Moton Museum Experiences for Teachers and Students

The Moton Museum is housed in the former Robert Russa Moton High School, which served as the high school for African Americans during segregation and is now a National Historic Landmark. It is here in 1951 that students went on strike in protest of the overcrowded and inadequate facilities they faced. Their action resulted in a court case, Davis v. County School Board of Prince Edward County, which became part of the Supreme Court’s landmark Brown v. Board of Education decision in 1954. The Museum’s permanent exhibition, The Moton School Story: Children of Courage, opened in April 2013. In six galleries, the exhibit guides the visitor through Prince Edward County, Virginia’s extended struggle for civil rights in education from 1951 to 1964.

The Moton Museum offers a variety of educational experiences across multiple disciplines, from lesson plans to project-based learning activities. We offer three different categories of experience that can be tailored to fit the needs of your students.

Field Trip: At Moton, we believe in the power of place. Have your students stand in the auditorium or give a speech from the stage where Moton students went on strike in 1951.  We offer museum tours, first-person conversations with individuals involved in this history, and project-based learning activities geared to the Virginia SOLs. We can host trips as short as an hour, and longer if you would like to spend most of a school day in Farmville. We partner with Longwood University and the Longwood Center for Visual Arts to provide many different programming opportunities. Lunch time can also be hosted in the auditorium or outside the museum, if weather permits. The ideal field trip lasts approximately 90-120 minutes and consists of a 15-minute introductory film shown in the auditorium, a student strike activity, and guided museum tour.  The exhibition can accommodate up to 25 students at a time. For larger groups, we have students break into smaller groups to do the student strike activity, talk with a member of the Strike generation, and tour the exhibition.

Class Trip: The second option is to have Moton staff and/or volunteers make a visit to your classroom. We have presentations that we give depending on the grade level and Standards of Learning covered. We bring different interactive activities and multi-media presentations that keep students engaged.  We can do programs with larger classes or multiple classes (assembly style), but individual classes are preferred.

Digital Trip: The third option is to conduct a virtual tour or virtual panel discussion with Museum staff and individuals who lived this history using Skype, Facetime, or Google Hangout. This works best as part of a broader unit on the Moton Story, and when students already possess background historical knowledge and they have developed questions for you when the teacher has gone over background information about this history prior to the tour. If you would like to talk to someone about the history to get your class a better understanding this is a good option.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:  Contact Mr. Cainan Townsend, Director of Education and Public Programs, at education@motonmuseum.org or (434) 315-8775, ext. 3 to design your museum experience. Or you can always visit us at 900 Griffin Blvd, Farmville, VA 23901. We are open for self-guided tours Monday-Saturday from 12 noon – 4 p.m.