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Historical GIS Projects - Using GIS to Teach History
 
As part of The Virginia Experiment Teaching American History (TAH) grant, 10 teaching fellows from five central Virginia school divisions spent the 2007–2008 school year conducting authentic historical research, creating datasets, and developing ready-to-use classroom activities that use GIS to teach United States history. The lessons below include lessons created to introduce the teachers to using GIS in the History classroom as well as the lessons they researched and designed. If you would like more information on how to use these in your classroom or school division please contact Andy Mink or Chris Bunin.

  
Civil War Battles of Virginia and Virginia Sharecropping
  
 Virginia’s Civil War Battles (ArcGIS) <br> <br>This lesson will examine the different battles of the Civil War that were fought in Virginia to allow students the opportunity to see patterns related to the strategies of both the Union and Confederacy.&nbsp; They will use GIS technology to track change over time in Virginia during the Civil War. <br> <br>Virginia Sharecropping (ArcGIS) <br> <br>This lesson will have students examine the rate of sharecropping and tenant farming in Virginia during the Reconstruction era compared to the pre-Civil War slavery era.&nbsp; They will discover, based on population statistics, who typically farmed land they did not own and why.
  
 US History/Virginia Studies
 Jeremy Newcomb
 Orange County Public Schools
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Getting to Know AEJEE Using the 50 United States
  
 This activity introduces the user to the general interface and tools of Arc Explorer Java Edition for Education while taking a brief tour of the United States.
  
 US History/Civics
 Chris Bunin
 Charlottesville City Schools
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Mapping the Campaign for President
  
 Students will study the primaries/caucus campaigns of the major candidates for both the Republican and Democrat parties during the 2008 Primaries.&nbsp; They will compare and contrast strategies and then relate them to the electoral college.
  
 US History/Civics
 Tamie Campbell
 Madison County Public Schools
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Mapping the Civil War
  
 This is a two part activity that can be used with ArcMap or AEJEE.&nbsp; In activity 1 students build an interactive Civil War map project in ArcMap.&nbsp; Skills covered include basic symbology, query by attribute, creating new layers from existing layers,&nbsp; basic map layout, and the export to .lyr and .pdf function. <br> <br>In activity two students students use ArcMap or AEJJE to visualize and analyze the chronology of the Civil War.&nbsp; <br>
  
 
 Chris Bunin
 TAH Director of Teaching Fellows
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Mapping the Constitutional Convention
  
 Creating the Constitution was a messy business. Many of the issues surrounding its creation would continue to exist for decades after it was ratified. Some of those same issues are still being debated today. If we expect students to understand what came after the Constitution, we must first help them to understand what came before and how that shaped the debate about the need for a new government, what that government should look like and how it should be implemented. <br>This activity uses GIS technology to help students visualize the geographical nature of the major decisions/votes of the Constitutional Convention.
  
 US History
 Christine Esposito
 Charlottesville City Schools
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Querying the Reach of Jim Crow
  
 This GIS lesson is designed to explore the reach of Jim Crow laws and their impact on the evolution of American history.&nbsp; The interplay of GIS and the shapefile demonstrate the complexity of Jim Crow and affords students the opportunity to analyze, reflect, and question this dynamic era of American history.
  
 US History
 Scott Mace
 
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Slavery in Virginia (AEJEE or ArcGIS)
  
 For this activity students learn how to create two thematic maps depicting slavery in Virginia in 1810 and 1860. Thematic mapping is useful for helping students see tabular information (population, demographics, voting patterns, etc.) across space.&nbsp;
  
 US History
 Chris Bunin
 TAH Director of Teaching Fellows
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The Oregon Trail: GIS Simulation (AEJEE)
  
 This lesson should come after an introduction lesson to the motivations of westward expansion (specifically Overland Trail emigration).&nbsp; For best results, students should have been introduced to GIS technology (ArcMap or ArcExplorer) prior to this lesson.&nbsp; By completing this activity the student&nbsp; will know: &quot;jumping-off cities&quot;; geographic features along the trail; the distance traveled by Oregon Trail emigrants.&nbsp; The student will be able to:&nbsp; use a GIS map to simulate the journey of an Oregon Trail emigrant;&nbsp; analyze and interpret digital images; write historically accurate journal entries from the perspective of an Oregon Trail emigrant.
  
 US History
 Teresa Goodin
 Charlottesville City Schools
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Why Yorktown? The Role of Nathanael Greene in the Revolutionary War
  
 These lessons investigate the importance of the role geography played in the American Revolutionary War.&nbsp; Students will investigate the location of battles relative to time and region, the role of port cities, and how Nathanael Greene used his knowledge of the land to weaken Cornwallis’s Army without winning a major battle.
  
 History, Revolutionary War (United States I), grades 4 – 6; Geography (United States, 13 colonies), grades 4 – 6
 Donna Shifflett
 Greene County Public Schools
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Winning Virginia
  
 Students will act as campaign strategists in Virginia deciding which counties are the cities are the best ones to set up campaign offices.&nbsp; Students will look at a variety of variables including competitiveness, population size, race, median age, and gender to make their determinations.&nbsp; Students will then create a campaign strategy based on their maps and their analysis.&nbsp; This assignment is part of a larger assignment called “Selling the Candidate” in which students are acting as the campaign staff for either a presidential, senatorial, or congressional candidate in the state of Virginia.
  
 US History/US Government
 John Hobson
 Albemarle County Public Schools
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World War II Alliances
  
 In this project students will explore a world map that illustrates the involvement of countries in alliances during WWII.&nbsp; Using ArcGis or Adobe Acrobat the students will explore how the WWII alliances changed over time from 1932-1945.
  
 US History
 Stephanie Hammer
 Greene County Public Schools
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