Mississippi History Now Mississippi Historical SocietySite ToolsSponsorsEditorial Advisory Staff
Back Home Lesson Plan

The History of Mississippi University for Women lesson plan

OVERVIEW

Mississippi became the first state to establish a tax supported college for women in the United States. Through Senate Bill 311, Mississippi Industrial Institute and College was established at Columbus, Mississippi, in 1884. Today this historic educational institution, which is now coeducational, is known as Mississippi University for Women. “The W,” as it is affectionately known, still maintains the long-standing tradition started in 1884 of providing first-class liberal arts and professional programs that today attract both men and women to the institution.

CURRICULAR CONNECTIONS

Mississippi Studies Framework: Competencies 1, 2, and 5

TEACHING LEVEL

Grades 7 through 12

MATERIALS AND EQUIPMENT

Mississippi History Now article
• Classroom board
• Notebook paper

OBJECTIVES

The students will:

  • Comprehend aspects of the history of Mississippi University for Women.
  • Examine significant events and issues that have influenced the history of Mississippi University for Women.
  • Imagine alternative outcomes for a historical event.

OPENING THE LESSON

The teacher will ask the students the following questions:

  • Can you name the institutions of higher learning located in the state of Mississippi?
  • Which university was originally named Mississippi Industrial Institute and College for the Education of White Girls?

The teacher will tell the students that over the next several days they will study the history of the Mississippi University for Women.

DEVELOPING THE LESSON

The teacher will distribute a copy of the reading road map (Vacca & Vacca, 2001) diagram found at the end of the lesson plan, or the diagram can be placed on the classroom board for students to copy into their notebooks. The students should read the Mississippi History Now article prior to class and complete the reading road map diagram as they read the article. In the first column of the reading road map, students should list the paragraphs where they located the information requested in the third column. In the second column, students are reminded of the reading process necessary to answer the questions in the third column. In the third column of the road map, students are to record the requested information.

In lieu of the reading road map, the teacher can ask students to complete a graphic organizer such as a bubble map as they read the Mississippi History Now article. See bubble at end of the lesson plan.

In the next class meeting after the homework assignment has been completed, the teacher will place the students into groups of three or four for a jigsaw cooperative learning activity.

For the next portion of the lesson, the teacher will assign each student group one of the topics listed below. Each group should meet and discuss their assigned topic. The student groups should use the Mississippi History Now article and the reading road maps as well as other resources to support their group’s topic. Each member of the group should record details from the group discussion that support their group’s assigned topic. The objective of this portion of the jigsaw activity is for each student in the group to become an “expert” on the group’s assigned topic.

  • Federal, state, and local government has influenced the development of the Mississippi University for Women.
  • Both men and women played a part in establishment of the Mississippi University for Women.
  • The curriculum and programs offered at the Mississippi University for Women has evolved and changed throughout the history of the institution.
  • Faculty and alumni of the Mississippi University for Women have been instrumental in the success of the institution.
  • The Mississippi University for Women has faced great challenges in its history as an institution.

Once the groups have completed their “expert” discussion, students should be reassigned to new groups. The new student groups should include one “expert” per topic. In each new group, each “expert” shares what he or she has learned. In this portion of the lesson, each group member is teaching their peers about the history of Mississippi University for Women.

Upon completion of the jigsaw activity, students will independently complete a dialog journal. To create a dialog journal, each student should draw a vertical line down the middle of a sheet of paper and write what he or she has just learned about the history of Mississippi University for Women in the left column. The students should trade papers with a partner. Each partner should respond in the right column to what the other student has written. They should make corrections, connections, additions, and comments, etc. The papers should then be returned to the original student. The teacher can ask for student volunteers to share what they have learned about the Mississippi University for Women.

CLOSING THE LESSON

The teacher will ask the class the following “what if” questions.

  • What if Annie Coleman Peyton and Olivia Valentine Hastings had not joined forces?
  • What if Wiley Nash had not made a passionate speech about Senate Bill 311?
  • What if the Mississippi University for Women had not become coeducational?
  • What if the Mississippi University for Women only had female presidents throughout their history as an institution?

ASSESSING STUDENT LEARNING

• Class participation
• Reading Road Map Diagram
• Dialog journals

EXTENDING THE LESSON

  • Invite a guest speaker to class from Mississippi University for Women.
  • Create a scavenger hunt that will guide students through the Mississippi University for Women website.
  • Research the various programs offered at the Mississippi University for Women.
  • Research the founders of the Mississippi University for Women.
  • Plan a history celebration for the University.
  • Create a recruitment advertisement for the University.
  • Other Mississippi History Now articles on women’s history can be used along with The History of the Mississippi University of Women article in order to create a unit for Women’s History Month in March.

REFERENCES


Vacca, R. and Vacca, J. Content Area Reading. New York, NY: Harper- Collins, 2001.

Back Home Back to Top Return to Feature

Mississippi Historical Society © 2000–2017. All rights reserved.