Conference: Teaching with Historic Places - 2010

A workshop for K-12 educators
and historical organizations

June 19th, 9:00 am to 4 pm


2010 Theme: Virginian Indians



Information on the 2010 Workshop

The Tusculum Institute, a center for historic preservation located at Sweet Briar College, will host a workshop, "Teaching with Historic Places," from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, June 19th, 2010.

The conference is aimed at K-12 teachers, as well as curators and docents from historical societies or museums.

Registration is free for teachers. To register, e-mail your name, school, e-mail address, phone number and grade(s) taught to Lynn Rainville, founding director of the Tusculum Institute, at lrainville{at}

Qualified teachers are eligible for a $75 stipend for participating and SOL-based lesson plans will be distributed to all participants.

All others should send a $10 check -- made out to "Sweet Briar College" with "Teaching with Historic Places" in the memo line -- to Dr. Lynn Rainville, Fletcher Hall, Sweet Briar College, Sweet Briar, Va. 24595. Please include your name, institutional affiliation, if any, e-mail address and phone number.

Continental breakfast and an afternoon coffee break are included with registration.

"Teaching with Historic Places" is sponsored by the Tusculum Institute and the Virginia Department of Historic Resources.

Information on the Individual Sessions

The first session will be led by Marc Wagner (architectural historian, Department Historic Resources). He will give a brief overview of neo-classical architecture and then take the group outdoors to tour the historic Ralph Cram buildings on the Sweet Briar campus.

The next sessions is led by Karenne Wood (Monacan and director of the Virginia Indian Heritage Program, Virginia Foundation for the Humanities): Who Owns the Past? Virginia Indians Today and Yesterday. This presentation and discussion will consider widely accepted notions regarding Virginia Indian history and cultures, as well as recent discoveries that challenge prevailing theories.  We’ll address ways in which Western anthropological ideas and language choices have marginalized indigenous peoples and disengaged them from their own past, a practice that began with Jamestown and spread westward.  We’ll consider the formation of public opinion: how Americans have come to view American Indians as people of the past.  We’ll examine the remarkable persistence of Native tribal communities who retain their cultural heritage while living as modern Americans, and their attachment to places of historic significance.  Finally, we will discuss some of the 2007 revisions to the Virginia Standards of Learning in Social Studies, and how these revisions will shape new perspectives for students of this and subsequent generations.


After lunch the state archaeologist, Dr. Michael Barber, will give a talk titled: Archaeology in the Classroom: 17,000 Years of Potential Curriculum. Although the 400 year old settlement of Jamestown has most recently become the poster-child for Virginia archaeology, the human occupation of the Commonwealth goes back at least 17,000 years, placing 97.7% of time in prehistory.  Native Americans and Virginia Indians have seen the transition from the Ice Age into the modern Holocene, the evolution of the landscape from conifer forest to dominant hardwood, and have witnessed the drowning of the Susquehanna River delta into the Chesapeake Bay.  The question remains, “How does one bring this to the classroom?”  Dr. Barber will present an overview of the archaeology of the Commonwealth and make suggestions on the incorporation of methodology and data into a classroom environment.


The next talk will be given by Dr. Dee DeRoche (chief curator, DHR). The title of her presentation is: Look Here! Look There! Resources for Teaching about Virginia Indians and Native Americans. Many organizations and attractions throughout Virginia focus on her early or contact period inhabitants. Even more groups and localities incorporate the topic into a broader view, capitalizing on wide public interest and also on the inclusion of aspects of the subject in the Department of Education’s SOLs. This presentation will introduce you to information sources and presentation aids selected from the wide variety available for use in and beyond the classroom, including web based resources.


The last talk of the day will be given by Victoria Ferguson (Historical Interpreter for the Monacan Indian Village). Her presentation is titled "How Indians Used the Land to Survive."



An Indian Village in Virginia. Contact Period.