Emancipation & Citizenship

These lesson plans use documents from the CWRGM collection that help students consider emancipation as a process, not something that happened immediately after President Lincoln announced the Emancipation Proclamation. The plans help classes consider the uneven nature of that process, too; it was very much a process of advances and setbacks that being increasingly difficult and dangerous as Reconstruction failed and Jim Crow policies strengthened in Mississippi. Finally, these plans help students understand the powerful connection between emancipation and citizenship; the rights, or potential rights, that African Americans received or should have received as citizens in nineteenth-century America.

Lesson Plans

Grade 4

Grade 8

Grade 9

Further Reading

For further reading, see The Mississippi Encyclopedia for related entries, including: “Emancipation,” “Freedmen’s Bureau,” “Freemen Schools,” “Reconstruction,” “Black Codes,” “Civil Rights Law of 1873,” “Slaves, Runaway,” “Social & Economic History, 1817-1890


Jerid P. Woods Sr. is a 10th-grade high school English teacher. He’s been teaching for 6 years and he is also a Ph.D. candidate in the Higher Education program at The University of Southern Mississippi.