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Teacher: Trevor Lawler

Course: American History


Grade Level: 8
th
Grade
Days of Lesson: 2 days

The 13
th
, 14
th
, and 15
th
Amendments

I. Lesson Objectives: Students will be able to understand the importance of the 13th,
14th, and 15th Amendments for the rights of African Americans. Students will also be
able to create a poster demonstrating the main points of one of either the 13th, 14th, or
15th Amendments.

II. Lesson Context: The 13
th
, 14
th
, and 15
th
Amendments were essential to the era
of Reconstruction. These Amendments provided rights to African-Americans fought
for during the Civil War and they shaped race relations in the United States for the
next 100 years.

III. Standards: Common Cores Social Studies Standards:
8.1b Freed African Americans created new lives for themselves in the absence of
slavery. Constitutional amendments and federal legislation sought to expand the
rights and protect the citizenship of African Americans.
- Students will examine the Reconstruction amendments (13th, 14th, and 15th)
in terms of the rights and protections provided to African Americans.
NYS Social Studies Standards:
- Standard 1: History of the United States and New York

IV. Materials:
- Textbooks
- Poster board
- Markers
- Notebooks
- Journals

V. Anticipatory Set/ The Hook: Students will come into the room and begin the
bell work. The question on the board will be: What rights are everyone entitled
to? After briefly jotting down their thoughts, the class will discuss their answers.
The teacher focus on the rights that were denied to slaves and will then introduce
the 13
th
, 14
th
, and 15
th
Amendments.

VI. Procedures:
Day 1
- Students are split into groups of 3-4 students
- Each group is assigned either the 13th, 14th or 15th Amendment
- In their groups, students will use their textbooks and any other resources they
have to find information about their assigned amendment
- Students will create a poster that focuses on their amendment and addresses a
question. For the 13
th
Why should slavery be outlawed? For the 14
th
Who
deserves rights? For the 15
th
Who gets to vote?
- Students can use pictures from the internet or they can draw, but their posters
must look nice
- On the poster, they should also include:
- What did the Amendment say?
- What was the reasoning for the Amendment?
- Who did the Amendment protect/provide rights for?
- Why was this Amendment important?
Day 2
- Groups will have a few minutes to complete their posters
- Once all posters are complete, students will hang their posters on the wall
around the room
- All 13
th
Amendment posters will be hung in the same area. 14
th
Amendment
posters will be hung in a different area and same with the 15
th
Amendment
posters.
- Students will complete a wall walk. They will walk around the room and take
notes in their notebooks about the information presented on other groups
posters
- In their notes, they need to include the answers to the questions posed above
- Students should also examine whether the other groups posters addressed the
questioned their poster focused on

VII. Conclusion: After all presentations are complete, students will write a journal entry
about the importance of the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments. They will write about why
the Amendments are important and how they think the Amendments will impact people
and American society moving forward. If there is not enough time to complete the
journal entry in class, they will complete it for homework.

VIII: Assessment: For this lesson, students will be assessed based on their posters
and their journal entries. Posters will be evaluated on whether or not they
sufficiently answer the required questions and if the group put in their best effort to
make the poster look nice. Journal entries will be graded for completion, but will be
checked to see if students accurately synthesize the importance of the Amendments
for African-Americans and American society.

IX. Differentiation: For students with disabilities, they can use a computer to
create a poster online.

X. Reflection: After the lesson, judging by student attitude and the response in
their journals, the success of the lesson will be assessed.




Grading Rubric for Poster

5 4 3 2 1
Content
Content is
accurate and all
required
information is
presented in a
logical order.

Content is
accurate but
some required
information is
missing and/or
not presented in
a logical order,
but is still
generally easy to
follow.
Content is
accurate but
some required
information is
missing and/or
not presented in
a logical order,
making it
difficult to
follow.
Content is
questionable.
Information is not
presented in a
logical order,
making it difficult
to follow.
Content is
inaccurate.
Information is not
presented in a
logical order,
making it difficult
to follow.
Presentation
Presentation
flows well and
logically.
Presentation
reflects
extensive use of
tools in a
creative way.
Each members
information is
represented and
identified with
their name.
Presentation
flows well. Tools
are used
correctly
Each members
information is
represented and
identified with
their name.
Overall
presentation is
interesting.
Presentation
flows well. Some
tools are used to
show acceptable
understanding.
Each members
information is
represented and
identified with
their name.
Presentation is
unorganized. Tools
are not used in a
relevant manner.
Lacking some of
the members
information/ and
or information is
not identified
Presentation has
no flow.
Insufficient
information and
lacking some of
the members
information.
Pictures,
Clip Art
Background
Images are
appropriate.
Layout is
pleasing to the
eye.
Images are
appropriate.
Layout is
cluttered.
Most images are
appropriate
Images are
inappropriate or
layout is messy.
No images
Mechanics
No spelling
errors. No
grammar errors.
Text is in
authors own
words.
Few spelling
errors. Few
grammar errors.
Text is in
authors own
words.
Some spelling
errors. Some
grammar errors.
Text is in
authors own
words.
Some spelling
errors. Some
grammar errors.
Most of text is in
authors own
words.
Many spelling and
or grammar
errors. Text is
copied.


Name(s)_______________________________ Period_____
Subject_______________________________ Rank____ Score____