Activities | »

School Desegregation: A Community’s Response,

Sarah Taylor, Salem City Schools

The challenge of protecting civil rights in a democracy, the intersection between state and local government, the activity of citizens in their local school board and administration, and the role of the media in addressing controversial issues are…

Monticello Classroom,

Thomas Jefferson Foundation

The Monticello Classroom offers extensive information about Thomas Jefferson, Virginia history, the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, and other important aspects surrounding the founding of the United States. The website also allows visitors to log in and create projects, design lesson plans, or do homework. It also features fun information, such as why Thomas Jefferson is on the nickel, and how to make ice cream the colonial way.

What is the Real Cost of Buying a House and Car?,

Linda Long

Tax rates differ for citizens in Virginia, depending on where one lives. In addition, a local government may choose to spend collected tax money differently than another local government in the Commonwealth. In this activity, students simulate the…

Virginia’s Role in the Global Economy ,

Joe LaRocco

Virginia has a rich history in trading goods with other countries. Because the global economy is a great deal more competitive than it was in Virginia’s early colonial history, Virginia’s governors, legislators, and business leaders have…

Electoral College Policy Brief to the Governor,

Georgia Leser, Loudoun County Public Schools

Since ratification of the Constitution, the Electoral College has been the method used for electing the President and Vice President of the United States and is outlined in Article II of the Constitution. The Electoral College elects the President,…

The Supreme Court of Virginia: A Moot Court,

Cliff Gold

Individual liberties and public interest are at stake in two Virginia court cases engaged in this moot court: Rudolph v. Commonwealth (2009) and Cost v. Commonwealth (2008). Students will think about and analyze the decisions of the Virginia Court of…

How Are Land Use Decisions Made?,

Charlie Grymes

Participating in land-use decisions made by one's local government, after learning the rules of the process, challenges the stereotype that residents affected by land-use changes are victims of uncontrollable circumstances. Working with a county's…

U.S. Census Educational Resources,

U.S. Census Bureau

This website from the U.S. Census Bureau has a series of educational materials related to use of the U.S. Census, including maps, community involvement, and data (in pdf format). There are also lesson plans for each section (in ASCII format) that offer guides on how to use these materials in the classroom. State Facts also offers a page on Virginia with more unusual data, such as the number of amusement parks. This website offers a window into how the Census works, and gives ideas on how that data might be used in government decision-making processes.