TITLE: Viewing Guide for Eight Selected Members of the Norfolk 17
TOPIC: Integration, Norfolk 17, and Massive Resistance
compare the stories of eight members of the Norfolk 17
view and interpret photographs
read material about the eight members and draw conclusions
describe thoughts and questions about the eight selected members of the Norfolk 17
explain how schooling differs today compared to schooling in 1959
draw conclusions about personal values and traits of the eight selected members of the
Elementary School Curriculum Frameworks Across Grade Levels
1.10 Good citizens show a variety of positive traits.
1.12 Communities in Virginia include people with different ethnic origins,
customs, and traditions.
2.12 The United States is a land of people who have diverse ethnic origins,
customs, and traditions
VS9b Massive Resistance Movement was designed to avoid desegregation in Virginia.
Middle School Curriculum - United States History: 1877 to the Present
USII.1a Analyze and interpret primary and secondary source documents.
USII.1b Make connections between past and present.
USII.7d Demonstrate knowledge of African Americans’ aspirations for equal
opportunities and Civil Rights legislation
USII.8a Examine the Civil Rights Movement.
High School Curriculum
VUS.1a Identify, analyze, and interpret primary and secondary source documents, records
data, including artifacts, diaries, letters, photographs, journals, newspapers,
historical accounts, and art to increase understanding of events and life in the
VUS.1c Formulate historical questions and defend findings based on inquiry and
VUS.14a Identify the importance of Brown v. Board of Education decision (Supreme Court,
Virginia case, Massive Resistance).
GOVT.1a Analyze primary and secondary sources.
GOVT.8.d Examine the ways individuals and groups exert influence on state and local
In the United States, desegregation of public schools occurred after the 1954 Supreme Court
decision in Brown v. Board of Education. Many southern states resisted desegregation. In
Virginia, the Massive Resistance Movement arose in response to desegregation legislation.
The photograph of the Norfolk 17 depicts the African American students who attended Norfolk’s
public schools in February 1959. Prior to allowing the 17 students access to public schools,
Norfolk closed its schools in the Fall of 1958 and did not reopen until February 1959. This
activity is designed to allow students an opportunity to explore the lives of eight members of the
Norfolk 17. Prior to this activity, students should have gathered background information about
the Norfolk 17 and desegregation.
1. Introduce students to the Civil Rights Movement and efforts to integrate public schools in
2. Access http://www.lib.odu.edu/special/schooldesegregation/ and explore the brief overview.
3. Click on the picture of the Norfolk 17 and read about their journey.
4. Click on individuals to demonstrate how to view details for each person.
5. Explore personal stories.
5. Write questions that arise as you look explore the eight selected stories.
http://www.lib.odu.edu/ Click on the desegregation link in the upper right corner.
http://www.lib.odu.edu/special/schooldesegregation/ Access the picture and individual
LESSON PLAN IDEAS
Focus Activity – 10 minutes:
Project the picture of the Norfolk 17. Click on one individual, Olivia Driver (top row, left of
the column). Ask students to focus on her photographs from 1959 and today. Distribute
the Entrance Ticket for this activity. Provide a review of desegregation in Norfolk.
Entrance Ticket for Viewing Olivia Driver
1. Describe what you notice in the picture of Olivia Driver as she went to school. Then
list your thoughts about the picture and event.
Description Your Thoughts
2. Describe what you notice in the current picture of Olivia Driver. Then list your
thoughts about the picture and circumstances.
Description Your Thoughts
WHOLE CLASS DISCUSSION AND QUESTIONING – 10 minutes
Ask students to volunteer to share their entrance ticket answers for the 1959 picture.
Record answers for all to see. Prompt students with questions:
What can you determine from Olivia’s body language?
What did Olivia’s facial expressions tell you?
What did you think as you viewed this photograph?
Does anything in the photograph provide clues about desegregation?
What assumptions did you make?
GROUP WORK – 20 minutes
Arrange students in groups of four, five, or six. Instruct students to work as a group to
discuss the current picture of Olivia and the written material. On the back of the Entrance
Ticket, group members should record their responses to the following questions (you may
wish to print the questions on the back of the Entrance Ticket). Each group will present
to the class.
1. What do you notice about Olivia’s current picture?
2. Can you see the young Olivia in the current picture?
3. What circumstances did Olivia experience as she attended school?
4. Did your initial impression of the early picture of Olivia match the written description?
5. Based on the pictures and written information, what conclusions can you come to about
6. What are the personal reactions of your group members to Olivia’s story?
INDIVIDUAL ANALYSIS – 30 minutes
Distribute the viewing guide for the eight selected members of the Norfolk 17. Review
the directions on the viewing guide. Students will access the electronic material via the
Internet. As students view individual pictures and stories, they will record information on
the viewing guide. After students gather details for the eight members, they will engage
in whole class discussion and questioning.
CLOSURE – 10 minutes
First, ask students to share their findings from today’s activities.
Next, ask students to think about how they would have tolerated the events of 1959.
Then ask students to write a brief summary about the experiences of the eight selected
members of the Norfolk 17.
VIEWING GUIDE FOR SELECTED MEMBERS OF THE NORFOLK 17
Who are they? What did they experience? Where are they today?
First, access http://www.lib.odu.edu/special/schooldesegregation/.
Next, click on the picture of the Norfolk 17 in the bottom left.
To view a picture of the person, click on the name, look at a picture, and read about his
or her experiences.
Write your notes, reactions, and questions on this page.
Prepare to share your findings.
Andrew Heidelberg LaVera Forbes
Louis Cousins Johnnie Rouse
Freddy Gonsouland Patricia Turner
Delores Johnson (Brown) Geraldine Talley