My final class project will center around a handful of women who lived during 18th century Williamsburg. These women were working individuals – milliners, tavern keepers, printers, and music teachers. They did not adhere to the stereotype of the colonial woman. The audience for this project will be 6-11 grade students studying Virginia and U.S. History.
I focused on this age group for my project after my meeting with Professor Kelley. He suggested, among other things, to look at the 4th grade history curriculum for the state of Virginia in order to see how they integrate colonial Williamsburg into the curriculum. What I discovered was that a lot of focus was directed towards the political and governmental history for these classes, rather than the social and cultural history. I continued to look at the other guidelines however. As before, a lot of the focus was on politics and government. Nevertheless, the course US History to 1865 contained a section which focused on how colonial America was shaped concentrating on the perspectives of various groups – large landowners, artisans, women, free and enslaved African Americans, and indentured servants. When discussing women in particular, the points emphasized for students to take away were that women were caretakers, house-workers, and homemakers, that they weren’t allowed to vote, and that they had few opportunities to get an education. Because of this, I think it most appropriate to have my project focus on this age group, however I do hope the material will be used by other audiences as well.