WV History- WV Encyclopedia


Dear West Virginia Teacher:

As you explore West Virginia history during our state’s 150th year, we encourage you and your students to turn to e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia. This free and interactive website, www.wvencyclopedia.org, includes more than 2,300 articles; hundreds of photos, videos, audio clips, and maps; and a unique e-WV Classroom.

This special section of e-WV is designed just for students and teachers. The e-WV Classroom at http://www.wvencyclopedia.org/classroom provides 18 lesson plans on a variety of topics, including “The Story of Statehood” and “The Two Constitutions,” and offers links to quizzes and other important features of e-WV.

Individual articles in e-WV are also of great use to students who are exploring the topic of West Virginia statehood:

e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia is a project of the West Virginia Humanities Council. Contact us if you have questions, suggestions, or comments about e-WV.

Becky Calwell

Editor, e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia



Next Gen SS Clarification


Good morning everyone,

While visiting social studies classrooms, conducting RESA based professional development sessions, and listening to comments from the instructional materials meetings, I have discovered that there is still some confusion about the connections between WESTEST2, the Next Generation Social Studies Objectives and the Acuity Benchmarks.  I hope to clear up any misconceptions and confusion that may have come up.  Please at anytime if you are unsure about something or have a question feel free to contact me.

No new questions have been created for WESTEST 2, however there has been a realignment of the test questions to the Next Generation Standards and we are within the guidelines.  We have to remember that the major changes were the history clusters but the majority of civics, economics, and geography remained at their respective grade levels, many possibly reworded or combined.

It is very important to address the new literacy objectives. If students are able to master those literacy objectives their scores should improve on the test.  In the fall when you receive your WESTEST 2 results from the spring of 2013 the data will be aligned to the Next Generation Standards and Objectives.

The same does not ring true for the Social Studies Acuity Benchmarks.  The Next Gen. Social Studies Objectives have not been loaded into Acuity. It may be more beneficial for teachers to create their own Social Studies Benchmarks. That is something that each school staff or county leadership team needs to discuss.  The Acuity team is working on a document to assist teachers in creating their own benchmarks using the Acuity Platform.

It is important to make sure that students are aware that the Social Studies portion of the test is not a total test of specific content but a test of their skills as a historian, geographer, economist, political analyst, and etc…

The example I use is this.  There could possibly be a question on the 6th or 11th grade test about Vietnam.  There may be a letter home from a soldier to his mother and then questions. In most cases students say to themselves “I know about Vietnam” so they just go ahead and answer the questions without reading the letter. However, unless the teacher used that exact letter from WESTEST2 in the classroom, which is highly unlikely, students will not have a true understanding of the letter and be able to answer the questions correctly. They definitely will need an understanding of Vietnam and the feelings at home and abroad during that time period. Background knowledge is key here, however we have to make them understand that the questions themselves will normally  refer back to a text, map, graph, picture or chart that is provided to them and in this case a letter.  This is a strong conversation we need to have with students so they know what to expect on the test.

I think this is a misconception on the student’s part.  Students think the test is about content recall and it’s more about skill.  As you saw in that example students will still have to know about Vietnam or the letter will not make sense to them, however the test is not going to ask what Hotel in Saigon was bombed on Christmas Eve 1964.  That would be a total recall question.

Another example may be a picture of, or a poster about, the Montgomery Bus Boycott.  The test may say:  This picture or poster is from Alabama in the 1960’s and has to deal with what event?

A.   Women’s Right Movement

B.   Vietnam Protest

C.   Civil Rights Movement

D.   FDR Election Campaign

Students will need to have knowledge of all of the events mentioned above in order to make the best choice. They will use their critical thinking skills to decide which are not the correct answers and then choose the Civil Rights Movement as the correct response.   This is not a content recall question like: What was the name of the lady who refused to give up her seat on the bus?  We know the answer there would be Rosa Parks and that is a true content recall question and you will not see items like that on the test. However, if students did not have background knowledge about all 4 of the events above it would be hard for them to make the correct choice.

If you have any other questions or concerns feel free to contact me.  I want to thank each and every one of you for the job you do each day.  Enjoy your day and be careful out in the snow!


Robert “Joey” Wiseman Jr.

Social Studies Coordinator

Office of Instruction

Immersion Workshop 7/22-26


A Visionary Adventure across Continents:”

The Marshall Immersion Workshop, July 22 – 26, 2013


The George C. Marshall International Center announces the 11th Annual Marshall Immersion Workshop, promising an exciting professional and collegial experience for high school-level American and modern European history teachers, and social studies supervisors. During the workshop, all expenses – food, lodging, and transportation – are covered and participants receive a $200 stipend, free materials, and re-certification points.


The workshop focuses on the far-reaching impact of the European Recovery Program (ERP) commonly known as “The Marshall Plan.”  The week-long program begins at Marshall’s museum home, Dodona Manor, in Leesburg, VA. Using a series of primary documents from the Truman Library and the Marshall Archives, participants will gain a better understanding of the life and remarkable legacy of Secretary of State Marshall, specifically his significant role in securing the passage of the ERP.


Through a partnership developed with the United States Department of State, participants will have the unique opportunity to experience an afternoon of learning at the department’s United States Diplomacy Center in Washington, D.C., and will have a tour of the historic diplomatic reception rooms there.


Participants will complete the week at the Marshall Museum and Library in Lexington, Virginia. There they will study original documents, including his personal copy of the June 5 Harvard speech outlining the key concepts of the ERP, that relate to and reveal the background of some of Marshall’s most important decisions.

In addition to the planned ten participants from the United States, it is expected that six teachers from Europe (Norway, Austria, and Germany) will be attending this year’s workshop.  This will provide an opportunity for interaction through the exchange of ideas and perspectives on how the workshop materials and content might benefit their respective classroom instruction.

The attached document contains more complete descriptive details, the benefits and requirements of the workshop, as well as an application form.  Persons interested in applying may use the attachment or may also simply log onto the George C. Marshall International Center website at www.georgecmarshall.org.   On the homepage, click on Programs & Events, then Education Programs, then Marshall Immersion Workshop.  The application deadline is March 15, 2013.


Joey Wiseman                 

Robert “Joey” Wiseman Jr.

Social Studies Coordinator

Office of Instruction

GIS Training Opportunity

As many of you know the WVDE has a license for the ESRI GIS/ARCVIEW software to use in every classroom in the state.  We will be holding a one day session for beginners on March 9, 2013.  We will be featuring both the software and the online version.

This will be a one day session that will not start until 9AM, so we will not be providing travel reimbursements or overnight accommodations.  However, we will provide breakfast, afternoon snack, and lunch as well as a $200.00 Stipend for your completion of the workshop which includes the completion of a 1 page lesson plan.

If you are interested in attending this training please complete the application on the link at the bottom of the page.  I look forward to seeing you and please try and take advantage of this amazing program.

Geographic inquiry and geographic information system (GIS) technology are important tools that help educators, students, and their institutions answer personal and community questions with local to global implications.

Today, more and more schools are including GIS in their curricula to help their students gain valuable background knowledge and skills with which to face global challenges.

Please register early only 40 participants will be chosen.  The participant breakdown is as follows:

  • ·         8 Elementary and/or Secondary Language Arts Teachers
  • ·         8 CTE Teachers
  • ·         8 Secondary Math Teachers
  • ·         8 secondary Science Teachers
  • ·         8 Secondary Social Studies Teachers
  • ·         Teachers of Special Education are encouraged to apply; please select one of the areas above that most represents your daily work schedule.


Registering does not mean you will be registered since we only have so few slots for each content area.  We will create a waiting list because many times people drop at the last moment. If certain content areas are not filled, those slots will be filled by others.

Participants will be notified of their attendance by February 8, 2013.  If we have a large interest we will offer additional trainings either in late spring or early summer.

Click here to register:  https://docs.google.com/a/wvde.k12.wv.us/spreadsheet/viewform?formkey=dGJjM1NRcGhWRkRDWlJNOTVaOEM4OWc6MQ

Or go to http://tinyurl.com/GIS2013

If you have questions please direct them directly to Joey Wiseman, the social studies coordinator at rjwisema@access.k12.wv.us


Joey Wiseman                 

Robert “Joey” Wiseman Jr.

Social Studies Coordinator

Office of Instruction

Fayette Student’s Work on WWII Website

Fayette Student’s Work Featured on WWII History Website

January 07, 2013

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – A Fayette County student and a top finisher in West Virginia’s National History Day Competition has written information for a website featuring contributions Americans made during World War II.

Fairan Gill, an eighth grader at Nuttall (now ANSTED) Middle School, was one of 51 students named a National World War II Museum’s “Salute to Freedom” award winner. She and the other students won an all expenses paid trip to New Orleans to participate in the grand opening of the U.S. Freedom Pavilion: The Boeing Center.

Gill finished second in the West Virginia contest for an essay and exhibit about the Battle of Blair Mountain to earn the right to advance. The national competition called on qualifying students to submit an application and respond to two essay questions. Winners were then chosen based on their knowledge of the past and its connection to the future as well as their knowledge of their state’s role in World War II.

Gill’s essay won her the opportunity to further write about West Virginia to be featured online. Her essay includes information on Chuck Yeager, a Hamlin native known for breaking the sound barrier, as well as facts about African-Americans, who studied at West Virginia State College and went on to become pilots. Her page and those created by students in other states are posted online athttp://salutetofreedom.org.



West Virginia & World War II Training Programs
Fairan Gill, Fayette County Schools

The world changed in 1939 as Germany invaded Poland and began World War II. America did not enter immediately but knew that the possibility was there. One idea to prepare for war was to take the best and brightest young men and educate them in programs to take on certain jobs in the military. The Civilian Pilot Training Act was one of the first programs to train pilots and was a starting point for entry into the Army Air Corps. Another program, the Army Specialized Training Program (ASTP), was implemented to educate men for certain roles in the Army. West Virginia was honored to have these programs in two of their colleges. Most importantly, these programs allowed barriers between blacks and whites to be addressed and broken down so that all could serve their country.

The first program began in 1939 when the Civilian Pilot Training Act was passed. This program allowed African Americans to be trained as civilian pilots. West Virginia State College was one of six colleges to offer this course on September 10, 1939. Pilot training would begin November 14, 1939. The fight for African Americans to become officers and pilots in the Army Air Corps would keep going. West Virginia State lost the bid to offer training for officers or pilots that would go to the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama. Instead, West Virginia State president Dr. John Davis was asked to nominate graduates of the Civilian Pilot program to the “Tuskegee Experience.” Dr. Davis nominated George Spencer “Spanky” Roberts and Mac Ross who had graduated from the Civilian Pilot Training Program. George “Spanky” Roberts, from Fairmont, WV, graduated in 1939 with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanic Arts. Mac Ross, from Dayton, OH, was a 1940 graduate from WV State.

These men started classes with 11 others in 1941 at the Tuskegee Institute. In March 1942 they became two of the first five to graduate from the program. Both became Second Lieutenants and among the first to receive their wings in the Army Air Corps. Lieutenant Roberts was placed in command of the 99th Fighter Squadron. The 100th Pursuit Squadron would be led by Lieutenant Ross. Both of these squadrons would join and make up the 332nd Fighter Group, first led by Colonel Benjamin Davis Jr. and then by Lt. George “Spanky” Roberts. By the end of the war, George “Spanky” Roberts had flown over 100 missions and would become Senior Air Corps ROTC instructor at Tuskegee and became the Dean of the school of Military Science. He reported to Langley Air Force base in 1950 and become the first African American to command a racially mixed unit.

Rosie Cousin, from Fairmont, WV, became the first woman accepted into the WV State College pilot program. She was 16 when she attended WV State to get a degree in Business Administration. While there she applied and was accepted to the Civilian Training Program after passing the same mental and physical test that the men did. She became the first African American woman to get her pilot license as she completed the rigorous training under the program and completed her solo flight. She did go to Tuskegee with the others to enter their program and was turned away because of being a woman.

The Army Specialized Training Program (ASTP) was a short lived education program to develop officers or specialist to enter the Army ready to take on necessary roles. Top officials were concerned that if the war would last beyond 1944 certain roles would see a shortage of men to fill them. These roles involved areas of engineering, medical fields and foreign languages that calls for a college education. West Virginia University in Morgantown was one of the 221 colleges chosen for officer training for whites. West Virginia State College, which had the Civilian Pilot Training Program and the first artillery ROTC program, was one of the six chosen to serve the African American population for training. Men reported to these campuses by April and September 1943 to begin their education. Their day would involve “supervised activity, minimum of 24 hours of classroom and lab work, 24 hours of required study, 5 hours of military instruction, and 6 hours of physical instruction.” (Louis E. Keffer, The Army Specialized Training Program in World War II)The program was cut as the outlook of war changed in 1944 as preparation for the Normandy invasion took place.

These programs that West Virginia was honored with allowed us to contribute to the war effort through education. Through these education programs we addressed barriers that had far-reaching effects even after the war ended.



For more information, contact the Office of Communication at (304) 558-2699

Congrats to Fairan!!!!


Joey Wiseman

WVDE Social Studies coordinator

West Virginia’s Sesquicentennial

The West Virginia Division of Culture and History is preparing for West Virginia’s 150th birthday, our Sesquicentennial. The West Virginia Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission has sponsored a website full of information, resources, and an interactive timeline.  Please visit the site at http://www.civilwar150.wv.gov/Pages/default.aspx


Child of the Rebellion: An Archives and History Sesquicentennial Project

Commemorating the sesquicentennial of the Civil War in West Virginia and West Virginia statehood, “Child of the Rebellion” contains a timeline of events, 1861-1865, and a weekly timeline trivia question, digital images of letters from the Union militia portion of the Adjutant General’s Collection, Civil War and Statehood photographs, lists of recruiting officers and African American soldiers from West Virginia, and more.


Joey Wiseman                 

Robert “Joey” Wiseman Jr.

WVDE Social Studies Coordinator

Office of Instruction

WV Legislature Audio Streaming

The WV Legislature features a live streaming Audio webcast of Official Proceedings at: http://www.legis.state.wv.us/live.cfm

The complete 2013 Legislative Calendar can be found at:http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bulletin_Board/calendar_2013.cfm


If you are interested there will be a live stream of the Governors Inauguration online.

SCHEDULE  Monday January 14, 2013
For complete coverage, watch myZtv or the live feed available on WSAZ.com

10am: Inauguration parade [Live on myZtv and WSAZ.com]
12pm-1pm: Pre-inauguration coverage on myZtv, WSAZ.com, and WSAZ Charleston [ what’s this? ]
1pm: Inauguration ceremony [Live on myZtv and WSAZ.com]



I would wait and project this page once you click to watch, the main page has several advertisements.

Also the WV Legislature features a live streaming Audio webcast of Official Proceedings at:http://www.legis.state.wv.us/live.cfm

The complete 2013 Legislative Calendar can be found at: http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bulletin_Board/calendar_2013.cfm



Joey Wiseman                 

Robert “Joey” Wiseman Jr.

Social Studies Coordinator

Office of Instruction

Summer Institute for History Teachers!

NHD Announces a New Summer Institute for History Teachers!


National History Day announces an exciting and unique summer institute for history teachers. Twenty teachers will be selected to participate in a two-week program in China. Teachers will be immersed in lectures presented by leading historians, participate in scholarly discussions with historians, meet with Chinese history teachers and walk in the footsteps of history in Shanghai, Nanjing, Changsha, Xi’an and Beijing.

If you are a History Teacher or know a History Teacher that is interested in applying follow the link below and apply today!



Joey Wiseman                 

Robert “Joey” Wiseman Jr.

Social Studies Coordinator

WVDE Office of Instruction