The Rise and Fall of Reconstruction in Virginia

Lesson 1: Post Civil War: Virginia in Ruins

Time Estimated: 1 days



Students will:

  1. Understand the need for Reconstruction following the Civil War by viewing photographs of cities, farms, plantations, railroads, and bridges after the Civil War.







  1. Read aloud The Fall of Richmond (pages 106 Ė 120), from April 1865: The Month That Saved America. While reading the students will be drawing what they visualize based on the authorís description. Share drawings and comments.
  2. Share pictures of ruins with the whole group. These may be photocopied, or displayed on the television or SMART BOARD depending on available technology.
  3. Brainstorm a list of problems people living in Richmond faced at this time (e.g. where to find food, shelter, medical help, money, how to travel, coping with looting and hard feelings on both sides).
  4. In teams, students must choose a problem from the list and brainstorm ideas about how to solve it. Questions to consider:
    • Who needed help after the Civil War?
    • Who was available to help?
    • How could needs be communicated to those who could help?
  5. Share ideas with the whole group.




Teams will be grouped heterogeneously.