TwHP Lessons

Iron Hill School:
An African-American
One-Room School

[Cover photo] Iron Hill Museum
(Susan Brizzolara Wojcik)

I wonder how she did it. Looking back, I really do. I remember her taking time with each class. As I remember, she got the younger children started on a project, maybe painting or going over our ABCs or our numbers. Then she would go on to the next class and get them started. We were all kind of getting started and busy. Then she went to the older children. She spent maybe a little more time with them because their lessons were a little more complicated. Then she would come back to us. But we knew that her eyes were on us and we kept busy. By the time she came back we tried to have our work done, at least I did....And that's how I remember her accomplishing her teaching.

--Rebecca Freeman, former student at Iron Hill School


Iron Hill School, constructed in 1923 in a rural area of northern Delaware, was one of more than 80 schools for African-American children built between 1919 and 1928 as part of philanthropist Pierre Samuel du Pont's "Delaware experiment." Though small and modest, these school buildings incorporated the latest design concepts in Progressive era education.


About This Lesson

Getting Started: Inquiry Question

Setting the Stage: Historical Context

Locating the Site: Maps
 1. Delaware

Determining the Facts: Readings
 1. Pierre du Pont and Delaware's Schools
 2. Progressive School Architecture
 3. Memories of Former Iron Hill Students

Visual Evidence: Images
 1. Iron Hill School
 2. School floor plan
 3. Inside Iron Hill School
 4. School furniture advertisement
 5. African-American school interior, 1916

Putting It All Together: Activities
 1. Researching Philanthropists
 2. Collecting Oral Histories
 3. The History of Your School

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This lesson is based on the Iron Hill School historic site, one of the thousands of properties listed in the National Register of Historic Places.




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