20th-Century Virginia Wrapup
Students will read biographies of African American from Virginia in the 20th century and create fictional(historical fiction) diaries of a student from this time period.
I am fortunate to have an aide in out school whose father drove the segregated bus in our county. She is a great primary source to use.
I would try to use local history publications showing the change in our area and connect to relatives many students have in northern Virginia due to jobs.
Despite the Civil War and freeing of the slaves the was not equality of the races.
I teach that our coalminers were treated as slaves, or worse, by many coal operators in the early 1900's as they had no value and could be replaced easily.
1. Famous Virginians of the 20th century - students create human cutouts of famous Virginias. Students research SOL facts and fun/interesting biographical facts about each person. Students then share out what they learned, discovered, or review with class.
2. Look at pictures from the 20th century and examine if the picture is showing discrimination or segregation. This will allow students to recognize how both discrimination and segregation were present in everyday lives of many African Americans during the 20th Century.
3. Review school policies in place during segregation, desegregation, and Massive Resistance. Have students compare the schools from the the 20th century to schools and policies today.
The discussion needs to be not just about how far we've come but also about how far we have to go.
Ongoing inequalities in the prison systems, policing, school funding across districts, job opportunities, and in many other areas obviously persist: hence the surge in protests across the country now.
The conversations can get dicey, and are a challenge to manage and keep civil, but must take place in our schools if we're to keep these subjects relevant to our students' actual experiences.
I would also focus on the case in in Prince Edward County in regards to Brown Vs Board of Education. Something that I have failed to implement.
Then having students write their feelings on where we are on this timeline and where should we go. I would also have my students do a reporter/interviewer as a way of communicating the facts in their terms. Maggie Walker, among many could be an interviewee.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.