Desegregation and Massive Resistance in Virginia

Lesson 1: Segregation

Time Estimated: 1 days



Students will:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of the reconstruction of Virginia following the Civil War by identifying the effects of segregation and “Jim Crow” on life in Virginia.
  2. Define the term “segregation.”







  1. Hook: Display overhead images of “Jim Crow” signs from

    Remind students that these photos are primary sources, actual pictures that were taken at the time that these Jim Crow laws were enforced. Lead a discussion with students posing the following questions adapted from
    • Who do you see in these pictures?
    • What are the people doing?
    • What items/ objects do you see?
    • What do the signs say?
    • How do these signs make you feel?
    • Where else do you think signs like these were posted?
    • Who do you think posted these signs?
    • Why were these signs posted?
    • Are signs like these still allowed in public places today?
    • How do these photos (primary sources) help us to understand this period in history?
  2. Show students an image of the character “Jim Crow” from (there are several to choose from).
  3. As you show the image, use the information from - go to “The Name Jim Crow,” “Who was Jim Crow?” to explain to students the origin and meaning behind Jim Crow.
  4. Show students a card with the term “segregation,” and elicit from students the meaning of segregation to be “the separation of people usually based on race.”
  5. Students should copy the term in their notebooks.
  6. Homework: Students will each get a copy of an image of two water fountains, one labeled “white” and other labeled “colored.” Students should compare and contrast the water fountains. Use the image found on pg. 52 of Remember: The Journey to School Integration by Toni Morrison. You can also use an image found at which features segregated water fountains.
  7. Rubric for homework assignment (this is to be used as a checklist):
    Did the student notice inequality in the water fountains?
    • Did the student notice that the “white” water fountain was newer, cleaner and colder?
    • Did the student notice that the “colored” water fountain was smaller, dirty and did not have a cooler?
    • Did the student notice that the “colored” water fountain was substandard?




This lesson’s homework can be differentiated so that students are provided a list of questions to direct their comparison and contrast of the segregated water fountains.