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Teaching Resources: Maggie Lena Walker

Updated: Aug 22, 2021

It's Black History Month! This week I'm sharing resources to help you teach your first grade students about Maggie Lena Walker! Maggie is a very accomplished woman and it can be challenging to find teaching material that teaches the concepts in a simplified way that is appropriate for first graders. Here are the best resources I found, along with a FREEBIE exclusive to this site!

Photograph of Maggie L. Walker
Maggie L. Walker

1. Watch a video from the National Park Service

In this 7 minute video, a park ranger tells students about who Maggie Walker is, her accomplishments, and how she helped her community by encouraging them to save money. The park ranger also shows students an artifact of a pocket-sized bank that Maggie would give to people.

This video has great tie-ins to economics (saving) and counting money (skip counting). A great follow-up discussion would be discussing ways students save money. Do they have a piggy bank at home? Do they have a bank account? Where do they put money they might get for birthdays, holidays, etc? If students do not already have a plan for saving money, this is a great time to encourage them to form a plan! Maybe you could even distribute small metal tins to each student to mimic what Maggie did!

2. Do a Virtual Tour of the Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site

As of December 2020, the Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site is shut down due to Covid-19. They are offering a virtual tour with Google, however. When you click on the link, you can access photos of Maggie, her family members, and historical artifacts. When you scroll down, there is another link to enter the virtual tour.

Google Virtual Tour of Maggie L. Walker Historic Site
This is what the virtual tour looks like

3. Print a FREE Reading Comprehension Activity

This is a short reading passage about Maggie L. Walker that includes four comprehension questions. Download your free copy exclusively here:

Maggie Walker FREEBIE
Download PDF • 468KB

This resource is a part of my larger resource which compares Maggie Walker and Arthur Ashe. This resource provides information about both famous Virginians, and includes a sorting activity where students can compare and contrast their lives. Click on the image below to see the full resource!

4. Borrow a "Traveling Trunk"

If you live in the Richmond area, you could also borrow a "Traveling Trunk" from the National Park Service. This trunk includes "replica clothing from the early 20th Century, books, games, activities, posters and more" and you can rent the trunk for your classroom, daycare center, etc. for a two-week interval. The cost is FREE but you do need to make a reservation and return the trunk on time so the next group can use it. Unfortunately due to Covid-19, as of December 2020, the trunk is not available for rental. But keep this option in mind for the future! Hands-on learning is exciting for young learners and teachers alike!

Pile of trunks

I love that we have such an influential woman as part of our Virginia state history! I hope these teaching ideas help you in your classroom!

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