The Civil War Curriculum | Goal 8 | Middle School

KepisPost-1865: Effects of the War

By the Civil War Trust, Endorsed by History™History (tm) Logo

Grades: Middle School

Approximate Length of Time: 50 minutes

Goal: Students will identify and discuss the effects of the American Civil War.


1. Students will be able to list and summarize the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments.
2. Students will be able to discuss John Wilkes Booth’s reasons for assassinating President Lincoln.
3. Students will be able to define the term “reconstruction” and discuss the various ideas on reunification.


1. U.S. Constitutional Amendments Prior to 1864
2. Entrance Pass
3. U.S. Constitutional Amendments, 1870
4. The 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments
5. The 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments Teacher Version
6. Booth’s Original Plan
7. Reconstruction PowerPoint
8. Reconstruction Cards
9. Reconstruction Cards Teacher Version

Anticipatory Set/Hook:

1. Provide students with a copy of the US Constitutional Amendments Prior to 1864 and the Entrance Pass.
2. Ask students to share their answers upon completing the assignment.


Activity 1

1. Discuss with your students the fact that before the Civil War there was no:

a. Protection against slavery or forced labor
b. Definition of citizenship

2. Hand out the U.S .Constitutional Amendments, 1870.
3. Read the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments as a class, discussing them in the context of this time in American history.
4. Hand out and have the students complete the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments independently.

Activity 2

1. Hand out a copy of Booth’s Original Plan to each student.  Read the timelines together as a class. 
2. Have students complete the questions independently.

Activity 3

1. Present the Reconstruction PowerPoint, providing a copy or notes copy to each student.
2. Hand out the Student Reconstruction Cards; have them complete the sheet, placing the cards in the correct categories.


Have students consider the question: What do you think will happen during Reconstruction under Johnson’s plan? Ask them to explain their answers.

Assessment in this Lesson

1. Completed Anticipatory Set Entrance Pass in which students will identify and write down three protected rights before 1864
2. Summarized  13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments
3. Completed essay questions related to John Wilkes Booth, using Booth’s Original Plan
4. Categorized different reconstruction plans, using the Student Reconstruction Cards.
5. Completed hypothesis of what the United States will look like during Reconstruction, based on students’ understanding of Johnson’s reconstruction plan.

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