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

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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Final activity
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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.