Correlating Standards of Learning (pdf)
Myth and Memory encourages us to think about how we view history. As you
look through the online exhibition you will find many references to
important events and people from Virginia’s past, as well as different
perspectives on these topics. With a broad range of subjects, the resources
from this exhibition can be used throughout the school year to explore
- Compare and Contrast: 400 years ago settlers landed at Jamestown,
establishing the first permanent English colony in what would become the
United States of America. As we commemorate that anniversary, have your
students compare and contrast how the first settlers would have felt with
how Native Americans might have looked at the same events. Then think about
what Jamestown means to different groups today.
- Oral History: Look at the “Teaching” and “Reading” sections of the online
exhibition and see how what we learn about our past has changed over time.
Encourage students to talk with their parents, grandparents, or older
community members about what they learned in school. Have the students
record their conversations as an oral history project and share what they
learn with the class.
- Learning from Legend: Virginia’s history is rich with legends about our
most famous historic figures.
- The legend of Pocahontas saving John Smith’s life presents an interesting
tale to study. The only account of the event was written by Smith himself
many years after he had left Jamestown. Did she really save his life? Was it
a ritual signifying Powhatan’s adoption of Smith? Or is it just a good
story? You decide!
- Tell students Parson Weems’ story about George Washington cutting down the
cherry tree. Talk about honesty as a mark of strong character and how this
story, although it is a legend, helps us to understand how people think
about George Washington.
- Written on the Landscape: Let curiosity guide your students to learn about
their local community.
- Is there a story behind the name of your school, street, or town?
- How many historical markers can your students find in your town?
- What is your county named for and when was it formed?
There is history all around us!
- Making Memories: Create a class mascot and encourage students to bring it
along when traveling with family to historic sites. Create a classroom
collage of all the places your mascot goes.
- Come One, Come All: Think about important events you learn about during
the school year and vote to hold a commemoration for one. Have your students
design programs, write speeches, learn songs, and create souvenirs. Try to
get other classes to join in and have a school fair.
- Tomorrow’s History: The online exhibition opens with a quotation from
William Faulkner, “The past isn’t dead. It isn’t even past.” Do your
students agree or disagree? Have them write about their viewpoint or stage a
classroom debate. Ask about the effects of Virginia’s past on their lives.
Talk about current events and how the students believe the present will
shape the future.
This Web site will continue to develop throughout 2007. Please check back
often for more educational resources and ideas.
Please visit the Library of Virginia to see the Myth and Memory exhibition,
which will be on display until December 15, 2007.