e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia


August 22, 2014

Dear West Virginia Studies Teacher:

We want to let you know about e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia, an important resource for your classroom.

  • e-WV(www.wvencyclopedia.org) is the quickest, most authoritative reference available for concise information on West Virginia’s people and places, history, arts, science  and culture – past and present.
  • e-WVis a full-featured electronic reference resource with over 2,300 articles,  thousands of multimedia assets, and interactive features including mapping, a 12,000-item timeline, and quizzes.
  • e-WV includes a Classroomarea which has lesson plans, developed by teachers, appropriate for teaching West Virginia Studies to either eighth grade or elementary students.
  • e-WVis free and available to any teacher, student, classroom or school with an internet connection.

On the next pages, you will find a more comprehensive explanation of the tools and resources found on e-WV.

e-WV is a project of the West Virginia Humanities Council, which published the print version of the West Virginia Encyclopedia in 2006.

If you are already using e-WV in the classroom, then thank you! Let us know what you think of the site and tell us what we can do to improve it. Send a message to keller@wvhumanities.org.



Mike Keller, e-WV Media Editor

Using e-WV in the Classroom


e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia at http://www.wvencyclopedia.org is a full-featured electronic reference resource helpful to the teaching of West Virginia studies at all levels. The online encyclopedia is free and includes 2,300 articles about the Mountain State along with photos and illustrations, statistics, timelines, video and audio clips, maps, quizzes and other interactive features. This guide offers a selection of articles in e-WV recommended for classroom use along with some directions for using the site’s interactive features. Visit e-WV and get to know it.


e-WV is a valuable research tool for students and teachers. Articles are listed alphabetically—from Abolitionism to John Zontini. Topics can also be explored through searches from the homepage or by browsing categories such as Business and Industry; Cities, Towns and Counties; History and Prehistory; or Politics and Government.


Lesson Plans

e-WV offers lesson plans that were designed by West Virginia teachers and correspond to the Next Generation Content Standards and Objectives for social studies and literacy. The plans address such topics as the West Virginia constitution, John Brown’s raid, and the state’s fairs and festivals. These lesson plans can be accessed via the Classroom tab at the top of the homepage. Each lesson plan includes guiding questions, vocabulary, and lesson activities. There are plans for botheighth grade and elementary classes.



A great way to challenge students is to direct them to the Test Your WVIQ section of the homepage. Students will find more than 20 quizzes on a variety of West Virginia topics, from politics to pop culture. Students who are registered on the site can keep track of their scores. (Registering for the site is free.) This feature is especially helpful to students studying for the Golden Horseshoe test.


Interactive maps

The interactive mapping is one of the most powerful features of e-WV. There are more than 120 individual maps in e-WV that can be combined in different ways to illustrate information. The interactive maps can be found under the Features tab on the homepage.



Selected e-WV articles

These and many other articles address the Next Generation Content Standards and Objectives for kindergarten through fifth grade and eighth grade. Find them by searching on the homepage of



Civil War


Formation of West Virginia

The Frontier

History of West Virginia



Congressional Representation


The Government of West Virginia

Governors of West Virginia


Supreme Court of Appeals


Geography and geology

Appalachian Mountains



Natural Resources



Coal industry



Steel Industry



State symbols, motto, song, animals and plants

Montani Semper Liberi

State Flag

State Plants and Animals

State Seal

“The West Virginia Hills”

Prominent West Virginians

Pearl S. Buck

Sylvia Mathews Burwell
Shelly Moore Capito

Jennifer Garner

Joe Manchin

David McKinley

Randy Moss

Landau Eugene Murphy

Brad Paisley

Nick Joe Rahall

Mary Lou Retton

Jay Rockefeller

Earl Ray Tomblin

Booker T. Washington

Chuck Yeager

Jerry West


Lives of West Virginians

African-American Heritage

Ethnic life



Holidays and Celebrations

Mother’s Day


West Virginia Day

Women’s lives







Highway Development


River Transportation




Collecting articles on one topic is simplified with the portfolio tool on e-WV. This tool is available to those who register for the site. (Registering is free.) Once a student or teacher registers, a tab will appear on the homepage that says My e-WV. Clicking on the tab will lead the student or teacher to the portfolio section. Then articles, photos, and other items can be placed into a portfolio.


Need help getting started?

The Classroom page has several helpful tutorials on the left, and links to sample quizzes on the right. There’s also a downloadable Guide to e-WV that lists topics, associated articles and the standards those articles address.


e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia is a project of the West Virginia Humanities Council. For more information, contact e-WV Media Editor Mike Keller at304-346-8500 or keller@wvhumanities.org.


Please note change in email address:  rjwisema@k12.wv.us


Robert “Joey” Wiseman Jr.

Assistant Director

Office of Secondary Learning

Instructional Materials

Social Studies

National Mock Election

World’s largest national mock election

accepting enrollees for 2014 midterms

The National Student/Parent Mock Election, founded in 1980, takes place

Oct. 30 and is expected to involve more than 1 million children, teens and

adults nationwide.


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Schools and teachers nationwide are encouraged to

enroll now for the National Student/Parent Mock Election (NSPME), which has

helped introduce more than 50 million children, teens and adults to democracy

since 1980.

Coordinators who can help recruit and guide participating schools in their

designated state or region are also needed, according to NSPME organizers.

“The NSPME is fortunate to have the decades-long support of tens of thousands

of volunteers who are devoted, as we are, to ‘passing the torch’ of democracy,”

says Gloria Kirshner, co-founder of the NSPME. “We need even more of these

civic-minded volunteers to help us preserve and expand this great tradition of the

world’s largest national mock election.”

Every two years, 59 educational, civic, business and religious organizations join

with the NSPME to support the mock election. Participation is free to students and

teachers from kindergarten through college and technical schools, all of whom can

enroll through the NSPME website, www.nationalmockelection.org.

All participating classes receive free downloadable teachers’ guides, sample

student materials, and a mechanism to record votes, either online or by other


Teachers decide how to lead their classes in the national mock election beyond

voting. Projects have historically included art displays, debates, contests, plays,

songs, essay writing, visits from public officials, candidate forums, pep rallies and

other forms of school-wide celebrations.

Participants vote on governors, senators, congressional representatives, and

current issues. After the mock election, five national professional organizations join

to provide awards for outstanding projects by state, school, district and more.

Results of the mock election are posted online no more than 24 hours after

ballots are tallied. Sample ballots are available for practice several weeks before

the mock election.

Experts have recognized the NSPME and other voter education projects as

essential to young people’s healthy development. The University of Colorado, for

example, found in its research that the NSPME provided five broad benefits to


www.nationalmockelection.org “Preserving Democracy for Generations to Come” nspme@aol.com

  • increased political decision-making ability
  • the belief that voting is important
  • informed involvement on current issues
  • the belief that social studies classes are relevant
  • the discussion of political and election topics with parents, and
  • a reduction in an overall sense of powerlessness.

The National Association of Secondary School Principals has also noted a

possible connection between participation in the NSPME and increased civic

engagement among young voters.

Pew Charitable Trust raises the possibility that voter education projects like the

NSPME may be one reason why the Millennial Generation is more politically active

than the previous Generation X.

And CIRCLE, a nonprofit group that researches information on civic education,

proclaims mock election projects like the NSPME to be “habit-forming.”

“When young people learn the voting process and vote, they are more likely to

do so when they are older, ‘ CIRCLE says on its website. “So getting young people

to vote early could be key in raising a new generation of voters.”

Schools that have lost social studies or civics classes because of budget or

curriculum cuts may find the NSPME a promising means to help fill the remaining

void of civics education, Kirshner points out.

NSPME’s outreach to national and state education organizations comes just as

the group embarks on several improvements intended to modernize and expand its

ability to inspire young voters. New plans include a modernized balloting system, a

physical presence in Washington, D.C., a new website, increased social media

outreach, and greater numbers participating than ever before.

Also in the works is a collaboration with VoterBuzz LLC, a start-up social

network and voter education website that aims to help the nonprofit become selffunded

in time for the 2016 election season.

Donations to the NSPME of any level or amount, from individuals or corporations

and including in-kind, are welcome. The NSPME also offers an attractive sponsor

package to those who share the group’s mission of promoting voting as the

strongest means to “government of the people, by the people, and for the people.”

For more information on becoming a coordinator, send an email to the National

Student/Parent Mock Election at nspme@aol.com. To enroll your class or school,

go to www.nationalmockelection.org.

To inquire about media coverage, partnerships or sponsorships, contact

Christine Hawes at 941-780-3046 or chris@voterbuzz.com. Learn



Please note change in email address:  rjwisema@k12.wv.us


Robert “Joey” Wiseman Jr.

Assistant Director

Office of Secondary Learning

Instructional Materials

Social Studies

Building 6, Room 603

1900 Kanawha Boulevard East

Charleston, WV 25305-0330

304.558.5325 P

304.558.1834 F

E-mail: rjwisema@k12.wv.us


We the People 2014-15

Welcome back to a new school year! We are pleased to report that the West Virginia We the People Program will be holding competitions as follows:

District 1 – November 14, District 2 – November 13, District 3 – November 12, State – December 11

Please e-mail Joey Wiseman if you are considering bringing your class to your District Competition OR if you would like to participate as a Judge at the District and/or State Competitions. We look forward to seeing you soon!



Rebecca M. Tinder 

600 Quarrier Street 
Charleston, WV 25301 
(304) 347-2132


Please note change in email address:  rjwisema@k12.wv.us

Robert “Joey” Wiseman Jr.

Assistant Director

Office of Secondary Learning

Instructional Materials

Social Studies

Reading Like a Historian curriculum


The Reading Like a Historian curriculum engages students in historical inquiry. Each lesson revolves around a central historical question and features sets of primary documents designed for groups of students with diverse reading skills and abilities.

This curriculum teaches students how to investigate historical questions by employing reading strategies such as sourcing, contextualizing, corroborating, and close reading. Instead of memorizing historical facts, students evaluate the trustworthiness of multiple perspectives on historical issues. They learn to make historical claims backed by documentary evidence.




Thanks Rhonda!