Invisible Richmond: The History Behind the Urban Landscape

byValerie Schwarz

There is history all around us, just waiting to be discovered. Some is visible and some is invisible. Some is shared and some is concealed. Richmond openly portrays the military prowess of its Confederate past, but is also full of untold, hidden secrets waiting to be revealed. This unit will seek out Richmond's invisible history from the days of slavery and reconstruction that some might wish to forget. The slave and tobacco industries, the Lumpkin Jail, and the Winfree Cottage will be examined. The legends of Henry Box Brown and Anthony Burns will also be explored. The unit will teach fourth graders to distinguish between history and memory and how to discover the past even when it has been selectively omitted. This unit could be adapted for social studies and history classes from grades 3-12.

(Developed for Language Arts, Virginia Studies [Social Studies], grade 4; recommended for Language Arts and Social Studies, grades 4-6)

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