enslaved people for evidence of race consciousness and freedom.
    • Learn about what issues are important to people in my community and why.

    Purpose

    In this lesson, you will learn about the expansion of freedom in the South at the end of the Civil War. You will examine ideas about race consciousness and emancipation by looking for evidence of each in interviews with formerly enslaved people, then discuss what you learned about their ideas of freedom and the future. Finally, you will begin planning for your feature story by asking people in your community what equity issues are important to them and why.

    Lesson Steps

    1. Learn how formerly enslaved people viewed emancipation: Watch a brief presentation on the causes of the Civil War. Then, listen to excerpts of interviews from the only audio collection of firsthand accounts of slavery in the U.S. for evidence of how formerly enslaved people viewed race and freedom at the end of the Civil War.
    2. Analyze and discuss interview responses: In your Dawn of Freedom Notes Organizer, read the questions the federal government used to interview over 2,300 formerly enslaved people. Discuss what information the government was seeking and why. Analyze excerpts from the interviews for evidence of race consciousness and views on freedom.
    3. Compile a list of issues people care about: Ask other students and adults in your school what issues they care about most and why, and update your Feature Story Checklist & Notebook.
    4. Apply what you learned: In your Feature Story Checklist & Notebook, explain which issue from your community you are most interested in researching.

    Explore More

     

    Teacher Preparation Notes

    Pacing
    Lesson Timing:95 minutes
    Standards
    • C3

    D.1.5.6-8: Determine the kinds of sources that will be helpful in answering compelling and supporting questions, taking into consideration multiple points of views represented in the sources.

    D3.1.6-8: Gather relevant information from multiple sources while using the origin, authority, structure, context, and corroborative value of the sources to guide the selection.

    D3.3.6-8: Identify evidence that draws information from multiple sources to support claims, noting evidentiary limitations.

    • CCSS

    CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.6-8.1: Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources.

    CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.6-8.2: Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of the source distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.

    Lesson Resources
    For StudentsFor EducatorsMaterials
    • n/a
    Lesson Overview
    In this lesson, students learn about the expansion of freedom in the South at the end of the Civil War. Students examine ideas about race consciousness and emancipation by looking for evidence of each in interviews with formerly enslaved people, then they discuss what they learned about their ideas of freedom and the future. Finally, students begin planning their feature story by asking people in their community what equity issues are important to them and why.
    Teacher Preparation
    • For Step 2, consider building skill and understanding around dehumanizing language: The interview responses were transcribed verbatim from the interviews’ audio recordings. Some language used in the past, by both interviewers and interviewees, is considered offensive today. If you have not done work with students around era-specific language and dehumanizing language, it is advisable to equip students with language and perspectives they can use when they encounter the “N word” or “Negro” in primary source documents. To learn more, visit the resource "Addressing Dehumanizing Language from History" from Facing History and Ourselves.
    • For Step 3, recruit adults in your building and/or community: Students will be asking other students and adults to explain what issues they care about and why. Recruit up to three adults per class or record three adults sharing what issues they care about and why. Consider partnering with teacher colleagues, parents of students, local historians, civil rights attorneys, or city council members for this.

    Lesson Steps in Detail

    Step 1: Learn how formerly enslaved people viewed emancipation(15 min)

    Purpose: Students listen to excerpts from interviews of formerly enslaved people who explain how they viewed and experienced freedom at the end of the Civil War. Students will build on this initial understanding in Step 2 to analyze additional interviews and gather more information on how people viewed freedom.

    [Slide 3] Watch a short video on the causes of the Civil War.

    • Distribute the Dawn of Freedom Notes Organizer and review the directions.
    • Explain to students that Reconstruction was a period of 13 years following the end of the Civil War, when the United States attempted to unify and heal after a deadly and destructive Civil War.
    • Explain to students that before they learn about Reconstruction, they will first review the causes of the Civil War in order to understand the political and social challenges that preceded Reconstruction.
    • As students watch the video, have them takes notes on:
      • What were the causes of the Civil War?
      • What do you think would have needed to happen after the Civil War to unify and heal the country?
    • Play the video "What Caused the Civil War" in its entirety [3:45].
    • Invite students to share out their responses.

    [Slide 4] Listen to excerpts from interviews with formerly enslaved people.

    • Explain to students that today they will seek to understand different views of freedom, both at the end of the Civil War and today.
    • Explain to students that they will listen to and read transcriptions of interviews of formerly enslaved people that took place at the end of the Civil War in the 1930s.
    • Distribute the Dawn of Freedom Notes Organizer handout.
    • As students watch and listen, have them take notes on:
      • How did formerly enslaved people experience freedom at the end of the Civil War?
    • Play a clip from the video "Nightlight: Found Voices: Slave Narratives" from [15:50], which is where the clip begins, to [18:18]; the full video is [29:54].
    • Have students do a Think-Pair-Share.
      • How did formerly enslaved people experience freedom at the end of the Civil War?
    • Explain to students that slavery ended, but racism prevailed in new and different ways.

    Teacher Tip: Using Think-Pair-Share as an Equitable Discourse Strategy

    Think-Pair-Share is one way to encourage equitable participation in your classroom. Many students are more comfortable sharing with a partner than with the whole class. In addition, having students share their ideas with a partner before sharing with the class can lead to richer whole-class discussion. To ensure partners are actively listening to each other, one strategy is to tell students beforehand that you will be calling on students to summarize for the class what their partner shared with them. If students know they might be called upon to summarize their partner’s ideas, they will have a stronger incentive to actively listen.

    [Slides 5–14] Introduce and orient students to the activities and expectations for Steps 2–4. See steps below for details.

    For remote implementation:

    • Sharing ideas: Use a quick poll, discussion forum, or chat waterfall for students to respond to the discussion questions.
    Step 2: Analyze and discuss interview responses (30 min)

    Purpose: Students continue to expand their understanding of freedom by reading excerpts of interviews with formerly enslaved people. Students use these firsthand accounts to begin to understand what it was like for formerly enslaved people to transition from a system of slavery to a form of government based on democratic ideals that included freedom, equal rights, and justice.

    [Slide 5] Read and discuss the government’s guidelines for interviewing formerly enslaved people.

    • Explain to students that the WPA, then known as the Works Progress Administration, was a program created in the 1930s in response to the Great Depression. Its purpose was to employ Americans on projects that benefited the public, such as creating roads, creating public art, and recording oral histories.
    • In editorial teams, have students review the interview questions in Part 3 of the Dawn of Freedom Notes Organizer, then discuss the following questions:
      • What information was the government seeking?
      • What “who, what, when, where, why, and how” questions come up for you?
    • Invite teams to share out their responses and record them in a public space.

    [Slide 6] Define race consciousness and emancipation.

    • Explain to students that race consciousness was elevated in the United States during Reconstruction because formerly enslaved people recognized that their version of freedom was different than the freedom of white Americans.
    • Offer the following definitions:
      • Race consciousness is the awareness that people in power give or deny privileges and benefits to other people based on their race.
      • Emancipation is the act of freeing someone from slavery.
    • Explain to students that one of the greatest challenges of Reconstruction was that white people and formerly enslaved people had very different views of what freedom meant. These racial differences endure today in the forms of systemic and institutionalized racism.
    • NOTE: The definition of race consciousness is drawn from the article "Talking About Race" discussed in the Teacher Tip below.

    [Slides 7–8] Analyze and discuss responses to the government’s interview questions.

    • Slide 7. Review the directions for Part 4 and the note from the National Humanities Center in the Dawn of Freedom Notes Organizer, then read and analyze the first excerpt together as a class.
    • Review the directions for Part 5, then invite teams to continue their analysis. Clarify that their task is to read the excerpts, identify what questions there are responses to, and then use their analysis and the firsthand accounts of Reconstruction to discuss race consciousness and freedom in America after the Civil War.
    • Slide 8. When teams have finished their analysis and discussion, invite students to share what they have learned.

    For remote implementation:

    • Collaboration: Direct students toward the online platform, such as Zoom or Teams, that they will be using consistently to support remote group work.
    • Sharing ideas: Use a quick poll or discussion forum for students to respond to the discussion questions.
    Teacher Tip: Support a Historical Understanding of Race as a Social Construct The definition of racial consciousness as “the awareness that people in power give or deny privileges and benefits to other people based on their race” comes from "Talking About Race," an extensive online article produced by the National Museum of African American History & Culture. To ensure students understand how the meaning and implications of race have evolved over time, use the article’s test and its extensive links, videos, images, and quotations to ground class conversations and develop extension opportunities for students.
    Step 3: Compile a list of issues people care about(40 min)

    Purpose: Students start the planning process for their feature story by asking students and adults in their community to identify and explain issues that are important to them. Students then work together in their editorial teams to come up with a list of issues people in their community care about. Students will draw on this list in the next step to identify an issue they want to research.

    [Slide 9] Facilitate a whole-class interview of three adults.

    • Explain to students that in the next lesson, they will look at a variety of present-day issues in their community through a race-conscious lens, and in order to do that, they first need to work together to learn about the diverse set of present-day issues impacting their community.
    • Explain to students that they will hear from three people, from a different generation than they identify with, in order to gain perspective on what people with different lived experiences care about and why.
    • Remind students to take notes in the Task 1 box of their Feature Story Checklist & Notebook as they listen to people from their community share what issues they care about and why.
    • Play the recordings whole-class, or invite each adult to explain the issue they care about most and why.

    [Slide 10] Facilitate 3 rounds of student-to-student interviews.

    • Explain to students that they will now have a chance to share with each other what issue they care about most and why, in order to gain perspective on what issues students from their generation care about and why. Provide students time to write their response before they share out.
    • Remind students to take notes in the Task 1 box of their Feature Story Checklist & Notebook as they listen to their classmates share what issues they care about and why.
    • Explain to students that they will have three opportunities to hear other students share what issues they care about most and why, and to share what issue they personally care about most and why.
    • Students will have 2 minutes each, for a total of 4 minutes per round.

    [Slide 11] Editorial teams compile a list of issues they uncovered.

    • Organize students into their editorial teams.
    • Explain to teams that they have 5 minutes to compile a list of issues that reflect what people in their community care about most.
    • Encourage students to add other issues that they are thinking of but did not hear.
    • Invite students to share out and create a class list of issues.

    For remote implementation:

    • Collaboration: Direct students toward the online platform, such as Zoom or Teams, that they will be using consistently to support remote group work.
    • Sharing ideas: Use a quick poll or discussion forum for students to respond to the discussion questions.
    Step 4: Apply what you learned(10 min)

    Purpose: Students draw on the list of issues their editorial team compiled in Step 3 and identify an issue that they are interested in researching and writing about. Starting in Lesson 1.3, students will research their issue through a race-conscious lens.

    [Slide 12] Students identify the issue they want to research and why.

    • Explain to students that they will now identify the issue they want to research for their feature story in the Task 2 box of their Feature Story Checklist & Notebook.
    • Remind students to explain why they are interested in researching their issue and how they are connected to it.
    • Invite students to share their choice and explanation with their editorial teams or the whole class.

    Unless otherwise noted, Reporting on Reconstruction’s Legacy © 2022 by Educurious is licensed under  CC BY-NC 4.0. 

    Lesson 1.3: The Reconstruction Amendments

    Module 1 Icon

    Unit Driving Question:

    How can journalism challenge inequality and injustice?

    Module Driving Question:

    What were the goals of Reconstruction?

    Learning Targets

    I can:

    • Understand the purpose and function of the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments.
    • Apply the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments to recent events to explain the failures of Reconstruction.
    • Search news headlines for articles on the issue you selected for evidence of race consciousness.

    Purpose

    In this lesson, you will learn about amendments to the U.S. Constitution that abolished slavery, granted citizenship to formerly enslaved persons, and prohibited disenfranchisement based on race. You will listen to Professor Christopher E. Manning of Loyola University Chicago and filmmaker and historian Henry Louis Gates Jr. explain the Reconstruction Amendments and how their goals have yet to be fully realized. Then, you will analyze recent events for evidence of the failures of Reconstruction by reading/engaging with primary and secondary sources. Finally, you will continue planning for your feature story by searching for themes of race consciousness in recent news stories about the issue you are researching.

    Lesson Steps

    1. Learn about the Reconstruction Amendments: Watch the Course Hero video "U.S. History | 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments" and the PBS video "Reconstruction: Extended Trailer" to learn about amendments to U.S. Constitution that promised freedom, equal rights, and voting rights to formerly enslaved people. As you watch, take notes in the Reconstruction Amendments Notes Organizer.
    2. Learn about the long-term consequences of these amendments: In your Reconstruction Amendments Notes Organizer, carefully read the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments, then rewrite the amendments in your own words to articulate their purpose and function.
    3. Create a timeline of events from Reconstruction to today: Create a class timeline that benchmarks the progress toward an interracial democracy in the United States and the corresponding backlash since 1865.
    4. Search news headlines for the issue you selected: Continuing planning for your feature story. Using guidance in your Feature Story Checklist & Notebook, search for evidence of race consciousness around the issue you identified in the last lesson.

    Explore More

     

    Teacher Preparation Notes

    Pacing
    Lesson Timing:80 minutes
    Standards
    • C3

    D2.Civ.12.6-8: Assess specific rules and laws (both actual and proposed) as a means of addressing public problems.

    D2.Civ.13.6-8: Analyze the purposes, implementation, and consequences of public policies in multiple settings.

    D2.Civ.14.6-8: Compare historical and contemporary means of changing societies, and promoting the common good.

    • CCSS
    CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.8.7: Conduct short research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question), drawing on several sources and generating additional related, focused questions that allow for multiple avenues of exploration.
    Lesson Resources
    For StudentsFor EducatorsMaterials
    • n/a
    Lesson Overview
    In this lesson, students learn about amendments to the U.S. Constitution that abolished slavery, granted citizenship to formerly enslaved persons, and prohibited disenfranchisement based on race. Students listen to Professor Christopher E. Manning of Loyola University Chicago and filmmaker and historian Henry Louis Gates Jr. explain the Reconstruction Amendments and how their goals have yet to be fully realized. Then, students analyze recent events for evidence of the failures of Reconstruction by reading/engaging with primary and secondary sources. Finally, students continue planning for their feature story by searching for themes of race consciousness in recent news stories about the issue they are researching.
    Teacher Preparation
    • For Step 2, practice rewriting the amendments: Students will read and rewrite the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments in their own words. By doing this work yourself before the lesson, you will be able to identify unfamiliar words and phrases, then plan to support students when they have misconceptions and questions.

    Lesson Steps in Detail

    Step 1: Learn about the Reconstruction Amendments(10 min)

    Purpose: Students watch two short videos that introduce them to the purpose and function of the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments, and the unfinished work toward an interracial democracy. This historical context will prepare students to read and analyze those amendments in Step 2.

    [Slide 3] Watch a video on the purpose and function of the three Reconstruction amendments.

    • Explain to students that in addition to the Statue of Freedom being placed atop the U.S. Capitol building, the United States experienced other historic moments in the years following the end of Civil War: the ratification of three new amendments to the U.S. Constitution.
    • Share the Reconstruction Amendments Notes Organizer with students and review the directions.
    • As students watch, have them take notes on:
      • What is the purpose and function of each amendment?
    • Play the Course Hero video "U.S. History | 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments" in its entirety [3:27].
    • Invite students to share their responses.

    [Slide 4] Introduce the goals of Reconstruction.

    • A period of unity and reconciliation in America, with accountability, to advance the rights of African Americans.

     [Slide 5] Watch a short video on Reconstruction to learn foundational background knowledge.

    • Explain to students that these three amendments marked the beginning of Reconstruction in America.
    • As students watch, have them consider the following two questions:
      • What happened after the Civil War during the period known as Reconstruction?
      • Why do you think Henry Louis Gates Jr. believes we are still in the process of Reconstruction?
    • Play the PBS video "Reconstruction: Extended Trailer" in its entirety [1:46].
    • Have students do a Think-Pair-Share on the two questions, then invite students to share their responses.
      • What happened after the Civil War during the period known as Reconstruction?
        • Reconstruction was the second founding of the United States. People who were once property began taking up leadership positions. The United States was beginning to emerge as an interracial democracy.
      • Why do you think Henry Louis Gates Jr. believes we are still in the process of Reconstruction?
        • The image of police brutality puts a spotlight on institutional practices that disproportionally affect and target Black men in the United States.
    • Explain to students that Gates defines Reconstruction as the period after the Civil War through today; he believes Reconstruction is not over, because we have not yet achieved its goals.

    [Slides 5–13] Introduce and orient students to the activities and expectations for Steps 2–4. See steps below for details.

    For remote implementation:

    • Engagement: Use Google Docs or another online tool to record student ideas publicly, which students can return to later in this lesson and unit.
    • Sharing ideas: Use a quick poll, discussion forum, or chat waterfall for students to respond to the discussion questions.
    Step 2: Learn about the long-term consequences of these amendments(20 min)

    Purpose: Students read and rewrite the three amendments in their own words, then apply their understanding of the amendments to recent events in order to see the failures of Reconstruction. Students use this learning to think about how the failures of Reconstruction affect the issue they selected to research for their feature story.

    [Slide 6] Rewrite the amendments in your own words.

    • Explain to students that in their editorial teams, they will carefully read each of the amendments, two or three times, and then rewrite the amendments in their own words. This will help them get to know each of the amendments better and continue to make sense of their purpose and function.
    • Remind students to record their rewrites in their Reconstruction Amendments Notes Organizer.
    • Invite students to share their rewrites.

    [Slide 7] Look for evidence showing that America has not achieved the goals it set out to achieve through Reconstruction.

    • Explain to students that they will analyze a variety of primary and secondary sources for evidence of the United States being still in the process of Reconstruction, as evidenced by violations of the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments.
    • Consider watching the “Pig Laws and Imprisonment” video together and modeling how students might respond to the questions.
      • Could this example be interpreted as a violation of an amendment? If so, which one and why?
        • Possible response for “Pig Laws and Imprisonment”: Yes, the 13th Amendment can be used to interpret this as slavery by another name when the prison system in the South, and then the rest of the U.S., is used to mass-incarcerate Black Americans.
    • When teams are finished, invite students to share their responses.

    [Slide 8] Discuss some of the challenges the U.S. has faced in achieving the goals of Reconstruction.

    • Explain to students that they will draw on evidence from their Reconstruction Amendments Notes Organizer to discuss some of the barriers the United States faces in achieving the goals of Reconstruction.
    • Provide students time in teams to discuss and come up with their response, then invite teams to share out their answers.
    • Explain to students that they will now use what they have learned in this lesson to look for evidence of race consciousness or racial disparities in the issue they selected to research for their feature story.

    For remote implementation:

    • Sharing ideas: Use a quick poll or discussion forum for students to respond to the discussion questions.
    Step 3: Create a timeline of events from Reconstruction to today(10 min)

    Purpose: Students work together as a class to create a timeline that they will add to each lesson in order to help them better understand the sequence of key events during and after Reconstruction.

    [Slides 9–10] Add relevant events to the timeline from this lesson and previous ones.

    • Explain to students that they will create a class timeline that they will add to during each lesson to benchmark the key events related to the goals of Reconstruction.
    • Slide 9. Invite students to identify events to add to the class timeline.
    • Slide 10. Add the following events to the timeline.
      • 1861: The beginning of the Civil War
      • 1863: The placement of the Statue of Freedom atop the U.S. Capitol building
      • 1865: The end of the Civil War
      • 1865: The ratification of the 13th Amendment
      • 1868: The ratification of the 14th Amendment
      • 1870: The ratification of the 15th Amendment

    For remote implementation:

    • Interactive timeline: Use a collaborative Google Doc or other interactive platform to benchmark and track key events as a class related to the goals of Reconstruction over time.
    Step 4: Search news headlines for the issue you selected(40 min)

    Purpose: Students continue planning for their feature story by searching national and state (or local) headlines for evidence of race consciousness or racial disparities in the issue they selected.

    Introduce Tasks 3 and 4.

    • Project the first page of their Feature Story Checklist & Rubric.
    • Remind students that in the previous lesson they:
      • Listened to people in their community share what issues are important to them and why.
      • Identified an issue they they want to research and write a feature story on.
    • Explain to students that in today’s lesson, they will search news headlines, both national and local, for evidence of race consciousness in the issue they selected.

    [Slide 11] Review the definition of race consciousness from Lesson 1.2.

    • Race consciousness is the awareness that people in power give or deny privileges and benefits to other people based on their race.

    Model how to search for recent news articles on particular issues using Google.

    • Review the Task 3 process and questions in the Feature Story Checklist & Notebook.
    • Model how to search using Google.
    • Project the Media Bias Chart and explain to students that people and news organizations can have biases, in which they demonstrate prejudice or preference toward someone or something.
    • Explain that this resource can help students evaluate their sources for political bias.
    • Review the Task 4 process and questions.
    • Provide students with ample time to research.
    • As students work, help them manage their time by prompting them to move on to Task 4 after half their time is up.

    [Slide 12] Debrief what students learned.

    • Invite students to do a Think-Pair-Share:
      • How are news media outlets reporting on the issue you selected?
      • Do any have a bias? If so, to what extent do you think that bias impacts race consciousness?
    • Invite several students to share their responses with the whole class.
    Teacher Tip: Teaching Media Bias If students are unfamiliar with media bias, consider unpacking the following terms: bias, prejudice, and preference. For additional resources, see the PBS Lesson Plan: “Decoding Media Bias.”

     

    Unless otherwise noted, Reporting on Reconstruction’s Legacy © 2022 by Educurious is licensed under  CC BY-NC 4.0. 

    Lesson 1.4: The Rise and Fall of Interracial Democracy

     

    Module 1 Icon

    Unit Driving Question:

    How can journalism challenge inequality and injustice?

    Module Driving Question:

    What were the goals of Reconstruction?

    Learning Targets

    I can:

    • Learn about the emergence and disappearance of Black Americans in Congress.
    • Investigate historical records for evidence of interracial representation in Congress.
    • Develop a unique question to research that probes at the deeper truths of an issue.

    Purpose

    In this lesson, you will listen to a podcast to learn about Black Americans being elected to Congress and the disappearance of Black Americans from elected office over time. Then, in editorial teams, you will examine congressional and population data for evidence of racial representation in government during Reconstruction and today. Editorial teams will use historical context and evidence they collect to discuss how Congress does or does not reflect the racial demographics of the United States. Finally, you will continue planning for your feature story by developing a research question that will guide your inquiry and information gathering.

    Lesson Steps

    1. Learn about the first Black Congressmen: Listen to the first three minutes of Mo Rocca’s podcast episode "The Black Congressmen of Reconstruction: The Death of Representation" to learn about the rise and fall of Black representation in public office.
    2. Investigate Black representation in Congress over time: Study an interactive map of the history of Black Americans in Congress for evidence of an expanding and shrinking interracial democracy. Then, compare data of racial representation in Congress with population data to understand when and if Congress has ever fully represented its Black population.
    3. Develop your research question: Using a set of criteria and the issue you selected, brainstorm possible research questions, solicit feedback from your editorial team members, and identify your research question.
    4. Apply what you learned: Share with your editorial team the research question you will use to gather information for your feature story.

    Explore More

     

    Teacher Preparation Notes

    Pacing
    Lesson Timing:75 minutes
    Standards
    • C3

    D.1.4.6-8: Explain how the relationship between supporting questions and the compelling question is mutually reinforcing.

    D2.Civ.12.6-8: Assess specific rules and laws (both actual and proposed) as a means of addressing public problems.

    D2.Civ.13.6-8: Analyze the purposes, implementation, and consequences of public policies in multiple settings.

    D2.Civ.14.6-8: Compare historical and contemporary means of changing societies, and promoting the common good.

    • CCSS
    CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.6-8.2: Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of the source distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.
    CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.6-8.7: Integrate visual information (e.g., in charts, graphs, photographs, videos, or maps) with other information in print and digital texts.
    Lesson Resources
    For StudentsFor EducatorsMaterials
    • n/a
    Lesson Overview
    In this lesson, students listen to a podcast to learn about Black Americans being elected to Congress and the disappearance of Black Americans from elected office over time. Then, in editorial teams, students examine congressional data and population data for evidence of racial representation in government during Reconstruction and over time. Editorial teams use historical context and evidence they collect to discuss how Congress does or does not reflect the racial demographics of the United States. Finally, students continue planning for their feature story by developing a research question that will guide their inquiry and information gathering.
    Teacher Preparation
    • For Step 1, consider inviting students to listen to the full podcast with a caring adult: In this unit, students have several opportunities to listen to segments of the podcast “The Black Congressmen of Reconstruction: The Death of Representation” and to other media sources. The link to the podcast is in the Explore More section of the student page. Consider sending a letter or email to caregivers to invite them to continue learning with their students. Remember to also share discussion questions as a way to support and focus student-adult conversations.
    • For Step 2, practice online data sources: Practice moving the timeline on the Interactive Congressional Map and practice zooming in and out on the Racial Dot Map. You will be responsible for navigating these tools for the class at points in the lesson, and you will need to be comfortable helping students navigate these tools as well.

    Lesson Steps in Detail

    Step 1: Learn about the first Black Congressmen(10 min)

    Purpose: Students are introduced to the history of Black representation in public office following the Civil War. This will help them begin to understand how Black Americans exercised their new freedoms and rights as a result of the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments.

    [Slide 2] Listen to the beginning of Mo Rocca’s podcast on the trailblazing Black Congressmen and Reconstruction.

    • Talking points:
      • At the end of the Civil War, Black Americans were freed from enslavement by the 13th Amendment. They were provided equal protections under the law that, in theory, made them equal to whites. They were given the right to vote, because they had become citizens.
      • Black Americans exercised their voting rights and began electing Black Congressmen.
    • Explain to students that they will listen to a podcast with Mo Rocca and Henry Louis Gates, Jr., from which they will begin to learn about the first elected Black Congressmen and the events that led to rising Black representation in Congress.
    • Distribute the Interracial Democracy Notes Organizer and review the directions with students.
    • As students listen, have them take notes on the questions listed in Part 1:
      • How many formerly enslaved people became citizens after the Civil War ended?
      • How many Black Congressmen were elected to the 41st and 42nd Congress in the 1870s?
      • What is surprising about this moment in history?
    • Play the podcast episode "The Black Congressmen of Reconstruction: The Death of Representation" from [0:00–3:22]. The full podcast is 43 minutes.
    • Have students turn and talk about these questions, then invite students to share out their responses.
      • Possible responses: Seven Black men were elected to Congress in the 1870s, largely as the result of four million formerly enslaved people gaining the right to vote. It is surprising that these Congressmen were all Southerners, many of whom were enslaved just a few years earlier.

    [Slides 3–14] Introduce and orient students to the activities and expectations for Steps 2–4. See steps below for details.

    For remote implementation:

    • Sharing ideas: Use a quick poll, discussion forum, or chat waterfall for students to respond to the discussion questions.
    Step 2: Investigate Black representation in Congress over time(25 min)

    Purpose: Analyzing data about Black representation in Congress helps students deepen their inquiry into the rise and fall of interracial democracy in America. Students will later use this historical context to reflect on how the history of racial equality and justice in America is a story of progress and setbacks.

    [Slide 4] Study the interactive map of Black Americans elected to Congress for evidence of interracial democracy.

    • Introduce the term interracial democracy.
      • Interracial democracy is a system of government in which people from different racial backgrounds work together to pass laws and guarantee rights.
         
    • Talking points:
      • The United States and many of the Southern state governments were the first, in perhaps the world, to create interracial democracies.
      • For a period of time immediately following the end of the Civil War, there was considerable agreement between Southern white voters and Black voters. They were both looking to rebuild their communities and create new laws.
      • However, this period of togetherness did not last. Over time, interracial democracy wavered. Some believe interracial democracy eventually died, as the legacy of the system of slavery endured in new ways.

    Analyze map data over time to understand changes in interracial democracy.

    • Project and share the Interactive Congressional Map.
    • Prompt students to take notes in their Interracial Democracy Notes Organizer on the questions the class discusses.
    • Click on the drop-down menu “Choose type of data to display.”
    • Select “Black Americans in Congress.”
    • Discuss the following questions:
      • In which session of Congress did the first African Americans serve?
    • Move the two ends of the timeline to the 41st and 42nd sessions, then ask:
      • Which states had Black representatives and/or senators during and immediately following Reconstruction?
      • Why do you think these states added Black Congressmen, while the majority of states in the Union did not?
    • Before moving on to a different map, use the drop-down menu to show students the history of representation in Congress for other groups, including: Hispanic Americans, Asian Pacific Americans, and women.
    • Share and project the Racial Dot Map with 2010 census data. Discuss the following questions:
      • What do you notice about population density and distribution in the United States?
      • Does this new information corroborate what you already knew, or did it change your thinking in some way?

    Navigate back to the Interactive Congressional Map.

    • Create a timeline from the 41st to the 58th session of Congress, then slowly move the beginning of the timeline closer to the 58th session.
      • Why did interracial democracy die in the United States in less than 30 years?
      • When do you think the United States reestablished interracial democracy?
    • Create a timeline from the 58th to 59th session of Congress, then slowly move the timeline end point from the 59th to the 117th session to show students when and where interracial democracy began to emerge again in the United States.

    [Slide 5] Investigate and discuss the status of interracial democracy today.

    • Explain to students that they will organize into their editorial teams to compare the Racial Dot Map data with the data from the Interactive Congressional Map for the 117th Congress.
    • They will use evidence from the maps to support their response to the prompt:
      • Based on these two maps and your historical knowledge, is the United States today an interracial democracy? Why or why not?
    • Invite teams to share their responses with the whole class.

    [Slide 6] Update the class timeline.

    • 1870: Hiram Revels and Joseph Rainey were the first Black Americans to serve in Congress.
    • 1901: There were no longer Black Americans serving in Congress.
    • 1931: Illinois elected a Black American to Congress.

    For remote implementation:

    • Sharing ideas: Use a quick poll, discussion forum, or chat waterfall for students to respond to the discussion questions.
    Step 3: Develop your research question(35 min)

    Purpose: Students draw on what they have learned in this module about the progress made and the backlash Black Americans have faced on their journey toward equal rights and justice in the United States. Students use this historical context to complete the planning process for their feature story by developing a question they will focus their research on.

    Introduce Task 5.

    • Remind students that in the previous lesson, they searched news headlines—both national and local—for evidence of race consciousness in the issue they selected.
    • Review Task 5 with students.

    Review the criteria for a strong research question. A strong research question:

    • Is open-ended
    • Is interesting to you
    • Provokes curiosity about race consciousness in your issue area
    • Draws on current sources
    • Provides a research direction
    • Leads to new insights and/or conclusions

    [Slides 7–12] Practice using the criteria to identify which question is better suited to research and why.

    • Organize students into editorial teams, if they are not already in teams.
    • Explain to students that they will now practice applying the criteria to evaluate three pairs of questions, and they are tasked with determining which question is the better research question in each pair.
    • Slide 7. First pair.
      1. In the aftermath of another recent Major League Baseball doping scandal, what should Major League Baseball do to ensure players do not dope in the future?
      2. In the aftermath of another recent Major League Baseball doping scandal, what penalties do the players involved face?
    • Invite students to discuss in their editorial teams and then share their response.
    • Slide 8. Reveal the better research question is A, and ask someone to explain why using the criteria.
    • Slide 9. Second pair.
      1. How can social media most effectively encourage the engagement and involvement of young people in social issues?
      2. Is social media a factor in how young people view social issues?
    • Invite students to discuss in their editorial teams and then share their response.
    • Slide 10. Reveal the better research question is A, and ask someone to explain why using the criteria.
    • Slide 11. Third pair.
      1. Why should society imprison drug users for long periods of time?
      2. What meaningful steps can society take to educate people about and alleviate problems with drug addiction?
    • Invite students to discuss in their editorial teams and then share their response.
    • Slide 12. Reveal the better research question is B, and ask someone to explain why using the criteria.

    [Slide 13] Facilitate question writing and feedback.

    • Explain to students that they will now draft three or more research questions on their issue, using the criteria, then they will share their questions with their editorial team for feedback.
    • Review the process for writing, feedback, and revision.
      • 10 minutes to draft at least three possible research questions
      • 5 minutes to share your research questions and receive feedback
      • 5 minutes to select the strongest research question based on team feedback and the criteria, and revise if necessary
    • Remind students to use the space in Task 5 of their Feature Story Checklist & Notebook to record draft questions, feedback, and revisions.

    For remote implementation:

    • Collaboration: Direct students toward the online platform, such as Zoom or Teams, that they will be using consistently to support remote group work.
    Step 4: Apply what you learned(5 min)

    Purpose: Students share their final research question with their editorial team in order to establish a focus for their feature story.

    [Slide 14] Share final research questions within editorial teams.

    • Invite students to share which question they selected to research and why.
    • Invite several students to share with the whole class.

    For remote implementation:

    • Collaboration: Direct students toward the online platform, such as Zoom or Teams, that they will be using consistently to support Think-Pair-Shares and Turn-and-Talks.

    Unless otherwise noted, Reporting on Reconstruction’s Legacy © 2022 by Educurious is licensed under  CC BY-NC 4.0. 

    Module 2: Turning a Light on Truth

    Remote Module OverviewIcon

    Module 2: Turning a Light on Truth

    Reporting on Reconstruction’s Legacy

    Unit Driving Question

    How can journalism challenge inequality and injustice?

    Module Driving Question

    How can journalism help us uncover the deeper truths of Reconstruction?

    Module 2 Overview

     

    Module Overview

    In Module 2, students learn about the violent white backlash that gripped the Black community nationwide, but particularly in the South, when Reconstruction ended. In Lesson 1, students read excerpts from Ida B. Wells’s groundbreaking investigative report on lynching in America and reflect on what components of investigative reporting they are engaged with as they begin researching their feature story. In Lesson 2, students read James W. Jacks’s letter and excerpts from Josephine Ruffin’s “A Charge Refuted” to learn about the white backlash in the journalism community and how Black women rallied around the call for collective action. In Lesson 3, students read letters published in Josephine Ruffin’s magazine, The Woman’s Era, to learn about the widespread support for Black women across the United States to organize and take action to secure their rights and freedom. Finally, students conclude Module 2 by interviewing someone that is affected by the equity issue they have been researching. In Module 3, students use their research and interview notes to write a feature story that challenges inequality and injustice, and advances the goals of Reconstruction.

    Lesson 2.1: Investigative Journalism (105 minutes)
    Learning Targets: I can:
    • Read and analyze excerpts from A Red Record for evidence of Ida B. Wells’s investigative approach to journalism.
    • Identify who you will interview and explore your research question through information available online (text, images, video, etc.)
    In this lesson, students learn about the life and work of Ida B. Wells in order to deepen their understanding of the role of journalism in driving change. Students analyze excerpts from Wells’s groundbreaking investigative report, A Red Record, for evidence of her approach to highlighting social and political conditions after Reconstruction and to seeking justice and equal rights. Then, students review the Feature Story Rubric for aspects of Wells’s approach to journalism and update the class Know & Need to Know chart. Finally, students begin research for their feature story by looking for information online that will help them answer their question.
    Lesson 2.2: The Letter (90 minutes)
    Learning Targets: I can:
    • Read James W. Jacks’s letter and journalist Josephine Ruffin’s response for evidence of the social and political conditions in America after Reconstruction.
    • Use my analysis of Jacks’s and Ruffin’s texts to discuss the deeper truths of Reconstruction.
    • Develop interview questions that will help me gather information needed to write my feature story.
    Students learn the underreported story of Florence Balgarnie’s letter to American journalists to help battle lynching, and about James W. Jacks’s reply. Known as “The Letter,” Jacks’s response to Balgarnie had such an impact that some historians consider it equivalent to “the shot heard round the world” that started the American Revolution. Using evidence from these primary sources, students discuss the deeper truths about Reconstruction. Finally, students continue researching for their feature story by preparing interview questions they will ask someone from their community in the next lesson.
    Lesson 2.3: The Woman’s Era (105 minutes)
    Learning Targets: I can:
    • Read and analyze letters published in The Woman's Era magazine for evidence of how Black women viewed progress on equal rights and justice after Reconstruction.
    • Use my research and the questions I developed to interview someone for my feature story.
    Students learn about the response to Josephine Ruffin’s article “A Charge to be Refuted” in order to expand their understanding of the social and political conditions in the United States during intensifying white backlash to equal rights and justice. After reading and analyzing three letters that Ruffin received and published in The Woman’s Era magazine in support of the first National Conference of Colored Women in America (NCCWA), students use their analysis to discuss efforts Black women were undertaking to confront white backlash and advance the goals of Reconstruction. Finally, students use this historical context and their research to interview someone touched by the issue they selected for their feature story.
    Module Assessments
    LessonDeveloping Questions and Planning InquiriesApplying Disciplinary Tools and ConceptsEvaluating Sources and Using EvidenceCommunicating Conclusions and Taking Informed Action
    2.1 Feature Story Checklist & Notebook 
    2.2 Feature Story Checklist & NotebookPrimary Sources Notes Organizer 
    2.3 

    Feature Story Checklist & NotebookThe Woman’s Era Notes Organizer

     
    Vocabulary
    • investigative journalism: a type of journalism that informs and protects the public by exposing wrongdoings and failures, and holding powerful organizations, individuals, and governments accountable for their actions
    • investigative reporter: a journalist who uses multiple sources to develop and share a previously unknown story about harm to an individual, or systemic wrongs that have harmed the public and need correction
    • lynching: the unlawful killing of someone by an angry mob, usually by hanging
    • Reconstruction: a period of time after the American Civil War, from 1863 to 1877, when social and political institutions worked to unify the country and advance the rights of African Americans

    Unless otherwise noted, Reporting on Reconstruction’s Legacy © 2022 by Educurious is licensed under  CC BY-NC 4.0. 

    Lesson 2.1: Investigative Journalism

    Module 2 Icon

    Unit Driving Question:

    How can journalism challenge inequality and injustice?

    Module Driving Question:

    How can journalism help us uncover the deeper truths of Reconstruction?

    Learning Targets

    I can:

    • Read and analyze excerpts from A Red Record for evidence of Ida B. Wells’s investigative approach to journalism.
    • Identify who you will interview and explore your research question through information available online (text, images, video, etc.)

    Purpose

    In this lesson, you will learn about the life and work of Ida B. Wells in order to deepen your understanding of the role of journalism in driving change. Analyze excerpts from Wells’s groundbreaking investigative report A Red Record for evidence of her approach to highlighting social and political conditions after Reconstruction and to seeking justice and equal rights. Then review the Feature Story Rubric for aspects of Wells’s approach to journalism and update the class Know & Need to Know chart. Finally, begin to research your feature story by looking for information online that will help you answer your question.

    Lesson Steps

    1. Learn about Ida B. Wells and investigative journalism: Watch the TED-Ed video "How one journalist risked her life to hold murderers accountable" and take notes in your Investigative Journalism handout. Add Ida B. Wells’s contributions to the class timeline.
    2. Read excerpts from A Red Record: Read sections from Wells’s groundbreaking investigative report, A Red Record, in the Investigative Journalism handout for evidence of the failures of Reconstruction and her approach to advancing the goals of Reconstruction through journalism.
    3. Reflect on your approach to journalism: Read the Feature Story Rubric and look for evidence of Wells’s investigative approach. Drawing on the rubric and your understanding on your issue, revisit and update the class Know & Need to Know chart.
    4. Begin research for your feature story: Explore your research question using information available online. Find at least three sources that help you answer your question and evaluate each source for media bias.

    Explore More

     

    Teacher Preparation Notes

    Pacing
    Lesson Timing:105 minutes (two days)
    Standards
    • C3

    D2.Civ.14.6-8: Compare historical and contemporary means of changing societies, and promoting the common good.

    D3.1.6-8: Gather relevant information from multiple sources while using the origin, authority, structure, context, and corroborative value of the sources to guide the selection.

    • CCSS

    CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.6-8.6: Identify aspects of a text that reveal an author's point of view or purpose (e.g., loaded language, inclusion or avoidance of particular facts).

    CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.8.7: Conduct short research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question), drawing on several sources and generating additional related, focused questions that allow for multiple avenues of exploration.

    Lesson Resources
    For StudentsFor EducatorsMaterials
    • n/a
    Lesson Overview
    In this lesson, students learn about the life and work of Ida B. Wells in order to deepen their understanding of the role of journalism in driving change. Students analyze excerpts from Wells’s groundbreaking investigative report, A Red Record, for evidence of her approach to highlighting social and political conditions after Reconstruction and to seeking justice and equal rights. Then, students review the Feature Story Rubric for aspects of Wells’s approach to journalism and update the class Know & Need to Know chart. Finally, students begin research for their feature story by looking for information online that will help them answer their question.
    Teacher Preparation
    • For Step 2, prepare for how you want to frame the “hard truths” with your students: “Hard truths” is a term that is often used when talking about the United States history regarding slavery and Reconstruction. It’s hard to talk about lynching and the ways that Black people were brutally and violently oppressed, but it’s a truth. Consider practicing this lesson with a colleague in advance of teaching it to students. This will help you practice what you want to say and how you want to say it. Lastly, this lesson does not show or describe lynching, but it does provide facts and statistics about lynching. For additional resources and support, read "Teaching Hard History," an article from Learning for Justice magazine.
    • For Step 2, read the excerpts from A Red Record and define unfamiliar words: There are terms you and your students may be unfamiliar with in Wells’s A Red Record, such as desperado, suspected incendiarism, and conjuring.
    • For Step 4, consider adding a lesson that more fully unpacks media bias: Students will be revisiting media bias in their research in Module 2 by considering the extent to which their sources are considered credible and represent diverse perspectives. For additional resources and support, review the Checkology lesson on understanding bias.

    Lesson Steps in Detail

    Step 1: Learn about Ida B. Wells and investigative journalism (10 min)

    Purpose: Students learn about the life of Ida B. Wells and her use of journalism as a way to promote social and political change in the United States during a time of deep division and backlash, as white Southerners pushed back against the progress being made toward racial equality and justice. Students then look for connections between their work and the investigative journalism techniques Wells employed.

    Review what students and editorial teams accomplished in Module 1 and what they will work on in Module 2.

    • In Module 1, students learned about the goals, successes, and failures of Reconstruction, and completed the planning for their feature story.
    • In Module 2, students will learn how journalism was used to advance the goals of Reconstruction after Reconstruction ended, and they will complete their research for their feature story.

    [Slides 3–4] Introduce students to Ida B. Wells and her approach to journalism.

    • Talking points:
      • Journalism has been around since at least Ancient Rome (learn more at Britannica).
      • In the late 1800s, investigative journalism emerged in the United States as a way for journalists to inform and protect the public by exposing wrongdoings and failures, and holding powerful organizations, individuals, and governments accountable for their actions.
      • Investigative reporters, or journalists, rely on multiple sources to develop and share a previously unknown story about harm to an individual, or systemic wrongs that have harmed the public and need correction.
      • Ida B. Wells was someone who experienced and reported on white mob violence in the United States following the end of Reconstruction (learn more at History).
    • Distribute the Investigative Journalism handout and review the directions with students.
    • Slide 3. Before students watch the TED-Ed video on the life of Ida B. Wells, have them preview the questions they will take notes on in the handout.
    Teacher Tip: Deepen Understanding of Investigative Journalism To learn more about investigative journalism and deepen understanding of the role of an investigative reporter, consider reading or sharing portions of "Defining Investigative Reporting: What makes it different from other types of journalism?" from the Columbia Center for New Media Teaching and Learning.Develop students’ conceptual understanding of the historical importance and impact of watchdog reporting by inviting them to review the examples of presented in "Notable Investigative Journalism Cases Throughout History," an online timeline by Checkology, part of the News Literacy Project, that begins with Nellie Bly in 1887 and Ida B. Wells in the 1890s and concludes with the investigative reporting that brought Harvey Weinstein’s abuses to light in 2017 and sparked the #MeToo movement.

    [Slide 5] Add Ida B. Wells’s contributions to the class timeline.

    • 1892: Wells published Southern Horrors: Lynch Law in All its Phases.
    • 1895: Wells published A Red Record.

    [Slides 6–15] Introduce and orient students to the activities and expectations for Steps 2–4. See steps below for details.

    For remote implementation:

    • Video watching and note-taking: Ensure students can access the videos independently and asynchronously; determine how students should submit their handout.
    • Sharing ideas: Use a quick poll or discussion forum for students to respond to the discussion questions.
    Step 2: Read excerpts from A Red Record (35 min)

    Purpose: Students analyze excerpts from Ida B. Wells’s publication A Red Record, which put a spotlight on lynchings in the United States after Reconstruction. Through this example, students learn about Wells’s approach to journalism as a way to advance the goals of Reconstruction and cause social and political change.

    [Slides 6] Read and discuss excerpts of A Red Record.

    • Prompt students to review the section of the Investigative Journalism handout on A Red Record and organize students into editorial teams.
    • Explain to students that A Red Record is an example of an underreported story, and that by reading sections of it today, we can better understand the social and political conditions in the United States after Reconstruction and Wells’s approach to changing those conditions through journalism.
    • Review the directions for each section.
    • Explain to students that they will not be looking at images or video of the mob violence against Black Americans following Reconstruction, but they will look at the reporting on what happened and where in order to understand underreported events that awakened a nation to the failures of Reconstruction.

    [Slides 7–11] Facilitate a whole-class discussion.

    • Slide 7. According to Wells, what were the social and political conditions in the United States at that time?
    • Slide 8. What alleged, accused, and charged crimes did white mobs use to justify lynching?
    • Slide 9. Describe Wells’s style of writing or approach to reporting in A Red Record.
    • Slide 10. Summarize Wells’s main points and call to action.
    • Slide 11. Given Wells’s account of the social and political conditions in the United States after Reconstruction, what did Reconstruction achieve?

    For remote implementation:

    • Sharing ideas: Use a quick poll or discussion forum for students to respond to the discussion questions.
    Step 3: Reflect on your approach to journalism(15 min)

    Purpose: Students reflect on Wells’s approach to journalism and their own. This helps students see their own strengths in and opportunities to improve their approach to journalism.

    [Slide 12] Consider how your approach to journalism incorporates strategies Ida B. Wells used.

    • Facilitate a Think-Pair-Share.
      • How is your approach to journalism thus far similar to or different from Wells’s approach?
      • Are you thinking differently about your approach to journalism now? If so, how and why?
    • Explain to students that one way journalists get better at reporting underreported stories is by learning how other investigative journalists approach their work.
    • Encourage students to continue to be reflective about what is working in their approach and what they can learn from other students in their class and from journalists.

    [Slide 13] Read the Feature Story Rubric and update the class Know & Need to Know chart.

    • Explain to students that they will now read the Feature Story Rubric in order to think about what they know and can do, and what they still need to know in order to write their feature story.
    • Distribute and project the Feature Story Rubric.
    • Read the criteria in the far left column and ask:
      • Which criteria have we addressed thus far?
        • Response: Find an underreported story
    • Explain to students that in Module 2, they will work on:
      • Determining who to interview
      • Developing interview questions
      • Conducting interviews
    • Explain to students in Module 3, they will take their research from Module 2 and write their feature story.
    • Provide students time to read the description of the criteria in the column “Award-Winning Journalist.”

    Revisit and update the class Know & Need to Know chart.

    • Have students do a Think-Pair-Share about what they know and what they need to know in order to write their feature story.
    • Invite students to share out and update the class Know & Need to Know chart.

    For remote implementation:

    • Sharing ideas: Use a quick poll or discussion forum for students to respond to the discussion questions.
    Step 4: Begin research for your feature story(45 min)

    Purpose: Students begin the research phase for their feature story by identifying who they want to interview and why. Then, students explore information available online that will help them prepare for their interview and find information to answer their question.

    [Slide 14] Learn the process journalist Natasha S. Alford uses to write stories that challenge social and political ideas.

    • Explain to students that they will listen to Natasha S. Alford, a journalist, talk through her process of developing the underreported story of Afro-Latinx identity in Puerto Rico.
    • By learning about her process to researching and writing a feature story, students will understand one way in which they can approach their work.
    • As students watch the video, have them consider:
      • What is Alford’s approach to journalism?
      • How did Alford approach the stories she wrote on race and identity in Puerto Rico?
    • Play the Pulitzer Center video "Interviews | Journalist’s Toolbox" in its entirety [9:05].
    • Invite students to share their responses. Record students’ ideas in public space, as they will refer back to these ideas in the next step.

    [Slide 15] Students identify who they will interview and why.

    • Organize students into editorial teams.
    • Explain to teams that they will work collaboratively to brainstorm different people within or outside their school community that they can interview.
    • Share with students the process for this task:
      • Write the different research questions in a collaborative space, like Google Docs or Jamboard.
      • Brainstorm people to interview for each question.
      • Choose who you will interview and justify your choice.
    • Provide editorial teams with work time, then bring them back together and invite students to ask the class for help if they have yet to identify who they could interview.
    • Remind students to record in their Feature Story Checklist & Notebook who they will interview and why in Task 6, and provide them with time to do this.

    [Slide 16] Students conduct initial research on their question.

    • Prompt students to write down in their Feature Story Checklist & Notebook, in the Task 7 box, what they know and what they don’t know about the question they are exploring.
    • Explain to students that they will now have time to explore their question using information available online.
    • The goal of this time is for students to identify three news sources with information that will help them answer their research question.
    • Encourage students to use the same approach to searching for information as they did in Lesson 1.3.
      • Using Google, search key words in your question.
      • Select the “News” tab.
      • Click “Tools” and indicate the time frame you want to search. Start with the time frame “past year,” and adjust it as needed depending on the search results.
    • After students have identified their three news sources, share with students the FAIR article "How to Detect Bias in News Media" and review questions students can ask themselves to help them identify bias.
    • Prompt students to return to their sources and use these questions to evaluate them for bias.

    [Slide 17] Do a Think-Pair-Share.

    • Ask:
      • What have you learned about your issue?
      • What information do you still need?
    • Invite students to share what they heard or shared with the whole class.
    • Explain to students that in the next lesson they will continue learning about journalism’s role in helping the nation achieve its Reconstruction goals and they will have time to continue their research.

    For remote implementation:

    • Sharing ideas: Use a quick poll or discussion forum for students to respond to the discussion questions.

    Unless otherwise noted, Reporting on Reconstruction’s Legacy © 2022 by Educurious is licensed under  CC BY-NC 4.0. 

    Lesson 2.2: The Letter

    Module 2 Icon

    Unit Driving Question:

    How can journalism challenge inequality and injustice?

    Module Driving Question:

    How can journalism help us uncover the deeper truths of Reconstruction?

    Learning Targets

    I can:

    • Read James W. Jacks’s letter, and journalist Josephine Ruffin’s response, for evidence of the social and political conditions in America after Reconstruction.
    • Use my analysis of Jacks’s and Ruffin’s texts to discuss the deeper truths of Reconstruction.
    • Develop interview questions that will help me gather information needed to write my feature story.

    Purpose

    In this lesson you will learn the underreported story of Florence Balgarnie’s open letter to American journalists to help battle lynching, and James W. Jacks’s reply. Known as “The Letter,” Jacks’s response to Balgarnie had such an impact that some historians consider it equivalent to “the shot heard round the world” that started the American Revolution. Using evidence from these primary sources, you will discuss the deeper truths about Reconstruction. Finally, you will continue researching your feature story by preparing interview questions to ask someone in your community.

    Lesson Steps

    1. Learn about the social and political response to A Red Record: Watch a teacher presentation on the timeline of events that occurred after A Red Record was published. Use the Primary Sources Notes Organizer to understand how some in the journalism community were working against the goals of Reconstruction, while many others were working to advance those goals.
    2. Read “The Letter”: In the Primary Sources Notes Organizer, use the primary source analysis strategy Observe-Reflect-Question to find evidence that corroborates and/or contradicts what you understand about the progress being made on the goals of Reconstruction.
    3. Discuss the deeper truths of Reconstruction: Using your analysis of the primary source texts, discuss the underreported stories that could be told about Reconstruction using these sources.
    4. Prepare to conduct your interview: Develop interview questions that will help you uncover and write about the deeper truths in your feature story.

    Explore More

     

    Teacher Preparation Notes

    Pacing
    Lesson Timing:90 minutes
    Standards
    • C3

    D2.Civ.14.6-8: Compare historical and contemporary means of changing societies, and promoting the common good.

    D3.3.6-8: Identify evidence that draws information from multiple sources to support claims, noting evidentiary limitations.

    • CCSS
    CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.8.9: Analyze a case in which two or more texts provide conflicting information on the same topic and identify where the texts disagree on matters of fact or interpretation.
    Lesson Resources
    For StudentsFor EducatorsMaterials
    • n/a
    Lesson Overview
    Students learn the underreported story of Florence Balgarnie’s letter to American journalists to help battle lynching, and about James W. Jacks’s reply. Known as “The Letter,” Jacks’s response to Balgarnie had such an impact that some historians consider it equivalent to “the shot heard round the world” that started the American Revolution. Using evidence from these primary sources, students discuss the deeper truths about Reconstruction. Finally, students continue researching for their feature story by preparing interview questions they will ask someone from their community in the next lesson.
    Teacher Preparation
    • For Step 1, practice the teacher presentation: You will provide students with a short 3–5 minute presentation on little-known events that led to one of the largest political and social movements in United States history.
    • For Step 2, review primary sources: The primary source known as “The Letter” uses offensive language that was directed toward Black women, and in particular Black women journalists in the late 1800s. This is a time when you’ll want to revisit norms and expectations around reading and making sense of historical documents that are dehumanizing, so students feel safe and supported in exploring the deeper truths about Reconstruction.

    Lesson Steps in Detail

    Step 1: Learn about the social and political response to A Red Record(10 min)

    Purpose: Students continue to learn about the impacts of Ida B. Wells’s groundbreaking investigative reporting that led to the continued advancement of Reconstruction. Students learn the underreported story of Florence Balgarnie’s letter to American journalists to help battle lynching. Students will use this historical context to support their reading of excerpts from this letter, and letters written in response to it.

    [Slides 3–7] Establish a timeline and historical context for the response to Wells’s The Red Record.

    • Slide 3. A Red Record was published. Talking points:
      • A Red Record was Ida B. Wells’s culminating investigative report in her anti-lynching campaign.
      • She used “data journalism” to report brutal facts and statistics about lynching in the United States, in both Southern and Northern states.
      • In many ways, her investigative approach put a spotlight on the failures of Reconstruction. It also empowered and inspired a new era of journalism established by facts.
    • Slide 4. Florence Balgarnie wrote a letter to American journalists. Talking points:
      • Florence Balgarnie was a member of the English Anti-Lynching League, and she was just as radical as Wells was in the eyes of many politicians.
      • Around the same time A Red Record was published, Balgarnie wrote a letter to American journalists calling for their assistance in battling lynching in America.
    • Slide 5. James W. Jacks wrote a letter to Florence Balgarnie in response. Talking points:
      • James W. Jacks, the President of the Missouri Association of Press, read Balgarnie’s letter and wrote a response.
      • His response became known as “The Letter.” Today, historians look back on this moment and equate it to the “shot heard around the world” that started the American Revolution.
    • Slide 6. Florence Balgarnie contacted Josephine Ruffin about Jacks’s response. Talking points:
      • Balgarnie received the letter and held onto it at first; later, she shared the letter with Josephine Ruffin.
    • Slide 7. Josephine Ruffin published “A Charge to Be Refuted” and “Call to Confer.” Talking points:
      • Josephine Ruffin was an American activist who helped recruit Black soldiers for the Union Army during the Civil War and was the owner of the first newspaper published by and for Black women.
      • Ruffin wrote a response to Jacks’s letter in her newspaper, The Woman’s Era, titled “A Charge to be Refuted.”
      • Ruffin also made a national call to action, which catapulted Black women’s rights into the spotlight as a national issue and resulted in the founding of the National Association of Colored Women’s Clubs. (Learn more about the NACWC’s history.)
    • Explain to students that Ida B. Wells’s approach to journalism empowered journalists and Black women to advance the goals of Reconstruction in the face of vicious and brutal white backlash.
    • Explain to students that Natasha S. Alford, the Pulitzer journalist we met in the last lesson, noted the importance of finding deeper truths. Today, we’ll explore the deeper truths of Reconstruction by reading portions of letters and speeches from this timeline, and reflecting on how the goals of Reconstruction were advanced after Reconstruction ended.

    [Slide 8] Students add events to their timeline and the class timeline.

    • 1895:
      • Florence Balgarnie wrote a letter to American journalists
      • James W. Jacks wrote “The Letter”
      • Josephine Ruffin wrote “A Charge to Be Refuted” and “Call to Confer”

    [Slides 9–18] Introduce and orient students to the activities and expectations for Steps 2–4. See steps below for details.

    For remote implementation:

    • Engagement: Use Google Docs, Jamboard, or another online tool to record student ideas publicly, which students can return to later in this lesson and unit.
    • Sharing ideas: Use a quick poll, discussion forum, or chat waterfall for students to respond to the discussion questions.
    Step 2: Read and analyze Jacks’s letter and Ruffin’s response(30 min)

    Purpose: As students read excerpts from James W. Jacks’s response to Balgarnie’s call to action, and Ruffin’s response to Jack’s letter, they will look for evidence of a deeper truth about race: that Black women were segregated even more than Black men after the Civil War.

    [Slide 9] Set students up for their reading and analysis.

    • Organize students into editorial teams and review with students the directions for Part 1 in their Primary Sources Notes Organizer.
    • Explain to students they will be analyzing primary source texts today and that some of the text might be challenging to read because of the preservation and digitization techniques.
    • Open both sources—the letter and the article—and show students how to zoom in.
    • For the newspaper article, show students where it is located by zooming in on the newspaper.

    [Slide 10] Share observations, reflections, and questions.

    • Invite editorial teams to share out their analysis of the letter and the article.
    • Record notes publicly, so students that missed something can add it to their notes.

    For remote implementation:

    • Sharing ideas: Use a quick poll, discussion forum, or chat waterfall for students to respond to the discussion questions.
    Step 3: Discuss the deeper truths of Reconstruction(15 min)

    Purpose: Students draw on their notes and what they have learned about journalism thus far to discuss the deeper truths of Reconstruction.

    [Slides 11–16] Facilitate a Stand Up Sit Down sensemaking activity.

    • Explain to students that you will read several statements about Reconstruction. For each statement that you believe to be true, stand up. For each statement that you believe to be false, stay seated.
    • Slide 11. Ida B. Wells wrote A Red Record.
      • True
    • Slide 12. Josephine Ruffin published the first newspaper by a Black woman for Black women.
      • True
    • Slide 13. Reconstruction failed.
      • Yes and no. Reconstruction provided freedom and championed equal rights, although securing those rights proved to be a different challenge. Through investigative reporting, a spotlight was put on certain failures, and Black women began organizing politically and socially to advance the goals of Reconstruction.
    • Slide 14. Reconstruction is unfinished.
      • This is a newer argument raised by Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Eric Foner, two prominent historians and professors of history. As time passes, more and more people agree that the enduring legacy of slavery, racism, and white dominance has prevented the United States from achieving the goals of Reconstruction.
    • Slide 15. Have students do a Think-Pair-Share:
      • Which goal or goals of Reconstruction (reconciliation, unity, accountability, and the advancement of rights) does your feature story advance?
        • Responses will vary.
      • Invite students to share their responses.

    [Slide 16] Facilitate a discussion about the deeper truths of Reconstruction.

    • Explain to students that they will work in their editorial teams, and by drawing on their notes and journalism skills, identify and discuss the deeper truths about race in the United States after the Civil War.
    • Provide teams with work time, then invite them to share their responses.

    For remote implementation:

    • Engagement: Stand Up Sit Down is best facilitated with cameras on. For students with cameras off, have them give a thumbs up reaction in Zoom or raise their hand in Google Meet.
    Step 4: Prepare to conduct your interview(35 min)

    Purpose: Students continue their research by preparing to interview someone who can provide perspective, information, and/or deeper truths they can use to write their feature story.

    [Slides 17] Prepare students to write interview questions.

    • Explain to students that in the last lesson, they explored information available online to help them answer their question, and that in this lesson, they will use interviewing as a strategy to continue their research and surface the deeper truths in their feature story.
    • Prompt students to locate Task 8 in their Feature Story Checklist & Notebook, then review the directions.
    • Provide students with time to work individually and with their editorial teams.

    [Slide 18] Do a Think-Pair-Share.

    • Ask:
      • What do you hope to learn in your interview?
      • What are you excited about and what are you nervous about?
    • Invite students to share what they heard or shared with the whole class.
    • Explain to students that they will have time in the next lesson to conduct their interviews and wrap up their research for their feature story.

    For remote implementation:

    • Think-Pair-Share: Use the Zoom or Google Meet feature that allows you to randomly assign students to pairs.

    Unless otherwise noted, Reporting on Reconstruction’s Legacy © 2022 by Educurious is licensed under  CC BY-NC 4.0. 

    Lesson 2.3: The Woman’s Era

    Module 2 Icon

    Unit Driving Question:

    How can journalism challenge inequality and injustice?

    Module Driving Question:

    How can journalism help us uncover the deeper truths of Reconstruction?

    Learning Targets

    I can:

    • Read and analyze letters published in The Woman’s Era magazine for evidence of how Black women viewed progress on equal rights and justice after Reconstruction.
    • Use my research and the questions I developed to interview someone for my feature story.

    Purpose

    In this lesson, you will learn about the response to Josephine Ruffin’s article “A Charge to be Refuted” in order to expand your understanding of the social and political conditions in the United States during intensifying white backlash to equal rights and justice. You will read and analyze three letters that Ruffin received and published in The Woman’s Era magazine, in support of the first National Conference of Colored Women in America (NCCWA). Then, use your analysis to discuss efforts Black women were undertaking to confront white backlash and advance the goals of Reconstruction. Finally, you will use this historical context and your research to interview someone touched by the issue you selected for your feature story.

    Lesson Steps

    1. Learn about The Woman’s Era and the NCCWA: Learn about Josephine Ruffin’s call to convene a national convention in response to Florence Balgarnie’s letter.
    2. Read and analyze published letters of support: Use The Woman’s Era Notes Organizer to access and analyze three letters Ruffin published in her magazine in support of the first NCCWA. Gather evidence, from the perspectives of African American women, on the social and political conditions in the United States at the time.
    3. Discuss the social and political progress: Using the information gathered from the three letters and what you have learned about the NCCWA, discuss progress made and challenges that exist in efforts to address the failures of Reconstruction.
    4. Conduct your second interview: Begin to wrap up your research on your feature story by conducting an interview of someone impacted by the issue you selected. Record your interview notes in your Feature Story Checklist & Notebook.

    Explore More

     

    Teacher Preparation Notes 

    Pacing
    Lesson Timing:105 minutes
    Standards
    • C3

    D3.1.6-8: Gather relevant information from multiple sources while using the origin, authority, structure, context, and corroborative value of the sources to guide the selection.

    D3.3.6-8: Identify evidence that draws information from multiple sources to support claims, noting evidentiary limitations.

    • CCSS

    CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.6-8.1: Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources.

    CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.6-8.2: Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of the source distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.

    Lesson Resources
    For StudentsFor EducatorsMaterials
    • n/a
    Lesson Overview
    Students learn about the response to Josephine Ruffin’s article “A Charge to be Refuted” in order to expand their understanding of the social and political conditions in the United States during intensifying white backlash to equal rights and justice. After reading and analyzing three letters that Ruffin received and published in The Woman’s Era magazine in support of the first National Conference of Colored Women in America (NCCWA), students use their analysis to discuss efforts Black women were undertaking to confront white backlash and advance the goals of Reconstruction. Finally, students use this historical context and their research to interview someone touched by the issue they selected for their feature story.
    Teacher Preparation
    • For Step 2, read the three letters of support: In preparation to support students in learning about Josephine Ruffin’s contributions to equal rights and justice, consider learning more about Josephine Ruffin by reading her biographical sketch in the National Women’s Hall of Fame. To see an original copy of an edition of Women’s Era, view the Google Arts & Culture webpage on The Woman’s Era.
    • For Step 4, customize Slide 13 with guidance for how students will use their time: This slide is a placeholder for you to insert guidance that is specific to where students are at in their process of researching their feature story. Some students might be conducting their interview during class, while others might conduct their interview after school.

    Lesson Steps in Detail

    Step 1: Learn about The Woman’s Era and the NCCWA(10 min)

    Purpose: Students learn about the contributions and efforts of Josephine Ruffin, editor and publisher of The Woman’s Era magazine, to advance the goals of Reconstruction and cause political and social change in America. Students add Ruffin’s efforts to the class timeline and use her example of participatory journalism to seek out other perspectives and ideas by doing interviews to support their feature stories.

    [Slides 3–7] Introduce students to the National Conference of Colored Women in America. Help students connect to the historical timeline of the previous lesson by providing important context.

    • Talking points:
      • Slide 3. The year was 1895. Black women in America were being attacked by John W. Jacks and other white Southerners, following the investigative reporting of Ida B. Wells on lynching in the United States.
      • Slide 4. Josephine Ruffin, a Black woman and the editor and publisher of The Woman’s Era newspaper, responded to Jacks’s letter by publishing “A Charge to be Refuted” in her newspaper, then mailed invitations to Black women’s clubs around the country calling for the first ever national conference for Black women.
      • Slide 5. The National Conference of Colored Women in America was convened on July 27th, 1895. 53 delegates from 14 states and the District of Columbia were present.
      • Slide 6. Josephine Ruffin gave the inaugural address to conference attendees, announcing:
        • We must “teach an ignorant and suspicious world that our aims and interests are identical with those of all good aspiring women.
        • Their organizing would bring about a “new era to the colored women of America.”
    • Slide 7. Add the inaugural meeting of the NCCWA to the class timeline and prompt students to add it to their timeline in their Feature Story Checklist & Notebook.

    [Slides 8–13] Introduce and orient students to the activities and expectations for Steps 2–4. See steps below for details.

    Step 2: Read and analyze published letters of support(35 min)

    Purpose: Students are introduced to the collection of letters written in support of the inaugural meeting of the NCCWA. In the next step, students use the information they gather from these letters to discuss how the social and political conditions in America compare to its previous goals for Reconstruction.

    [Slide 8] Introduce The Woman’s Era newspaper edition (i.e., issue) on the inaugural meeting the of NCCWA.

    • Provide an overview of the content published in the newspaper. Orient students to the information provided by the minutes from the conference.
          • An overview of who spoke, what events were held, and notes of debates, discussions, and decisions
          • Reports from different clubs and states on the status of Black women’s rights
          • Letters of support from Black women, women’s clubs, and allies of the movement from around the country and the world
          • Transcripts of addresses or speeches given at the conference
          • Editorial pieces or opinion letters about what should be done to advance Black women’s rights

    [Slide 9] Identify the three letters students will read and analyze.

    • Distribute The Woman’s Era Notes Organizer and review the directions with students.
      • In editorial teams, read closely the letters of support for the first National Conference of Colored Women in America, published in The Woman’s Era magazine.
        • For your first read, identify the main ideas of each text.
        • For your second read, identify text evidence of white backlash (physical, rhetorical, and/or political) and commitments of support and action.
    • Organize students into their editorial teams.
    • As teams are reading and analyzing, draw on The Woman’s Era Notes Organizer KEY to help you monitor and support teams in their analysis.

    For remote implementation:

    • Collaboration: Direct students toward the online platform, such as Zoom or Teams, that they will be using consistently to support remote group work.
    Step 3: Discuss the social and political progress (15 min)

    Purpose: Students draw on their notes and what they have learned so far to discuss what barriers to equal rights and justice existed in the United States following Reconstruction and what progress was made by the NCCWA.

    [Slides 10–11] Facilitate a class discussion on social and political conditions in the United States.

    • Slide 10. Ask: Based on what you’ve learned so far, do you think the conditions needed to make progress on equal rights and justice were improving or getting worse in the United States in 1895?
      • Possible responses:
        • Yes, conditions were improving because Black women were organizing into clubs and taking action in their communities and nationally.
        • No, conditions were getting worse because white backlash to equal rights and justice was increasing and becoming more violent.
    • Slide 11. Ask: What would a second Reconstruction period need to do differently in order to achieve the aim of equal rights for all Americans?
      • Responses will vary.
    • Slide 12. Share again with students Ruffin’s quote from her inaugural address at the NCCWA:
      • “… to teach an ignorant and suspicious world that our aims and interests are identical with those of all good aspiring women.”
      • Ask: According to this quote, what was the approach of the NCCWA to securing equal rights and justice?
        • Possible response: Their approach was to teach the world that all women are equal, and that race should not be a factor in how women are treated.

    For remote implementation:

    • Sharing ideas: Use a quick poll or discussion forum for students to respond to the discussion questions.
    Step 4: Conduct your second interview(45 min)

    Purpose: Students reflect on what they know and still need to know to write their feature story, then conclude their research by conducting their second and final interview.

    [Slide 12] Provide students with time to conduct their interviews.

    • Project Task 8 in the Feature Story Checklist & Notebook and review the interview guidance and tips.

    [Slide 13] Personalize this slide. Provide guidance to support students in completing their interviews during school hours or outside of school hours.

    • Offer strategic support:
      • Consider joining some students for their interviews. This can be a great way to support students who may not be as comfortable or confident in their journalism skills.
      • Consider offering to be an interviewee for students who were not able to secure one.

    For remote implementation:

    • Interviews: Have students use Zoom, Google Meet, and/or phone calls to conduct their interviews virtually. If a student is unable to schedule an interview or if the interviewee prefers it, consider providing them the option of emailing their interview questions to their interviewee.

    Unless otherwise noted, Reporting on Reconstruction’s Legacy © 2022 by Educurious is licensed under  CC BY-NC 4.0. 

    Module 3: Writing with Courage

    Remote Module OverviewIcon

    Module 3: Writing with Courage

    Reporting on Reconstruction’s Legacy

    Unit Driving Question

    How can journalism challenge inequality and injustice?

    Module Driving Question

    How can we report on Reconstruction’s failures and advance its goals?

    Module 3 Overview

    Module Overview

    Students consider all of the information they have collected from their research and interviews, then write and publish their feature story. In Module 3, students draw on the example and guidance of investigative journalists Natasha S. Alford and Bob Woodward, who have challenged inequality and injustice over time in America, to support their sensemaking and writing process. In Lesson 1, students create a mind map to help them visualize and organize the information in their feature story. In Lesson 2, students draw on their mind map to write the first draft of their feature story. In Lesson 3, students bring their first drafts to their editorial teams for feedback on the content and organization of their feature story, and also on their application of key writing skills and standards. Students then use their teams’ feedback to revise their feature story. In Lesson 4, students read each other’s stories and discuss the challenges and opportunities in writing to cause change. Then, students and their teacher work together to publish stories in venues and spaces beyond the classroom in order to promote conversations about the political and social challenges facing their community, with the aim of inspiring action.

    Lesson 3.1: Mind Map Your Feature Story (90 minutes)

    Learning Targets: 

    I can:

    • Use text evidence and ideas from my research, analysis, and reflection to create a mind map of my feature story.
    • Answer my research question with a claim and supporting evidence.
    In this lesson, students read an article about how investigative journalism can have an impact on and promote positive change. With this in mind, students revisit the purpose of writing and publishing a feature story, then visualize and organize the key parts of their feature story by creating a mind map. Using their research notes in their Feature Story Checklist & Notebook, students create a unique mind map that identifies the equity issue they researched, the relevant information they gathered, and the solution(s) or call to action they are proposing. Students share their mind map with their editorial team and discuss the similarities and differences they notice across their team’s feature stories. Finally, students use their mind map to write an initial response to their research question.
    Lesson 3.2: Write Your Feature Story (115 minutes)

    Learning Targets: 

    I can:

    • Help create shared class norms for independent writing time that value and honor each other’s needs.
    • Write a feature story that draws on multiple perspectives and sources to analyze how a specific equity issue can manifest itself at local, regional, and global levels over time, identifying its characteristics and causes, and the challenges and opportunities faced by those trying to address the equity issue.
    In this lesson, students read an article from journalist Natasha S. Alford to see a recent feature story that challenges political and social ideas. Then, students draw on Alford’s feature story, their mind map, and notes from their Feature Story Checklist & Notebook to write an original feature story. Finally, students review the Feature Story Rubric criteria specific to writing, reflect on their first draft, and identify the strengths of their feature story.
    Lesson 3.3: Review and Revise (90 minutes)

    Learning Targets: 

    I can:

    • Use the SPARK feedback protocol to give peer feedback to my classmates.
    • Use the feedback from my editorial team to strengthen my feature story for the purpose of educating, informing, and inspiring change.
    In this lesson, students work in their editorial teams to give and receive feedback on their draft feature stories. Students watch Bob Woodward, a trailblazing investigative journalist, share an anecdote about the importance of working with a copy editor to publish a story. Then, students draw on Woodward’s experience and a protocol to give specific, kind, and actionable feedback to help their fellow journalists strengthen the positive impact of their stories on their readers. Finally, students use feedback from their editorial team to revise their feature story before publishing it in the next lesson.
    Lesson 3.4: Publish and Discuss Feature Stories (60 minutes)

    Learning Targets: 

    I can:

    • Publish my feature story for people beyond the classroom.
    • Read a peer feature stories and reflect on what I have learned in this unit.
    • Engage with my classmates and outside guests in a discussion to answer the unit driving question.
    In this lesson, students publish and share their feature stories with their peers and guests, then reflect on all they have learned from working together and writing their feature stories. Finally, students engage in a Concentric Circles activity to reflect on the unit driving question and how this unit has impacted their thinking about inequality and injustice in America.
    Module Assessments (C3 Framework dimensions)
    LessonDeveloping Questions and Planning InquiriesApplying Disciplinary Tools and ConceptsEvaluating Sources and Using EvidenceCommunicating Conclusions and Taking Informed Action
    3.1   Mind Map
    3.2   Draft Feature Story
    3.3   Revised Feature Story
    3.4Feature Story Checklist & Notebook   
    Vocabulary
    • argument: a reason or set of reasons given with the aim of persuading others that an action or idea is right or wrong
    • claim: your stated position on a question; typically in the first paragraph of a written response
    • conclusion: the final paragraph of your response that supports your argument and challenges your readers to take action
    • evidence: a body of facts and information, from multiple credible sources, that support your claim
    • mind map: a way to visually organize your ideas and see relationships
    • reasoning: an explanation of why and how the evidence supports your claim and advances your overall argument for action

    Unless otherwise noted, Reporting on Reconstruction’s Legacy © 2022 by Educurious is licensed under  CC BY-NC 4.0. 

    Lesson 3.1: Mind Map Your Feature Story

    Module 3 Icon

    Unit Driving Question:

    How can journalism challenge inequality and injustice?

    Module Driving Question:

    How can we report on Reconstruction’s failures and advance its goals?

    Learning Targets

    I can:

    • Use text evidence and ideas from my research, analysis, and reflection to create a mind map of my feature story.
    • Answer my research question with a claim and supporting evidence.

    Purpose

    In this lesson, you will read an article about how investigative journalism can have an impact on and promote positive change. With this in mind, you will revisit the purpose of writing and publishing a feature story, then visualize and organize the key parts of your feature story by creating a mind map. Using your research notes in your Feature Story Checklist & Notebook, you will create a unique mind map that identifies the equity issue you researched, the relevant information you gathered, and the solution(s) you are proposing. You will share your mind map with your editorial team and discuss the similarities and differences you notice across your team’s feature stories. Finally, you will use your mind map to write an initial response to your research question.

    Lesson Steps

    1. Reflect on your progress and the impact of reporting: Revisit the class Know & Need to Know chart and reflect on the social and political impact of writing and publishing feature stories.
    2. Learn about mind mapping: Watch a video tutorial on mind mapping to learn when mind mapping can be helpful, what a mind map looks like, and how to create a mind map yourself.
    3. Create a unique mind map: Use the research you have gathered in your Feature Story Checklist & Notebook to create your mind map. Share your mind map with your team and discuss similarities and differences between your mind maps (i.e., feature stories).
    4. Write your response to your research question: Using the Feature Story Rubric, reflect on your progress toward writing and publishing your feature story. Then, using your mind map, answer your research question.

    Explore More

     

    Teacher Preparation Notes

    Pacing
    Lesson Timing:90 minutes
    Standards
    • C3

    D3.3.6-8: Identify evidence that draws information from multiple sources to support claims, noting evidentiary limitations.

    D4.6.6-8: Draw on multiple disciplinary lenses to analyze how a specific problem can manifest itself at local, regional, and global levels over time, identifying its characteristics and causes, and the challenges and opportunities faced by those trying to address the problem.

    • CCSS
    CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.8.9: Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
    Lesson Resources
    For StudentsFor EducatorsMaterials
    • Paper, markers, colored pencils
    Lesson Overview
    In this lesson, students read an article about how investigative journalism can have an impact on and promote positive change. With this in mind, students revisit the purpose of writing and publishing a feature story, then visualize and organize the key parts of their feature story by creating a mind map. Using their research notes in their Feature Story Checklist & Notebook, students create a unique mind map that identifies the equity issue they researched, the relevant information they gathered, and the solution(s) or call to action they are proposing. Students share their mind map with their editorial team and discuss the similarities and differences they notice across their team’s feature stories. Finally, students use their mind map to write an initial response to their research question.
    Teacher Preparation
    • Consider the space and venue of a public event for students to publish their feature stories in Lesson 3.4: Students will brainstorm in Step 1 who they can share their feature stories with. A publishing event at a local library or newspaper with students, parents, and guests from the community is one way to share student feature stories with a broader community. Students can also post their feature stories in the hallway of the school, in the school newspaper, on the school website, and even share them with a local newspaper. Whatever approach you take to publishing student work, remember the goal is to support students in reaching audiences and venues beyond the classroom to effect positive social and political change in their communities.
    • For Step 1, identify and invite guests: After students read an article on the impacts of investigative journalism, they will consider who they want to share their feature stories with. Plan in advance how to contact and invite the audience, either by building in time for editorial teams to reach out to and invite guests, or by collecting contact information so you can invite the guests to attend Lesson 3.4 (virtually or in person).
    • For Step 1, have your Know & Need to Know chart available: Add the Know & Need to Know chart that the class started in Lesson 1.1 to Slide 4. Students will revisit what they know, what questions they have addressed, and what new questions they have. Add this to the slide deck for this lesson, or post it somewhere visible in the classroom.
    • For Step 2, select a mind mapping approach: Decide what options you will give students for creating their mind maps. If students are in-person, consider providing paper and pencils for students to create their mind maps by hand. If students are hybrid or remote, consider having students use a free online application like diagrams.net that is compatible with student devices. Whatever method or combination of methods students use to create their mind maps, remember to first model the process of creating one for them.

    Lesson Steps in Detail

    Step 1: Reflect on your progress and the impact of reporting(30 min)

    Purpose: Students reflect on what they learned about journalism and what they learned for their feature story in Module 2. Then, students read an article about the impacts investigative journalism can have, to revisit why they are writing a feature story in the first place.

    [Slide 3] Review what students learned and accomplished in Module 2. Talking points:

    • Lesson 2.1: You learned about investigative reporting through the work of Ida B. Wells and applied some of the tenets of journalism by researching your question through information available online.
    • Lesson 2.2: You learned about the response to Wells’s investigative reporting, continued your online research, and began preparing to interview someone for your feature story.
    • Lesson 2.3: You learned about The Woman’s Era as a way to understand the collective action and the social and political impact of Wells and other Black women journalists. You conducted your interview, concluding the research phase of your reporting.
    • In Module 3, you will use your research to write and publish a feature story that raises awareness about the equity issue you researched, promotes conversations, and advocates actions outside of our classroom. You will consider and respond to the unit driving question:
      • How can we report on Reconstruction’s failures and advance its goals?

    [Slide 4] Revisit the Know & Need to Know chart. Present the original class chart that was created on the first day of the unit.

    • Ask the class to review what they originally listed on the chart. Use the following questions to prompt changes in thinking and track student learning. Annotate the Know & Need to Know chart to reflect changes.
      • For the “Know” column:
        • Has any of your original knowledge changed or deepened? If so, how?
        • What new information do you know now that you didn’t before?
      • For the “Need to Know” column:
        • Which of your questions have been answered, partially or fully?
        • Which questions are still outstanding—and still important?
        • What new questions do you have? What do you need to know now in order to begin writing your feature story?

    [Slide 5] Read an article about the impact of investigative journalism as a class.

    • Remind students that they are reporting on equity issues that are often underreported, and that writing stories is not enough. For maximum impact, stories should be published and shared with the broader community.
    • Explain to students that investigative journalism is not new; it has roots in the reporting that Ida. B Wells undertook after Reconstruction.
    • Distribute the article "Introducing the impact editor: A new role critical for the journalism industry."
    • Explain to students they will read this article together as a class. As they read, students should consider the following questions:
      • How does investigative reporting make a difference?
      • What kind of difference do you want your stories to make?
      • Given this, who should you share your feature stories with?
    • Invite students to read sections of the article. Consider selecting excerpts that you want students to focus on, rather than reading the entire article.
    • When the whole-class reading is complete, invite editorial teams to discuss the three questions and then share out their responses.
    • Finally, spend time identifying how your students will publish their stories (see the Teacher Prep section for ideas and approaches to publishing feature stories). Invite editorial teams to generate ideas for publishing and discuss as a class.
    Teacher Tip: Tracking and Resolving Questions With a Know & Need to Know Chart A Know & Need to Know chart provides an opportunity for students to track how their thinking changes over time on a whole-class level. For project-based learning units, the chart helps leverage students’ ideas about the connections between the content they are learning and their project work. To learn more about Know & Need to Know charts in PBL, read about different tactics and pedagogical considerations at the Opening Paths Consulting website and how to use students’ questions for planning and assessment from PBL Works.
    Step 2: Learn about mind mapping(10 min)

    Purpose: Students are introduced to mind mapping via a short video tutorial to learn when it is useful, how to do it, and what it looks like. This prepares students to create their own unique mind map of their feature story.

    [Slide 6] Provide an overview of the writing process.

    • Explain to students that there are five phases of the writing process that they will engage in throughout Module 3 to help them write their feature story.
      • Phase 1: Brainstorming
      • Phase 2: Outlining
      • Phase 3: Rough Draft
      • Phase 4: Feedback and Revision
      • Phase 5: Publish or Present
    • Talking points:
      • Today, we will focus on Phase 2: Outlining. You completed Phase 1 when you brainstormed research questions for your feature article.
      • You will create a mind map that synthesizes information you gathered in your Feature Story Checklist & Notebook through investigating primary and secondary sources and your interviews.
      • The goal for today is to organize the information you have gathered by visually outlining the equity issue you researched and possible solutions.

    [Slides 7] Introduce mind mapping as a way to make sense of multiple ideas and sources of information.

    • Explain to students that they will now watch a short video tutorial on mind mapping before they create their own unique mind maps.
    • As students watch, have them reflect on the following questions:
      • When is mind mapping helpful?
      • What does a mind map look like?
      • Have I created a mind map before? If so, when and for what purpose?
    • Invite students to turn and talk, then share their responses to the questions.
    • Invite several students to share with the whole class what they heard or shared.

    [Slides 8–12] Introduce and orient students to the activities and expectations for Steps 3–4. See steps below for details.

    For remote implementation:

    • Sharing ideas: Use a quick poll or discussion forum for students to respond to the discussion questions.
    Step 3: Create a unique mind map(30 min)

    Purpose: Students use the information they have gathered in this unit to create a mind map of their feature story. This step is when students make sense of what they have learned. Each mind map will look different, because each student is researching a different question and has interviewed different people.

    [Slide 8] Introduce mind map tools.

    • Explain to students that they can create their mind map using a free computer application, such as diagrams.net (or another preferred application), or they can create their mind map with paper and a pen.
    • If using a computer application, model for students how to use the program and point out different features that students can use to create their mind maps.

    [Slide 9] Guide students to create mind maps.

    • Explain to students that all mind maps should start with the research question and at least three subtopics, which include:
      • a specific equity issue and how it manifests locally, regionally, and globally over time
      • the characteristics of the equity issue and its causes
      • the challenges and opportunities faced by those trying to address the equity issue
    • Consider replaying Natasha S. Alford’s explanation of her feature story on racial identity in Puerto Rico as a way to support students seeing the arc of a feature story and the different components.
    • Remind students to draw on the research they recorded in their Feature Story Checklist & Notebook.
    • If students are working remotely, encourage students to manage their time by setting a timer.
    • Be available to answer questions and prioritize conferencing with students who might struggle with bringing information together from different sources.

    [Slide 10] Share mind maps in project teams.

    • Organize students into their editorial teams, if they are not already in them.
    • Review the protocol for sharing and discussing:
      • Identify someone to help keep time.
      • Each person has two minutes to share their mind map.
      • After everyone has had a chance to share, discuss the similarities and differences you notice across your team’s mind maps.
    • Invite teams to share out the ideas they have for their feature stories.

    For remote implementation:

    • Collaboration: Direct students toward the online platform, such as Zoom or Teams, that they will be using consistently to support remote group work.
    Step 4: Write your response to your research question(20 min)

    Purpose: Students draw on the Feature Story Rubric to reflect on what they’ve accomplished, what they’re proud of, and what was challenging. This helps students see where they are in the arc of the unit, and this is a good formative opportunity to get a pulse on how students are making sense of the learning and what they think the answer is to their research question.

    [Slide 11] Reflect on what has been learned and accomplished.

    • Project the Feature Story Rubric and distribute a copy to each student.
    • Review the rubric with students, then ask:
      • What criteria have we addressed?
      • What have you achieved?
      • What has been rewarding or challenging so far?
    • Provide students with time to reflect individually and then share with their editorial team.

    [Slide 12] Respond to research questions.

    • Explain to students that they will now refer to their mind maps and write an answer to their research question. Tell students their response should include:
      • the equity issue and how it manifests locally, regionally, and globally over time
      • the characteristics of the equity issue and its causes
      • the challenges and opportunities faced by those trying to address the equity issue
    • Explain to students they will more fully respond to their questions in the next lesson when they write their feature story.
    • Provide enough time for students to respond to their question in 5–10 sentences.

    Unless otherwise noted, Reporting on Reconstruction’s Legacy © 2022 by Educurious is licensed under  CC BY-NC 4.0. 

    Lesson 3.2: Write Your Feature Story

    Module 3 Icon

    Unit Driving Question:

    How can journalism challenge inequality and injustice?

    Module Driving Question:

    How can we report on Reconstruction’s failures and advance its goals?

    Learning Targets

    I can:

    • Help create shared class norms for independent writing time that value and honor each other’s needs.
    • Write a feature story that draws on multiple perspectives and sources to analyze how a specific equity issue can manifest itself at local, regional, and national levels over time, identifying its characteristics and causes, and the challenges and opportunities faced by those trying to address the equity issue.

    Purpose

    In this lesson, you will read an article from journalist Natasha S. Alford to see a recent feature story that challenges political and social ideas. You will draw on Alford’s feature story, your mind map, and notes from your Feature Story Checklist & Notebook to write an original feature story. Finally, you will review the Feature Story Rubric criteria specific to writing to reflect on your first draft and identify the strengths of your feature story.

    Lesson Steps

    1. Read a feature story: Read an underreported story written by Natasha S. Alford, “Why Some Black Puerto Ricans Choose ‘White’ on the Census,” then review the criteria in the Feature Story Rubric to understand how you can effectively report on your research question.
    2. Review the Feature Story Rubric: As you review the rubric, reflect on your writing strengths and identify the kind of support you’ll need from your editorial team during the writing process.
    3. Independent writing time: Work together to create class norms for independent writing time, then draft your feature story.
    4. Reflect on your writing: Use the Feature Story Rubric to identify the criteria you have addressed and reflect on what still needs to be accomplished and what support is needed.

     

    Teacher Preparation Notes

    Pacing
    Lesson Timing:115 minutes
    Standards
    • C3

    D4.1.6-8: Construct arguments using claims and evidence from multiple sources, while acknowledging the strengths and limitations of the arguments.

    D4.2.6-8: Construction explanations using reasoning, correct sequence, examples, and details with relevant information and data, while acknowledging the strengths and weaknesses of the explanations.

    D4.6.6-8: Draw on multiple disciplinary lenses to analyze how a specific problem can manifest itself at local, regional, and global levels over time, identifying its characteristics and causes, and the challenges and opportunities faced by those trying to address the problem.

    • CCSS
    CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.WHST.6-8.1: Write arguments focused on discipline-specific content.
    Lesson Resources
    For StudentsFor EducatorsMaterials
    • n/a
    Lesson Overview
    In this lesson, students read an article from journalist Natasha S. Alford to see a recent feature story that challenges political and social ideas. Then, students draw on Alford’s feature story, their mind map, and notes from their Feature Story Checklist & Notebook to write an original feature story. Finally, students review the Feature Story Rubric criteria specific to writing, reflect on their first draft, and identify the strengths of their feature story.
    Teacher Preparation
    • For Step 1, prepare to model writing standards: In the Feature Story Rubric, there is a section about argumentative writing. The lesson includes an example story with notes for the teacher on how to identify the components of an effective feature story. Consider preparing a similar model from multiple sources. Remember to base this on what your students need. If your students are skilled in argumentative writing, less time may be needed on this; if argumentative writing is a new skill for your students, then consider spending more time unpacking argumentative writing skills using Alford’s piece.
    • For Step 2, decide how you want to support students during independent writing time: Consider conducting one-on-one conferences to support students with their ideas and writing. In order to do this, think intentionally about what class norms support the facilitation of writing conferences. To learn more, check out the Edutopia article "Setting Up Norms for Independent Work."

    Lesson Steps in Detail

    Step 1: Read a feature story(30 min)

    Purpose: It’s helpful to provide students with an example of a feature story that includes the components of investigative reporting that they are incorporating in their feature story. Students reconnect with Natasha S. Alford, who they learned about earlier in this unit, by way of reading a feature story she published on an equity issue she identified, researched, and reported on. Then, students will draw on her feature story as an example of effective reporting and writing, to inspire and guide their own reporting and writing.

    [Slide 3] Reconnect with Natasha S. Alford.

    [Slides 4–11] Review the components of a feature story.

    • Slide 4. Ask: What are the components of investigative reporting that you relied on in the last lesson to create your mind maps?
      • Slide 5. Investigative reporting components include:
        • A question
        • A specific equity issue and how it manifests locally, regionally, and nationally over time
        • Characteristics of the equity issue and its causes
        • Challenges and opportunities faced by those trying to address the equity issue
    • Prompt students to read Alford’s story in their editorial teams and look for evidence of the four components.
    • Provide access to Alford’s story, "Why Some Black Puerto Ricans Choose ‘White’ on the Census," and provide teams with sufficient time to read the story and note where they found evidence of each component.
      • Invite editorial teams to share with the whole class:
        • Slide 6. Evidence of a question:
          • “‘How do I fit into a country where I am a minority?’ said Dr. Abadía-Rexach, who was born on the island and identifies as a black woman.”
        • Slide 7. Evidence of an equity issue:
          • More than three-quarters of Puerto Ricans identified as white on the last census, even though much of the population on the island has roots in Africa. That number is down from 80 percent 20 years ago, but activists and demographers say it is still inaccurate and they are working to get more Puerto Ricans of African descent to identify as black on the next census in an effort to draw attention to the island’s racial disparities.”
        • Slide 8. Evidence of characteristics/causes:
          • Ms. Antonetty-Lebrón said that any shame in identifying as black in Puerto Rico stemmed from a lack of positive or affirming images of blackness. ‘The education system, which has never talked about all the contributions of black people, has always shown us as slaves and not people who were enslaved,’ she said.”
        • Slide 9. Evidence of challenges/opportunities:
            • “The founders of Colectivo Ilé want their 2020 census efforts to drive social policy for all African descendants, including Dominicans, Haitians and other ethnic groups living in Puerto Rico. Their movement to check ‘black’ is happening alongside other movements to recognize Afro-descendant populations in Latin American countries such as Mexico and Chile.”
            • “‘The way we measure and identify as black or white will affect how much inequality we see in society along racial lines,’ said Dr. Loveman, the Berkeley professor.”
            • “‘I think it’s a really important symbolic politics to embrace blackness on the census, which is a highly political and politicized space,’ she said. ‘We will get a clearer picture of the state of racial disparities in life outcomes in Puerto Rico.’”
    • Slide 10. Ask: Why do stories like this matter?
    • Slide 11. Highlight other components of investigative journalism practices that Alford incorporates to tell the story. These include:
      • Slide 12. Making an argument or taking a position using historical information from research and interviews. For example:
        • “‘We have to understand that nothing is siloed,’ Dr. Moreno Vega said.”
        • This quote from an interview advances Alford’s argument that race and how we racially identify is complex and diverse.
      • Slide 13. Journalists cite sources in feature stories so readers can expand their understanding through multiple sources, not just one opinion or one perspective. For example:
        • “More than three-quarters of Puerto Ricans identified as white on the last census, even though much of the population on the island has roots in Africa. That number is down from 80 percent 20 years ago…”
        • This detail pulled from the national census, in combination with quotes from people in Puerto Rico, helps the reader understand that this issue has existed for a long time.
    • Explain to students that this article is just one of many examples of impactful investigative reporting published in major newspapers and magazines around the world.
    • Encourage students to revisit this writing example for inspiration throughout the process of writing their feature story.

    [Slides 14–18] Introduce and orient students to the activities and expectations for Steps 2–4. See steps below for details.

    Step 2: Review the Feature Story Rubric(15 min)

    Purpose: Before students begin writing, they reflect on their strengths and what help they might need from their editorial team. This step is important because it sets students up to be proactive about what they need from their editorial team during their writing process.

    [Slide 14] Students individually reflect on their writing strengths.

    • Project and share the Feature Story Rubric.
    • Review the rows specific to writing.
    • Have students highlight their strengths and challenge areas on their copy of the rubric. Consider using annotation colors; for example, green highlights can indicate strengths, while yellow highlights identify areas of challenge.
    • Explain to students that after they have drafted their feature story, they will return to their rubric to evaluate what they did well and what they still need to work on.

    [Slide 15] Students share their strengths and challenge areas with their editorial teams.

    • Organize students into editorial teams.
    • Invite students to discuss their writing strengths and what support they might need:
      • What are your writing strengths?
      • How will writing a feature story be challenging?
      • What writing support do you need from your editorial team?
    • Invite students or teams to share with the whole class, and record new questions about how to write a feature story in the class Know & Need to Know chart.

    For remote implementation:

    • Collaboration: Direct students toward the online platform, such as Zoom or Teams, that they will be using consistently to support remote group work.
    Step 3: Independent writing time(60 min)

    Purpose: Students are ready to put all of their research together to tell an underreported and unique story about inequality and injustice. Students work together to create norms that help the in-person or virtual class be supportive of every student’s needs as they begin writing. After norms are established, students have a significant block of time to draft their feature story.

    [Slide 16] Establish shared norms for independent writing time.

    • Explain to students that extended writing time is an opportunity to think critically and make sense of different pieces of information that help you tell your story.
    • Explain that it can be helpful to create shared norms or expectations for this time, so everyone has what they need to engage in productive writing.
    • Invite editorial teams to discuss the following questions to help them come up with a set of norms:
      • How will we maintain our focus during independent writing time?
      • What does accountable partner work look like?
      • How should a productive and respectful writing session look and sound?
    • Invite editorial teams to present their norms. As teams present, record their suggested norms where everyone can see them.
    • As a class, come to a consensus on the norms that will guide independent writing time.

    Facilitate a writing space that supports student thinking and writing.

    • Circulate while students are writing to monitor and answer questions.
    • Every 20 minutes, have students take a 20-20-20 break, where they look 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
    • Encourage students to check in with a partner from their editorial team if they have writer’s block or need a thought-partner to help move their writing forward.
    • If students do not complete their draft feature story in 60 minutes, consider scheduling additional independent writing time for students during the next class or encouraging students to complete their writing outside of class.

    For remote implementation:

    • Writing: Have students do their writing in Google Docs and share their documents with you, so you can monitor writing and provide feedback. Encourage students to use the chat feature to ask questions.
    Step 4: Reflect on your writing(10 min)

    Purpose: Now that students have drafted their feature story, or started drafting their feature story, they are ready to reflect on the criteria they have addressed in the Feature Story Rubric and identify what still needs to be done. This step will prepare students for the next lesson, when they will share their feature story with their editorial team for feedback.

    [Slide 17] Do a Think-Pair-Share.

    • Invite students to reflect on and respond to the following questions in pairs:
      • What issue is being reported on, and why?
      • What challenges and opportunities does the author highlight?
      • How can we report on Reconstruction’s failures and advance its goals?
    • Invite students to share whole-class.

    [Slide 18] Self-evaluation.

    • Have students locate the rubric they used at the beginning of class, where they highlighted their writing strengths and areas of challenge.
    • Prompt students to use this rubric to give themselves feedback in the column on the right. Students should focus their feedback on what they need to work on next.
    • Provide students with time to write feedback to themselves, and then share in their editorial teams what they want to continue working on and how they will improve their feature story.

    For remote implementation:

    • Sharing ideas: Use a quick poll or discussion forum for students to respond to the discussion questions.

    Unless otherwise noted, Reporting on Reconstruction’s Legacy © 2022 by Educurious is licensed under  CC BY-NC 4.0. 

    Lesson 3.3: Review and Revise

    Module 3 Icon

    Unit Driving Question:

    How can journalism challenge inequality and injustice?

    Module Driving Question:

    How can we report on Reconstruction’s failures and advance its goals?

    Learning Targets

    I can:

    • Use the SPARK feedback protocol to give peer feedback to my classmates.
    • Use the feedback from my editorial team to strengthen my feature story for the purpose of educating, informing, and inspiring change.

    Purpose

    In this lesson, you will work in your editorial teams to give and receive feedback on your draft feature stories. You will watch Bob Woodward, a trailblazing investigative journalist, share an anecdote about the importance of working with a copy editor to publish a story. Then, you’ll draw on Woodward’s experience and a protocol to give specific, kind, and actionable feedback to help your fellow journalists strengthen the positive impact of their stories on their readers. Finally, you will use the feedback from your editorial team to revise your feature story before publishing it in the next lesson.

    Lesson Steps

    1. Give and receive feedback: Watch the Washington Post video "Tips from Bob Woodward on Investigative Journalism" and discuss the importance of reviewing and revising one’s writing before publishing. Then, use a feedback protocol and the Feature Story Rubric to give and receive feedback.
    2. Revise your feature story: Use your editorial team’s feedback to strengthen and finalize your feature story.

    Explore More

     

    Teacher Preparation Notes

    Pacing
    Lesson Timing:90 minutes
    Standards
    • C3

    D4.4.6-8: Critique arguments for credibility.

    D4.5.6-8: Critique the structure of explanations.

    • CCSS

    CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.WHST.6-8.4: Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

    CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.7.1: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 7 topics, texts, and issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.

    Lesson Resources
    For StudentsFor EducatorsMaterials
    • n/a
    Lesson Overview
    In this lesson, students work in their editorial teams to give and receive feedback on their draft feature stories. Students watch Bob Woodward, a trailblazing investigative journalist, share an anecdote about the importance of working with a copy editor to publish a story. Then, students draw on Woodward’s experience and a protocol to give specific, kind, and actionable feedback to help their fellow journalists strengthen the positive impact of their stories on their readers. Finally, students use feedback from their editorial team to revise their feature story before publishing it in the next lesson.
    Teacher Preparation
    • For Step 2, familiarize yourself with the SPARK feedback protocol: Read the Edutopia article "Teaching Students to Give Peer Feedback," which describes the SPARK protocol for student feedback.
    • Follow up with any community members or guests who will be present for the next lesson: Send a brief reminder email to guests who will be attending the public event in Lesson 3.4. Include any necessary logistical information about parking, signing in at the main office, etc.

    Lesson Steps in Detail

    Step 1: Give and receive feedback(60 min)

    Purpose: Students understand the importance of feedback when growing as a learner. They use a feedback protocol to provide feedback to their peers in order to help them improve their feature stories.

    [Slide 3] Discuss why reviewing, or editing, a story is important.

    • Explain to students that all journalists have editors. These are people whose jobs are to review and approve stories for publishing.
    • Have students watch the Washington Post video "Tips from Bob Woodward on Investigative Journalism" [5:08] in its entirety and respond to the questions:
      • What damage might have been done if Woodward had published his story about the coffee shop without his editor’s review?
      • What other types of feedback do editors give journalists, in addition to the kind of feedback Woodward received?
    • Invite students to share their ideas with the whole class.
    • Explain to students that an editor not only provides a journalist with feedback on the content of their story and their process, but also on the quality of their writing.
    • Explain to students that today they will step into the role of editor as they review and provide feedback to their peers, in order to help them strengthen the impact of their feature story.

    [Slide 4] Introduce students to the peer feedback protocol.

    • Ask student volunteers to share about a time when feedback from a teacher, parent, friend, or coach helped them improve a skill they were working on. Consider sharing a personal example to encourage students to share their own.
    • Explain to the class that the products we use each day have gone through many tests and rounds of feedback that informed their creators when they needed to make some improvements. Today, they will use a protocol that will guide them through the feedback process in order to improve their feature story.
    • Introduce the SPARK protocol. Explain to the class that this protocol will guide how they provide feedback to each other. The feedback should be:
      • Specific: The feedback is connected to something that was shared.
      • Prescriptive: The feedback offers a solution or strategy to improve the work, including possible resources.
      • Actionable: The feedback leaves the other person knowing what steps they need to take for improvement.
      • Referenced: The feedback relates to or references the rubric or elements of the feature story.
      • Kind: The feedback is framed in a kind and supportive way.

    [Slide 5] Facilitate the peer review and feedback process.

    • Organize students into their editorial teams.
    • Have editorial teams make a digital copy of the Feature Story Rubric for each feature story they are reviewing. Students should write in the Feedback column of the rubric, and include evidence with explanations of how they scored the writer. For example, if the writer was scored as an “Award-Winning Journalist” in one row of the rubric, the feedback must include examples of what warranted that score.
    • Explain to students that they should focus their feedback on the rows “Write your feature story” and “writing-specific criteria.”
    • Editorial teams will use the SPARK protocol and the Feature Story Rubric to ensure their feedback is specific, prescriptive, actionable, kind, and directly references the rubric criteria.
    • Prompt editorial teams to appoint a timekeeper so all stories are reviewed in the time provided.
    • While students are giving and receiving feedback, monitor editorial teams to support use of the SPARK protocol and rubric.

    [Slide 6] When students have completed the peer review process, ask them to share their reflections with the class.

    • Ask students to discuss the following in their editorial teams:
      • What was the most helpful part of receiving feedback from your peers?
      • What will your next steps be in implementing the feedback you received?
    • Invite volunteers from different groups to share their responses.

    For remote implementation:

    • Collaboration: Direct students toward the online platform, such as Zoom or Teams, that they will be using consistently to support remote group work.
    Step 2: Revise your feature story(30 min)

    Purpose: Students implement the feedback they received from their editorial teams to improve and finalize their feature stories.

    [Slides 7] Students use feedback from their editorial team to revise their feature stories.

    • Have editorial team members identify a writing buddy during their revision time. This will be someone they can go to if they have follow-up questions or need a thought-partner to help them implement certain feedback.
    • Remind students to consult with the Feature Story Rubric and the Feature Story Checklist & Notebook as they make final revisions.
    • Use this time to monitor and support student revisions.

    For remote implementation:

    • Collaboration: Place students into breakout rooms or remind students to use the chat function to work with their writing buddy.

    Unless otherwise noted, Reporting on Reconstruction’s Legacy © 2022 by Educurious is licensed under  CC BY-NC 4.0. 

    Lesson 3.4: Publish and Discuss Feature Stories

    Module 3 Icon

    Unit Driving Question:

    How can journalism challenge inequality and injustice?

    Module Driving Question:

    How can we report on Reconstruction’s failures and advance its goals?

    Learning Targets

    I can:

    • Publish my feature story for people beyond the classroom.
    • Read my peers’ feature stories and reflect on what I have learned in this unit.
    • Engage with my classmates and outside guests in a discussion to answer the unit driving question.

    Purpose

    In this lesson, you will publish and share your feature story with your peers and guests, then reflect on all you have learned from working together and writing your feature stories. Finally, you will engage in a Concentric Circles activity to reflect on the unit driving question and how this unit has impacted your thinking about inequality and injustice in America.

    Lesson Steps

    1. Host a public event: Students and guests read feature stories and have an opportunity to visit with student journalists.
    2. Engage in a Concentric Circles discussion: Draw on what you have learned from your feature story and your peer’s feature stories to revisit the unit driving question.

    Explore More

     

    Teacher Preparation Notes

    Pacing
    Lesson Timing:60 minutes
    Standards
    • C3

    D4.3.6-8: Present adaptations of arguments and explanations on topics of interest to others to reach audiences and venues outside the classroom using print and oral technologies (e.g., posters, essays, letters, debates, speeches, reports, and maps) and digital technologies.
     

    D4.6.6-8: Draw on multiple disciplinary lenses to analyze how a specific problem can manifest itself at local, regional, and global levels over time, identifying its characteristics and causes, and the challenges and opportunities faced by those trying to address the problem.

    • CCSS
    CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.7.1: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 7 topics, texts, and issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.
    Lesson Resources
    For StudentsFor EducatorsMaterials
    • n/a
    • Notecards or sticky notes
    Lesson Overview
    In this lesson, students publish and share their feature stories with their peers and guests, then reflect on all they have learned from working together and writing their feature stories. Finally, students engage in a Concentric Circles activity to reflect on the unit driving question and how this unit has impacted their thinking about inequality and injustice in America.
    Teacher Preparation
    • For Step 1, prepare for publishing: In addition to having students share their feature stories in the classroom, look for other venues and opportunities beyond the classroom for students to publish their stories. Consider inviting the people students interviewed to join the students in class when they publish their stories. This could look like students and guests circulating around reading feature stories from student journalists and having an opportunity to ask questions. An extension of this could be hosting a publishing event with students, parents, and guests from the community at a local library or newspaper. Students can also post their feature stories in the hallway of the school, in the school newspaper, on the school website, and even share them with a local newspaper. Whatever approach you take to publishing student work, remember the goal is to support students in reaching audiences and venues beyond the classroom to effect positive social and political change in their communities. Add information to Slide 4 about any publishing events you or your students have organized, or delete the slide.
    • For Step 2, prepare for the Concentric Circles discussion activity: Set up a space in your classroom where students can stand in concentric circles, or in two rows facing each other. Determine in advance how to adapt the discussion protocol for your students. For directions on how to conduct this activity, scroll down to the Concentric Circles section of Cult of Pedagogy’s "Big List of Class Discussion Strategies."

    Lesson Steps in Detail

    Step 1: Public event(30 min)

    Purpose: Students publish and share their final articles with other students and guests at their school and beyond. This step will prepare students to engage in the Concentric Circles activity in the next step.

    [Slides 3–4] Publish and read feature stories.

    • Locate the published feature stories in the hallway and/or around the classroom.
    • Invite outside guests to introduce themselves.
    • Slide 3. Explain that as students and guests circulate and read stories, they should leave a note to the author explaining how their story helped them better understand Reconstruction’s failures and/or how people have worked to advance Reconstruction’s goals.
    • Distribute notecards or sticky notes to students and guests.
    • Slide 4. Share information on any other publishing events beyond the classroom that you and/or students have arranged.
    • Thank guests for joining the class and invite them to share reflections before they are excused.

    [Slides 5–9] Introduce and orient students to the activities and expectations for Step 2. See steps below for details.

    Step 2: Engage in a Concentric Circles discussion(30 min)

    Purpose: The discussion protocol used in this step is intended to provide students with a safe and supported way to talk about changes in their historical understanding and thinking about inequality and injustice resulting from the process of writing their feature stories. For many students, comparing their incoming knowledge to what they understand today will demonstrate significant growth. For this reason, discussion is held in smaller groups, rather than with the whole class.

    [Slide 5] Explain the Concentric Circles discussion protocol to the class.

      • Explain to students that they will draw on what they learned from writing their feature story and reading the feature story of a peer to engage in a discussion on the unit driving question.
      • Divide your class into two equal groups: A and B.
      • Ask Group A to form a large outer circle and Group B to form an inner circle.
      • Group B faces the students in Group A.
      • Once students are in position, explain the Concentric Circles process:
      • The timer will be set for 3 minutes:
        • 1 minute: Partner A shares their response
        • 1 minute: Partner B shares their response
        • 1 minute: Discuss similarities or differences in your responses
      • After each round, students in Group A will move one space to their right so they are in front of a new person from Group B. (Group B stays in place.)
      • Cue which group should speak first and then rotate speakers for subsequent rounds (so the same group doesn’t always speak first).
      • Give students an easy, lighthearted practice question (e.g., What’s your favorite snack?) to make sure everyone understands the protocol.

    [Slides 6–9] Facilitate the Concentric Circles Discussion.

    • Slide 6. Post the driving question and pause for students to read it silently: How can journalism challenge inequality and injustice?
    • Present the following questions for each round of discussion. Reduce the number of questions or add more of your own as time and context allow.
        • Slide 7. Round 1: What did you think the answer to this driving question was at the beginning of the unit?
        • Slide 8. Round 2: What do you think the answer to this driving question is now?
        • (Optional) Repeat Round 2 two or three times so students can hear and discuss several different responses.
        • Slide 9. Round 3: What issues or questions were raised for you in the unit?
        • (Optional) Repeat Round 3 two or three times so students can hear and discuss several different responses.

    For remote implementation:

    • Concentric Circles: If students are in a virtual learning space, one way to adapt the Concentric Circles discussion is to create breakout rooms with two people in each room. Students will follow the same protocol as described in the directions above. You can provide students with three minutes to answer each question and to discuss in each of the three rounds. For each round, you will create new breakout rooms so each student is with a new partner.

    Unless otherwise noted, Reporting on Reconstruction’s Legacy © 2022 by Educurious is licensed under  CC BY-NC 4.0.