19: How the Monuments Came Down Additional Resources

19: How the Monuments Came Down Additional Resources


How the Monuments Came Down explores the complex history of Richmond, Virginia through the lens of Confederate monuments, supported by an extensive visual record never before presented in a single work.

Through personal stories from descendants and history-makers, the film uncovers how Confederate monuments came to shape Richmonds landscape and why protestors demanded they come down.

How the Monuments Came Down is a production of Field Studio, in association with VPM.

Learning Objectives - Letter to Teachers

Dear Teachers,

Thank you for taking a moment in your busy day to consider this curriculum guide for How the Monuments Came Down, an essential film for viewing — and teaching.

How the Monuments Came Down is a fascinating documentary that tells a 160 year struggle for suffrage, political power, and respect for Black Richmonders. It combines great storytelling with outstanding primary sources to reveal narratives that have widely been dismissed in many documentaries.

I have taught history in Richmond for more than 20 years, and this film captures so much of the history of the city, the struggle, the political strife, the systemic racism, and the determination of the people to overcome. All students and teachers should watch this film and have deep, thoughtful discussions about systemic racism and how it appears in everything from legislation passed by the state lawmakers to statutes to police and public interactions. I challenge teachers and students to watch and have respectful, open, and honest conversations about power and race in the city of Richmond.

The guide is organized into two sections: the first presents graphic organizers for use with document analysis; the second offers document-based questions. Each learning opportunity within is supported by a clip from the film and a primary source for students and teachers to analyze, in order to develop a deeper understanding of the film and the historical eras it explores. There is also a list of project-based activities to tap into deeper learning for your students. And every element of this guide is connected to the relevant Virginia Standards of Learning and Common Core State Standards.

I hope that you find this guide as meaningful to teach as it was to create. My best wishes for your work,


Rodney Robinson
Richmond Public Schools
2019 National Teacher of the Year

How the Monuments Came Down Project Based Activity

R.A.F.T. activities promote student engagement by empowering students to choose the format in which they will demonstrate knowledge of a subject. R.A.F.T. assignments encourage students to use their own voices and skills to present ideas about content information they are studying. The acronym stands for Role, Audience, Format, and Topic. The strategy was developed for literature and writing classes, but the model has been adapted by other subjects to incorporate a range of student learning styles. R.A.F.T. assignments are graded using a teacher based rubric that sets guiding questions for the project.

How the Monuments Came Down Gallery Walk Activity

Gallery Walk activities ask students to examine and analyze historical images in order to develop an understanding of the social, political, and economic characteristics of the time and place in which the images were created.

Curriculum Guide for How the Monuments Came Down Film

How the Monuments Came Down was created with teachers in mind. Rodney Robinson, the 2019 National Teacher of the Year and a 20-year veteran of Richmond Public Schools, wrote this curriculum guide to maximize the film's usefulness in the classroom. To view the entire How the Monuments Came Down film, click here.