Racial Patterns in Felony Disenfranchisement

person holding sign that says ex-felon voting bans - racist then racist now

This lesson plans deals with the concept of felony disenfranchisement, specifically how felony disenfranchisement laws in the U.S. have disproportionately affected the African American community. Students will be introduced to the term “felony disenfranchisement”, before moving into a short lecture on the origins and history of these laws in the U.S. after the Civil War and the passage of the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments. Students will use the content they learned from the lecture to complete a Think, Pair, Share activity. After this, students will complete a Big Paper Silent Debate activity, where they will look at different primary sources regarding felony disenfranchisement and its disproportionate effects on African Americans. To wrap up the lesson, students will write an Exit Ticket, answering the question, “How has felony disenfranchisement disproportionately affected minority populations in the United States, specifically African Americans?” Students will use the primary source from the Big Paper Silent Debate to back up their answers.

Instructional Strategies:

  • Collaborative Learning
  • Primary Source Analysis
  • Evidence-Based Argument Building

Lesson Materials:

Teaching Standard
ODE American Government Standard 17
Teaching Area
US History since 1877
African American History
American Government
Grade Level
Downloadable Files
Felony Disenfranchisement Lesson Plan.pdf
Felony Disenfranchisement Sources.pdf
Felony Disenfranchisement Think Pair Share .pdf
Felony Disenfranchisement Presentation.ppt