Life of an Exoduster: Journey Through Time (Middle School / Kansas & US History)

Julie Friesen
Kansas City, Kansas

Kansas History

Middle School


This unit is designed for teaching students about what life was like after Reconstruction for former slaves of the South. Students will learn about the the “Exoduster” movement to discover what it was, when it took place, why it took place and to examine the struggles, hardships, successes of leaving the South and finding a new life in Kansas, “land of John Brown”. Students will use graphic organizers, learn vocabulary, examine advertisements of the time period, and study the “colonies” that were formed in Kansas from the “Exoduster” movement. Students will create a final project from their learning by creating a multimedia presentation of their life of an “exoduster” to demonstrate their understanding. The research information and pictures for this unit were taken from two resources:

Athearn, Robert G. In Search of Canaan: Black Migration to Kansas, 1879-1880. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1978.
Painter, Nell Irvin. Exodusters: Black Migration to Kansas After Reconstruction. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1977.

Life of an Exoduster: Journey Through Time Instructional Design Unit50.5 KB
Advertisement Activity25.5 KB
Advertisement Activity Rubric31 KB
Performance Task Rubric (Excel)13 KB
Unit overview and instruction PowerPoint156 KB
Performance Task Instructions21 KB
Graphic Organizer for PowerPoint Presentation21 KB
Life of An Exoduster Vocabulary Activity24 KB
Oral Presentation Rubric9.5 KB
Download entire unit in PDF format (includes photos, documents & maps)2.17 MB