20th-Century Virginia
20th-Century Virginia Wrapup
/ Task

Changes
High
I like to use the Disney Movie, Remember the Titans, to serve as a representation of the turmoil and times of Civil Rights. I think that the information, and the fact that this information, is viable serves as a great application for the classroom. Virginia not ratifying the 19th Amendment until 1952, the shutting down of school systems in resistance, or "White Flight" i think that kids today would be shocked to see such blatant profiling and targeting.
Segregation Photos
Elementary
I would have students observe differences between photos that contain images of segregated places. I use images of restaurants, restrooms, water fountains, and schools.
Excellent Course
Elementary
Working through this course made me realize how important it is to use primary sources and to incorporate the historical thinking strategies that were discussed in the first module. This has been an excellent professional development course, and I hope that GMU will create more courses like this in the future.
13th, 14th, 15th Amendments —- What do they mean for Va. in the 20th century?
Middle
Virginia continued to resist racial changes through most of the 20th century. School segregation, restaurant and transportation seating areas, and even water fountain and restroom usage did not reflect the laws of our country.
Comparing Schools
Elementary
I wish I could take my students on a field trip to the Robert R. Morton museam in farmville VA. IT has lots of great resources and its just neat to actually see where something has taken place. Then have them research and compare what different schools were like during the time of massive resistance. Split them up into different groups and each group research a different Virginia School and we will compare and contrast with each's groups school and of course the Robert R. Morton High school
Modern VA
High
I think that there are current racial tensions in Virginia that will give the students a different perspective on looking back. I would hope that students could recognize that racial tensions have been changing and impacting Virginia for years. Educating them on this history could become a touchy topic however it is important for them to see a big picture and learn from the history.
What's Your School Like?
Elementary
I would like to have my students compare various schools during the "separate but equal" time. I would put them in groups and assign them schools from various areas of Virginia. I would provide them with various resources to look through such as the book "The Girl from the Tar Paper School". They would discuss their findings, and complete a compare/contrast chart on the schools. We would also compare and contrast the difference in segregated rural schools to urban schools in Virginia.
Segregation vs. Desegregation
Elementary
Why was this such a controversial issue for parents, kids, and lawmakers? What were the feelings of students that were desegregated? What changed for them when they suddenly had a white or black student in their classroom? These are questions that my students will love to look into to personalize the era for them.
School Segregation
High
In a short lesson, I would have students think about school segregation. There is some very powerful digital media of the Civil Rights Era that students can explore. I might start with a warm up by having students consider their own learning environment. They can make a list of the things they need in school in order to learn. Then we'd move into a discussion of Plessy v. Ferguson (separate but equal) and school segregation in VA. Then, using the SCIM-C model, I would have students analyze pictures comparing the Worsham/Farmville High Schools to Moton High School (the National Archives has some great pictures comparing them). Students could then read about and discuss the Davis v. Prince Edward County case and watch an interview from a Prince Edward student who was an 8th grader at the time of the strike. As a class, students can circle back to the warm up question/list and compare it to what they saw in the pictures of African American schools with a focus on equality.
Segregation - An Ugly Time in Virginia
Elementary
**This is a delicate discussion topic for elementary students. Teacher will be mindful of students showing stressors.
Teacher will read the book: White Socks Only. Students will discuss why some people don't like other people because they are different from them. Teacher will ask questions that continue a gentle conversation of what makes a person different. Is it just color? Is there a way to change the mind's of people like this? Using your mindful thinking, what can we say or do for a person who isn't nice to people who may look or act differently from us? This lesson is a guided class discussion. After the discussion, the class will draw people in every color in our crayon box and hang them in the hallway.
Woodrow Wilson Middle School Roanoke City
Middle
I would first share my story of living through segregation and being moved through many schools. I would tell how this event impacted and changed my life.

I would like students to do some oral history interviews of people who lived through Civil Rights and segregation and write an essay of how schools were different and how it impacted their lives.
20th-Century Virginia
Adult Education
When we think about the fight for racial equality in the South, we often don't consider the state of Virginia. We, often, think about Alabama and Mississippi having powerful Civil Rights stories. However, Virginia's story needs to be noted and told. "The story of Virginia throughout much of the 20th century - a state rising to meet the challenges of a modern America while resisting social, gender, and (especially) racial change. In doing so, Virginia's story reflects the two most significant themes in United States history over the last 100 years - the modernization of society, and this nation's often painful struggle to become a multi-racial, multicultural democracy." Virginia's access to equal education was very slow. In 20th-century Virginia, Jim Crow was front and center. Virginia had separate schools for white and blacks . . . but they were not equal. After Brown vs. Board of Education, Virginia proceeded extremely slow when integration was involved. In 1959, Prince Edward County closed the school district rather than integrate, denying non-white students access to public education for five years. It wasn't until 1968, that Virginia began to push for integration. School districts increased the number of non-whites in all white schools from 32%-79% in one school year.
In the classroom, I would examine the history of education equality in Prince Edward County. A timeline would prove useful to show Supreme Court decisions versus the time frame that integration really took place in Virginia. I would, also, have students research the life and work of Maggie Walker. She fought for equality of blacks and women alike.
Civil Rights Movement
Middle
I would assign students to research the Civil Rights Movement, by focusing on researching the various methods of protests that were carried out during this time. From Sit Ins to marches to demonstrations, students would learn how the Civil Right Movement was actually carried both here in Virginia and nationwide. Following their research, students would present their finding in a powerpoint presentation to the class.
4th Grade Teacher and the 20th Century
Elementary
I found the connection of the school bus to the students of today to be very beneficial. A school bus is something so ordinary to our students that they might not see it as anything other than a simple mode of transportation. We take many things for granted because we are used to having them, but these buses meant so much more to the African American children of this time. By looking at it during a different time period, with a different set of children than they are used to seeing, will provide insight and a new perspective of what buses could mean to them. They meant opportunity, triumph and even provided a way on the road to equality (literally and figuratively!). I think an image like this would serve as a great starting point for many discussions about history, empathy, differences and the impact of the changes in the 20th century. What a cool yet simple way to connect history to current times!
Virginia Then and Now
Elementary
I would show the various images as a hook for our unit on 20th Century VA. Students will create an "I notice/I wonder" chart for each image. After we discuss their thoughts, I will post the question "How do these images impact Virginia in the past and now?" Students will have time to share out in small groups and debate/discuss with their peers.
Virginia's Dark History
Elementary
Talking freely and openly about Virginia's dark past is important for students to do when discussing Virginia history. Depending on the ages of the children, will determine how much detail to go in to. I think having an open discussion about this topic is important. Obviously you would need to have rules in place and discussion topics, but I feel that a lot of the time, our students don't really have a voice and now they are impressionable. They witness things on TV or the internet that I'm sure they question and might not have the knowledge at home to discuss with parents. Unfortunately, students may be seeing students/people in today's world being treated like those in the past. As a class, you could compare and contrast such things and use it as a teaching tool.
The Long Journey begins with One Step
Elementary
Virginia has always been identified as a southern state and in many respects acted out as such. Students need to be aware of the way thigs were considered to be normal and correct, were not always that way. Most students learn about Famous African Americans during February, but this should not be the case. There are many famous African Americans who overcame the way things were and they should be revered and taught throughout the year. Maggie Walker, Doug Wilder, Arthur Ashe and Oliver Hill are just a few and present and opportunity to discuss their journeys and successes all year long.
Second Grade
Elementary
The changes in Virginia can be explained to second graders in easy to understand concepts. Since students learned about slavery and how it worked, they can transfer that understanding to the segregation laws that existed in Virginia in the past. How African Americans, even though slavery no longer exists, still had to fight a "civil war" in the 20th century. The idea that if people did not fight for civil rights, that today our class would look different. Our friends would be different.
Farmville Fliphunt
can be used for Upper Elementary through High School
I would create a Fliphunt for the students to learn and respond to the scars that the citizens of Prince Edward County received as a result of closing the schools down. Students would visit different sites and respond using videos sharing their answers to the questions that I posed.
7th grade 20th century VA
Middle
One thing that I do not spend a lot of time on, mainly because I don't have a lot of time, is how parts of Virginia fought hard against Brown v. Board of Education. I will show students this picture and the protest sign in the schools of Prince Edward County and we will talk about what they did instead of desegregating public schools. We will then discuss the response of the federal government in trying to force school districts into desegregation.
How is it fair?
Middle
Use the stories, Back of the Bus and Welcome Home written by Lin's mom - one written for a class assignment when she was a little girl during the Great Depression, and one written as a young college student at the close of World War II - to show students that many people did not like or even understood the purpose of segregation but still obeyed the law. Have the class discuss laws that are unjust or unfair (maybe talk about curfews or riding bikes and roller blades at school.)

Part Two: Then bring in Lin's write-up on Rosa Parks & the Montgomery Bus Boycott to show how people can act to get unfair laws changed.

Discuss what are they passionate about and would like to see changed.
20th Century Virginia
Middle
The idea of the contrast of Virginia seeking to keep up with a modern America and world while resisting the social change is one that allows students to try and see varying viewpoints and how they shaped the state both positively and negatively.
It is interesting the variety of industry that Virginia has attracted including factories, coal and computer chips. I was surprised that agriculture is still the largest economic industry accounting for 55 billion. It would be interesting for students to see how Virginia started prospering with agriculture and how that is still such a moneymaker.
The road to desegregation
Middle
I teach US History, and Civil Rights (including Jim Crow and segregation) is covered. While I was aware that certain school districts chose to close rather than integrate, I was not aware of the Massive Resistance movement led by Harry Byrd or the 1968 Green v. School Board USSC case that essentially forced schools to integrate in Virginia. I still have questions about how schools operated in certain districts when schools were closed. For example, the photo in this module of a PE county school bus in operation for a black school confused me, as does the fact that Jackson P Burley HS (now the school at which I teach) was in operation as Charlottesville's all-African American HS in the 1950s-1960s. How were these schools funded? Did they operate outside of the board of education policies? I find it interesting that, when given the choice between public education and maintaining segregation, Virginia schools eventually chose to desegregate. What is astonishing is how long the process of school integration took, and how acceptance of a law did not change attitudes and, in fact, incited more resistance and sometimes violence in order to maintain the status quo. I also found the fact of Virginia not ratifying the 19th amendment for 32 years after it passed to be surprising. How were women able to vote without Virginia ratification? Does this mean women did not vote in state or local elections, only national?
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20th-Century Connections
Elementary
The 20th-century content is such an ample opportunity to allow students (in my case, fourth graders) the opportunity to engage in a topic that is both modern and applicable to life today.
If anything, I find it disheartening to teach about the changes that were made in the 20th-century to equalize the racial injustices and yet our society is still struggling with many of the same themes today. This topic, especially this year, has excited many of my students to become opinionated about history. I have never had students so feverous about this topic. I think that there are enough events, movies, media that depict similar issues today that they feel a personal connection to this era.
In order to apply this to my classroom, I would like to think of a way to roleplay the Davis v. Prince Edward County case and the sequential events leading up to the event. I think that a PBL could help describe the process that it took from Barbara John's strike to Brown v. Board of Education in order to enact desegregation. I think that it is important to impress the patience and diligence that it took to create this kind of change in society.
20th Century Virginia
Elementary
I think that one of the most powerful ways for the students to understand 20th century Virginia is through photographs, newspaper articles, and primary sources. This is a time when photography was commonplace so having the students make inferences using them would be beneficial. Also, finding speeches/ TV spots of the people actually involved can help students make connections. I teach in Norfolk, so focusing on the Norfolk 17 would really hit home for my students.
20th Century Virginia
Elementary
I think that one of the most powerful ways for the students to understand 20th century Virginia is through photographs, newspaper articles, and primary sources. This is a time when photography was commonplace so having the students make inferences using them would be beneficial. Also, finding speeches/ TV spots of the people actually involved can help students make connections. I teach in Norfolk, so focusing on the Norfolk 17 would really hit home for my students.
World Connections
Middle
As an 8th Grade World Connections instructor, I don't teach the same curriculum as Virginia Studies teachers. However, we do touch upon some common topics and themes as part of our World Geography & History curriculum. We discuss European colonialism, African slavery, agriculture, industrialization, and several other topics/themes, particularly during the U.S./Canada Unit. In a class called "World Connections," I try to help students connect the life that they know in rural Pittsylvania County and nearby City of Danville to the "bigger picture" of their state (to some degree), their region (the South or Mid-Atlantic states), their country, and their world. Our school was built in an old tobacco field, and many students can relate to that agricultural product, since it is still grown, sold, and consumed in our area. Interestingly enough, a neighboring tobacco field has recently been converted into a solar panel "farm" for electricity generation for "the grid." So, students are witnessing the past, present, and future -- the evolution from an agricultural economy to a high tech industry -- literally "in our backyard." Moreover, the City of Danville had the Dan River Textile Plant at the heart of its economy and downtown district for over a century (1882 - 2004). Many of my students had parents and granparents who had worked there in the city, again connecting them to industrialization and modernization of Virginia during the 20th Century, but then the painful transition to a global economy. I very much liked the postcard of the shoe company. It makes me want to see if I can find a similar image to use for the Dan River Textile Plant. I like utilizing old photographs, drawings, and artifacts to help students connect to whatever topic we are discussing.
World Connections
Middle
As an 8th Grade World Connections instructor, I don't teach the same curriculum as Virginia Studies teachers. However, we do touch upon some common topics and themes as part of our World Geography & History curriculum. We discuss European colonialism, African slavery, agriculture, industrialization, and several other topics/themes, particularly during the U.S./Canada Unit. In a class called "World Connections," I try to help students connect the life that they know in rural Pittsylvania County and nearby City of Danville to the "bigger picture" of their state (to some degree), their region (the South or Mid-Atlantic states), their country, and their world. Our school was built in an old tobacco field, and many students can relate to that agricultural product, since it is still grown, sold, and consumed in our area. Interestingly enough, a neighboring tobacco field has recently been converted into a solar panel "farm" for electricity generation for "the grid." So, students are witnessing the past, present, and future -- the evolution from an agricultural economy to a high tech industry -- literally "in our backyard." Moreover, the City of Danville had the Dan River Textile Plant at the heart of its economy and downtown district for over a century (1882 - 2004). Many of my students had parents and granparents who had worked there in the city, again connecting them to industrialization and modernization of Virginia during the 20th Century, but then the painful transition to a global economy. I very much liked the postcard of the shoe company. It makes me want to see if I can find a similar image to use for the Dan River Textile Plant. I like utilizing old photographs, drawings, and artifacts to help students connect to whatever topic we are discussing.
World Connections
Middle
As an 8th Grade World Connections instructor, I don't teach the same curriculum as Virginia Studies teachers. However, we do touch upon some common topics and themes as part of our World Geography & History curriculum. We discuss European colonialism, African slavery, agriculture, industrialization, and several other topics/themes, particularly during the U.S./Canada Unit. In a class called "World Connections," I try to help students connect the life that they know in rural Pittsylvania County and nearby City of Danville to the "bigger picture" of their state (to some degree), their region (the South or Mid-Atlantic states), their country, and their world. Our school was built in an old tobacco field, and many students can relate to that agricultural product, since it is still grown, sold, and consumed in our area. Interestingly enough, a neighboring tobacco field has recently been converted into a solar panel "farm" for electricity generation for "the grid." So, students are witnessing the past, present, and future -- the evolution from an agricultural economy to a high tech industry -- literally "in our backyard." Moreover, the City of Danville had the Dan River Textile Plant at the heart of its economy and downtown district for over a century (1882 - 2004). Many of my students had parents and granparents who had worked there in the city, again connecting them to industrialization and modernization of Virginia during the 20th Century, but then the painful transition to a global economy. I very much liked the postcard of the shoe company. It makes me want to see if I can find a similar image to use for the Dan River Textile Plant. I like utilizing old photographs, drawings, and artifacts to help students connect to whatever topic we are discussing.
World Connections
Middle
As an 8th Grade World Connections instructor, I don't teach the same curriculum as Virginia Studies teachers. However, we do touch upon some common topics and themes as part of our World Geography & History curriculum. We discuss European colonialism, African slavery, agriculture, industrialization, and several other topics/themes, particularly during the U.S./Canada Unit.
Desegregation in Lynchburg
Elementary
It would be interesting to explore the logistics of how desegregation in their city came to be. When examining a current school districting map, where one goes to elementary school make little to no sense geographically and economically often. Is this due to decisions that were made over 50 years ago? Or has time and change redrawn the districting lines?
20th Century
Middle
Many of the issues of 20th century Virginia are still the issues of the 21st century in Virginia. Students can study these issues and make connections to their world today. Students could use technology to recreate photos and images from the 20th century substituting disenfranchised groups or events. For example the stories of people refusing to integrate schools of the 1950s have parallels to our Southern border immigration battles of today. And the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville has parallels to the lynchings of the early 1900s.
20th Century VA
Middle
The 20th century in Virginia has been a time of change. Once we have studied the time periods through thematic units, students could create a timeline of events in the 1900s. Virginia was impacted from the effects of Reconstruction in the early 1900's, the suffragist movements, involvement in the World Wars, the Civil Rights court case decisions impacting education in our state, and the growth and changes in a growing agricultural and industrial state. Choosing and reflecting on one of these units, students could create a newspaper front page to reflect the big news story of the day. Using a news broadcast format would be a fun way to incorporate technology in our class as well.
20 th Century Virginia
Middle
I have a Scholastic Scope article on Barbara Johns and her fight to get adequate and equal facilities for the students of Robert R. Moton High School. It also mentions how Oliver Hill came to the students defense and represented them to have better facilities. I want the students to understand that they to have a voice and should be heard.
How constitutional decisions affect students
Middle
The desegregation era in Virginia gives a good opportunity to show students that weighty constitutional issues can directly affect their lives as students. By showing the cause (the court decision) and the effect (students bused to desegregated schools), they can see how court decisions are not just arguments on paper. I would like my students to understand that this era was not long ago and that there are still many sensitivities on both sides of the controversies around desegregation and busing. With middle school students, I find it challenging to tackle sensitive racial issues like this, but I would like to at least bring up the racial conflicts in 20th century Virginia so they can consider where they might see reflections today.
Applying information about 20th Century Virginia
Elementary
Virginia in the 20th century can be studied by comparing and contrasting the changes and development in economics, agriculture, politics and education. I would use a timeline to show changes and to mark major milestones in our Commonwealth's history such as schools being closed, integration and the first black governor of Virginia.
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Comments

Tatana- I love this idea of incorporating technology with teaching the unit on 20th century VA. Super creative and the students will surely be engaged. Great idea!

I like the lesson above in which the class studies the connection between court decisions and their lives. That really would get kids thinking about how laws and courts play an important part in their lives and are not just a separate part of our society.

Interesting thought! I would also like to have my students check out what it was like in their town during this era. Do they have grandparents that can talk about this and maybe learn first-hand what was it like back then.

Instructions

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Edward H. Peeples Prince Edward County (Va.) Public Schools
This site from Virginia Commonwealth University features resources related to Prince Edward County Schools, efforts to desegregate the schools after Brown vs. the Board of Education, and the massive resistance response by the district.

School Desegregation in Norfolk, Virginia
This site from Old Dominion University profiles the "Norfolk 17", African American student activists who worked to desegregate Norfolk public schools. The site features teacher resources with connections to Standards of Learning.

Massive Resistance through Political Cartoons
In this video, teacher Stacy Hoeflich and her fourth grade students analyze two political cartoons related to Virginia's massive resistance response to desegregation.