Using the Primary Sources Associated with the Strong Men & Women in Virginia History Program

The Library of Virginia hopes that the 2013 Strong Men & Women in Virginia History program can be a part of your classroom curriculum. Each honoree’s page features a concise biography along with an image. These tools can help your students sharpen their analytical skills as they learn about and interpret the lives and contributions of each honoree.

Guiding Questions

On each Individual biography page you will find a selection of questions drawn from the individual's background. Use these guiding questions to stimulate discussions and activities in the classroom.

Included here are two short activities for students

1) One is an editing or proofreading exercise for older elementary level students. It will test their ability to spot grammar and spelling mistakes and also their listening skills. There is a paragraph included on each of our featured Strong Men and Women. Read aloud the first paragraph from the key, then distribute the paragraph with mistakes in it and have the students correct them. Each paragraph has 9 mistakes.

Proofreading Exercise

Virginia Standards of Learning: VS.8(b), VS.9(c),
                                                     English 4.2 (b), 4.8 (a-h), 5.8 (b,f,h,i)
National History Standards: Era 9-4a Grades 5-7

2) The other is a creative writing exercise for upper level middle school students. It will allow them to generate interview questions and to conduct interviews of their classmates based on the lives of the Strong Men and Women. You may have them read the paragraphs included in this packet for the elementary school editing exercise to give them background on the lives of the Strong Men and Women.

Virginia Standards of Learning: VS.8(b), VS.9(c)
                                                     English 8.1(a-d)
National History Standards: Era 9-4a Grades 7-12


Prompt for Middle School Interviews
Choose one of the Strong Men or Women that you would like to learn more about. Now imagine that you are going to interview this person for the local newspaper. What sort of questions would you ask this person? Look especially at their background and achievements and decide what the most relevant questions to you and your community are. Think about what people in your community want or need to know about this person. When you have written down your questions imagine that you are the person. How would you answer the interview questions?

As an additional activity, you and a partner can team up and take turns being the Strong Man or Woman and answer each other’s interview questions.

Create a display using the 2013 Strong Men & Women in Virginia History bulletin board

Are you looking for an easy Black History Month display for your classroom or library? This PDF package has everything you need to create an attractive and informative display featuring the eight 2013 honorees with images and captions. Just click to download, print, and post the pages on a bulletin board in your class, library, or office.

Download this year's bulletin or request a copy for your classroom

Don't Forget Next Year!

We want to partner with your class and let your students nominate an outstanding African American man or woman from Virginia for the 2014 Strong Men & Women in Virginia History program or Virginia Women in History program. We are offering an award to a school and teacher that submit a successful nomination for the 2014 programs. If your nominee is chosen, the nominating teacher will be eligible to win $250 toward school supplies, along with a complimentary three-volume set of the Dictionary of Virginia Biography (a $120 value) and other Library of Virginia publications for the school library. The teacher will also be recognized at the 2014 Strong Men & Women or Virginia Women in History receptions. Honoree Nomination.