Desegregation and Massive Resistance in Virginia

Lesson 4: Culminating Assessment

Time Estimated: 1-2 days



Students will:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of the following: separate but equal, Massive Resistance, integration, segregation, Brown v. Board of Education. Harry F. Byrd.
  2. Create a poster that will explain events in Virginia before and after the Brown decision.




  • Poster board, makers, crayons, colored pencils
  • Students will have access to all the materials previously used in the unit.
  • Statement by Senator Harry F. Byrd written on May 17, 1954. Use the “Making Sense of Documents” note taking worksheet.
  • Picture of a closed school in Prince Edward County, Virginia.
  • Selected pictures of reactions to school integration from Remember: The Journey to School Integration by Toni Morrison.
  • The Story of Ruby Bridges by Robert Coles.
  • A Picture Book of Rosa Parks by David A. Adler
  • A textbook selection which discusses the progression from Brown v. Board of Education’s decision for integration to Massive Resistance and eventual integration of all Virginia’s schools. This unit uses Virginia by Dr. Candy Dawson Boyd et al., published by Scott Foresman, 2003 (pp. 336-337).
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    1. Hook: Begin class with a quick true/false game. Ask true and false questions about life in Virginia during segregation and after integration. Make sure to include the key terms and ideas of the unit.
      Sample Statements:
      1. After WWII African Americans demanded equal treatment and the recognition of their rights as American citizens. (True)
      2. In Brown v. Board of Education of 1954 the Supreme Court ruled that “separate but equal” public schools were legal. (False)
      3. Some public schools in Virginia closed to avoid integration of black and white children in the same schools. (True)
      4. Massive Resistance was a policy led by Harry F. Byrd to prevent the integration of public schools. (True)
      5. As a reaction to segregation, many African Americans opened their own churches, businesses, theaters and restaurants. (True)
    2. Discuss with students their paragraphs on the successful strategies used to achieve the integration of Virginia schools. Note that these strategies provided a model for the civil rights struggles in the 1960s and today.
    3. Introduce the assessment project and the expectations to the students. Students will choose to either work alone or in groups of two. Each person, or group, will receive a piece of poster board. Their job is to use the following list of key terms and ideas to show the change in life for African Americans during segregation and after integration.
      Key Terms and Ideas that MUST be included:
      • segregation, separate but equal, desegregation, integration, Brown v. Board of Education, Massive Resistance, Harry F. Byrd Sr., any other words or terms learned as a class during the unit
      Ways to Organize Poster Information: (Choose One)
      • “T” Chart with headings “during segregation” and “after integration”
      • Concept map with main idea bubbles for “during segregation” and “after integration”
      • Venn Diagram with “during segregation,” “both,” and “after integration”
      • Cause and effect chart showing the relationship between events “during segregation” and “after integration”
      Options for Expressing Key Terms and Ideas: (Choose One)
      • phrases (note taking)
      • complete sentences
      • colored pictures for each term or idea with captions
    4. Allow students time to complete their posters. Make sure all the materials used previously in the unit are available for them as resources. Hand out rubrics (see below) for the children to refer to while they are working.
    5. When students are finished with their posters, put them up around the room. Groups of students can take turns walking around and looking at the different posters. Compare and contrast how students chose to demonstrate their knowledge. (This step may need to be done on a different day depending on how quickly or slowly students work.)
    6. Poster Rubric
      • Format, Neatness 4 3 2 1
        Name, date, and title are included
        Writing is neat and within the margins of the paper or chart
        Illustrations are carefully drawn or colored
        Care and attention were given to the project
      • Organization 4 3 2 1
        Focuses on central topic
        Organization method is easily understood
        Terms and ideas are placed in the correct locations
      • Composing 4 3 2 1
        Writing is clear and understandable
        Reader clearly understands the terms and ideas
        Includes a variety of phrases and descriptive words
      • Spelling, Usage, and Mechanics 4 3 2 1
        Key terms and ideas are spelled correctly
        Words are used in correct form
        Punctuation is used correctly
        Common words are spelled correctly




    Students are able to choose to work alone or in small groups. They can choose from a variety of options to demonstrate their knowledge of the unit’s terms and ideas.