December 2011

Featured Lesson Plan: All Men and Women Are Created Equal: The National Woman Suffrage Movement

In this new lesson addition to the Nineteenth Amendment unit of the Web portal Shaping the Constitution: Resources from the Library of Virginia and the Library of Congress, students examine three satirical cartoons, two created by artists opposed to the idea of woman suffrage and one pro-woman suffrage. Students will learn about the struggles of women to gain the right to vote as they explore the components of a political cartoon and interpret individual aspects of the cartoons, including symbols and caricature. Students will then make assumptions, based on the data they have collected, about the anti-suffrage movement.
The full version of this plan is available online.

Primary Sources:
The Age of Iron, Broadside Satirizing Woman Suffrage Movement, 1869
The Age of Brass, Broadside Satirizing Woman Suffrage Movement, 1869
Broadside Satirizing Anti-Suffragists, "Making the Polls Attractive to the Anti-Suffragists," February 20, 1915

Understanding Goal:
Cultural roles for men and women are deeply ingrained in our society.

Investigative Question:
How did cultural roles for women hinder the woman suffrage movement?

Background Information:
Political cartoons offer insights into both the public and political moods of a time period. The deceptively simple cartoon format can be a challenge to interpret. The viewer has to be aware of common symbols used throughout American history as well as obscure references specific to the time in which the cartoons are created. In this lesson, students will not only practice their interpretive skills, but will also gain greater insight into the popular nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century arguments against votes for women.

Standards Addressed:
Virginia Standards of Learning: USI.8 (d) USII.4 (e) CE.1 (d-f, h), VUS.1 (h), VUS.6 (e), VUS.8 (d), GOVT.6 (f) 
National History Standards: Era 4-4C (Grades 5-12) and Era 7-1B (Grades 5-12)

Length of Activity:
One class, or 45-50 minutes of a block class

Materials Needed:
(Copies for all, the cartoons could also be projected: see the digital slideshow available for download with the plan)

* Handouts are available with the full version of this plan.

Teacher Actions

The teacher will want to read the background information on the primary sources at the Library of Virginia's Shaping the Constitution Web site.


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Looking for fun and interesting primary sources for the classroom? Check out the Library's blogs!

Multiple Exposure: Catablog of the Prints and Photographs Collection @ the Library of Virginia

With more than 500,000 items, the Prints and Photographs Collection at the Library of Virginia provides an astonishing visual account of the commonwealth-from its beginnings to the present-through single items, such as one-of-a-kind daguerreotypes, to sprawling collections with many thousands of photos and related documentation, and everything in between: nineteenth- and twentieth-century family albums, posters, scrapbooks, mixed ephemera, bookplates, postcards, lithographs, etchings, engravings, drawings, all manner of photographic prints, film and glass-plate negatives, 35mm slides, and images digitally inscribed onto compact discs.

Multiple Exposure is an attempt to bring greater visibility to our prints and photographs holdings, by necessity protected from the literal light of day and, therefore, mistakenly considered inaccessible or sacrosanct by even the most experienced researchers.


Out of the Box: Notes from the Archives @ the Library of Virginia

What do archivists do? What does it take to care for and make available the commonwealth's documentary heritage? Join the Library's archivists for a weekly discussion about their work and their journeys through the records, as they find interesting and unique items to share on their blog, Out of the Box.

Every box of records that arrives at the Library of Virginia is full of possibilities. We never know what we are going to find in even the most seemingly mundane record series. A joy of our work is sharing with colleagues and friends the images, documents, and stories that pique our interest as we process the collection. The Library's archivists want to share these discoveries with those outside our professional circle.

The Library of Virginia wears many hats in its service to the state. As the state archive, it houses official records of the commonwealth, its counties, and independent cities along with a significant collection of private papers. The Library's archivists work not only to preserve the state's documentary heritage but are also dedicated to providing access to its unmatched collection of more than 109 million diverse items ranging from official government documents to family letters, from royal land grants on parchment to former Gov. Tim Kaine's administration Web sites.

A blog is the perfect format for us to share our finds and illuminate the practical side of the archival profession as practiced here. It is a natural outgrowth of the Library's use of technology to expand access to the collection outside the reading rooms. Visit often. Make comments. Share your stories.

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Professional Development Opportunities

Are you interested in learning more about the Library of Virginia's Educational Offerings?

We are now offering professional development workshops including session time in our computer lab, allowing all participants hands-on experience navigating our Web sites. Engage in a scavenger hunt through our Web pages to get a feel for all we offer. Workshops can be tailored to your needs, depending on the number of participants, the subject matter you are interested in, the length of time you have to spend with us, and the grade level you teach. We can also offer recertification hours. Contact us now to schedule your workshop!
Sample workshops include:

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Don't miss our upcoming exhibition!

December 5, 2011-February 4, 2012

American Letterpress: The Art of Hatch Show Print

The Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service in partnership with the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum celebrates this time-honored graphic art tradition. American Letterpress: The Art of Hatch Show Print opened at the Experience Music Project in Seattle on Oct. 11, 2008, and has traveled to additional museums over the last few years. Now the exhibition comes to the Library of Virginia's Exhibition Gallery.

Special Event

Family Day: Create Your 2012 Calendar
Saturday, January 7, 2012
Time: 9:30-11:30 AM

Create your own 2012 calendar using a "family-friendly" letterpress method, then check out the American Letterpress: The Art of Hatch Show Print exhibition while the paint dries. Recommended for children ages four and up.


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This Day in the Classroom

December 7, 1941

Martha Ann Harris Strong Recorded the Attack on Pearl Harbor

Martha Strong of Hanover County kept a daily diary from 1922 until her death in 1995. Among her notations of weather, social occasions, and the day-to-day work that she and her husband William Atwell Strong performed, she also kept up with national and world events. This entry is an unemotional mention of the attack on Pearl Harbor. She simply wrote that she "came home. Japan attacked the Hawaiian Islands. We heard the message over Radio." The bombardment of the Hawaiian port by Japanese aircraft precipitated the United States entry into World War II. Strong's diary entry is an excellent way to begin a discussion about the United States entry into World War II and civilians on the home front. For more information on these topics and activities for the classroom, see the Lesson Plan: World War II Home Front: Can all you can.

(USII.7, VUS. 11, VUS.12)

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