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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 Matt McGrew.

Website Activities:

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.


"On This Day" DBQ Exercises Index

West Virginia's Fallen Soldiers PDF   DOC

For this exercise, elementary school students will use the West Virginia Veterans Memorial biographies section of the West Virginia Archives and History webpage to gather information on a fallen soldier and complete the worksheet. This lesson plan was provided by a teacher at Chamberlain Elementary.

Primary Source Activities:

Unit Activities

  1. "His Soul Goes Marching On": The Life and Legacy of John Brown Lesson Plans
  2. A State of Convenience: The Creation of West Virginia Learning Exercises
  3. "whatever is right and proper": School Integration in West Virginia

Political Cartoons and Images

  1. Civil War and Statehood Exercises

  2. 1960 West Virginia Democratic Primary Campaign Exercises


  1. Civil War and Statehood Exercise

Charts, Graphs, and Maps

  1. Exercises

  2. Charts, Graphs, and Maps: Images

Teacher Resources

West Virginia Archives and History