Historic Davis Bottom neighborhood subject of online program

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ)A new educational resource about Lexington’s historic Davis Bottom neighborhood is now available online to students, parents and teachers at http://arch.as.uky.edu/.

The on-line resource of innovative lessons is linked to two murals featured in the award-winning documentary Davis Bottom, Rare History, Valuable Lives. Developed with Kentucky teachers in mind, the 11 stand-alone lesson sets engage 4th through 8th-grade students in social studies while strengthening their visual, literacy, and analytical thinking skills. Each set consists of a short background essay, standards-based discussion questions, a list of achieved standards, and suggestions for teaching and activities.

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Davis Bottom in the 1890s is a portrait of a working class neighborhood in Lexington, Kentucky at the turn of the last century. Davis Bottom was one of the city’s first integrated neighborhoods. Six lesson sets, targeting upper elementary school students (grades 4-5) are linked to this mural.  Learning about the lives of these late 20th century people gives students the opportunity to explore the meaning of neighborhood and the definition of family, the use and abuse of power, and stereotypes about the working poor.

Civil Rights in Lexington – 4th of July 1867 recreates the scene of one of Kentucky’s largest civil rights events. William “Willard” Davis, the man responsible for establishing Davis Bottom as an integrated community, was among the speakers that day. Five lesson sets targeting middle school students (grades 6-8) are linked to this mural.  Learning about this event helps students understand the situation of newly freed African Americans after the Civil War and the beginnings of their long struggle for civil rights.

The Kentucky Archaeological Survey and the Davis Bottom History Preservation Project, in conjunction with the University of Kentucky, launched the initiative as part of their “Teaching Through Documentary Art: Lessons for Elementary and Middle School Social Studies Teachers” series.

Funding for the development of the webpage, lesson plans and artwork was provided by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and the Federal Highway Administration as part of the Newtown Pike Extension Project in Lexington.