The Kentucky Archaeological Survey and the Davis Bottom History Preservation Project have created an online resource of lessons 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 students in grades 4-8 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.

“Davis Bottom in the 1890s” is a portrait of a working-class neighborhood in Lexington at the turn of the last century. Davis Bottom was one of the city’s first integrated neighborhoods. 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. Six lesson sets targeting upper elementary school students (grades 4-5) are linked to this mural.

“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. 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. Five lesson sets targeting middle school students (grades 6-8) are linked to this mural.

Click here for more information or to access the lessons.