Lesson Plans

In an effort to assist K-12 teachers as well as university faculty where appropriate, we have also developed lesson plans for some of our collections available online. These lesson plans were created for grades 8-11 in the areas of United States and Virginia History and could certainly be adopted for other levels.

  • Richard Manning Bucktrout Daybook and Ledger:
    Richard Manning Bucktrout's "Daybook and Ledger" tracks the daily activities of an important Williamsburg, Virginia businessman in the 16 years before, during and after the Civil War. Starting in 1850, the Daybook offers an intriguing glimpse into the daily lives (and deaths) of Williamsburg's citizens.
  • Mary Comes to the College:
    Mary Comes to the College with William follows the first year women were admitted to the College of William and Mary, beginning with the endorsement of the proposed legislation by the College's Board of Visitors on February 12, 1918, through the end of the spring term in 1919 using a blog format.
  • Manuscript and Rare Book Grab Bag:
    This offers a sampler of treasures from Swem Library's manuscript and rare book collections. These treasures represent gifts and purchases over the last ninety years. Many of the items are classics in their own right; others are representative of larger collections. All are landmark works which reflect Swem Library's diversity and strength. Unfortunately, this website cannot convey the strength in collections of materials relating to non-elites: cabinetmakers, carpenters, slaves, servants, women. In choosing to exhibit what curators refer to as treasures, we chose single works which are highlights of our holdings. We invite researchers to visit our library and explore all of our collections.
  • William Taylor Civil War Letters:
    Letters, September 1862 through October 1864, from Captain William Taylor, a soldier in the Pennsylvania Regiment during the American Civil War. The letters were written from camps in Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky, Illinois, Tennessee, Mississippi, Indiana, and Maryland to his wife Jane McKnight Taylor. Included are his descriptions of the Battle of Fredericksburg, the shelling of Vicksburg, the fighting, retreat, and siege outside of Knoxville, the siege of Petersburg, and the Petersburg mine explosion and assault.
  • World War II Scrapbook:
    How was World War II experienced by a soldier abroad? What does a scrapbook reveal about these experiences? Students will analyze a scrapbook from World War II in order to more fully understand the period and its effects. This will include interpreting experiences from many different perspectives, including soldiers, military leaders, and other noncombatants. They will also practice using photography as a primary source in historical research.
  • Molly Elliot Seawell Papers:
    How do primary source documents inform us about events in the past? Students will practice analyzing primary sources to learn about life and the role of women during the emergence of Modern America.