The philosophy of Archives and History is to provide teachers and students with primary source documents and the tools to use them to further their teaching and study of West Virginia and United States history. In any endeavor of this type it is difficult to create lessons where “one size fits all.” From the start we have tried to devise lessons that can be easily adapted, minimized, expanded and/or changed to fit the individual needs of teachers and their students. We have provided all of the following lessons in pdf and Word formats and would strongly encourage their use in any form that you deem appropriate. We would also encourage you to use other resources and information found on our website.
If you have questions, comments, lessons of your own that you would like to share, or subject area for which you would like lesson plans, please contact director Joe Geiger.
On this Day in West Virginia PDF DOC
For this exercise, students will use the On This Day in West Virginia History section of the West Virginia Archives and History webpage to identify an event, or events that occurred on their birthdays. After answering the basic questions of who, what, where and why, students will create a newspaper article using the template included with the lesson.
Primary Source Activities:
A lesson that utilizes a press conference by West Virginia Governor William Marland on May 18, 1954, the day following announcement of the Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision.
An exercise that asks students to answer questions from a map of West Virginia that explains the progress of school integration in West Virginia.
A reading exercise based on a history of integration in West Virginia from Mountaineer Education: A Story of Education in West Virginia, 1885-1957 by W. W. Trent, who was the state superintendent of West Virginia schools during the integration of the state's schools.
This reading and video exercise has students read newspaper accounts of violent protest at Matoaka High School during integration and answer questions about what they read and watched in the video excerpt.
Political Cartoons and Images
Charts, Graphs, and Maps