Wil Lou Gray - Classroom Resources | Idella Bodie S.C. Women

Wil Lou Gray
Share to google classroom

Description/Standards Tabs



Duty– an act or work or service

Funding– to provide money

Graduate– to be granted a degree or diploma

Hired Help– to pay a person for a service

Illiterate– unable to read or write

Kin– family, one’s relatives

Literate– able to read or write

Luxuries– something that costs a lot of money for fun or comfort

Mill– a building with machinery; factory

Opportunity– to get a chance to advance; to do well

Poverty– to be poor

Privy– an outhouse; an outside bathroom

Rural- country

Sassing– back-talking; to talk back

Society– the rich, privileged

Talent– a special ability

Telegraph– a machine used to send messages by wire

Unique– one of a kind


Classroom Activities 

Research: Individual students or small groups. Students utilize a variety of research materials to create a short presentation about the different stages of Wil Lou Gray’s life; as a child living in Laurens, as a young lady going to college, as a young lady teaching in a one room schoolhouse, as a young woman working with adult education and as the person helping to start the South Carolina Opportunity School later named for Dr. Wil Lou Gray. 

Character Education: After researching Dr. Wil lou Gray, the students should list the qualities that enabled her to achieve her goals as well as the obstacles she faced. Compare Dr. Wil Lou Gray with one of today’s leaders in education. 

Bulletin Board: Create a class bulletin board of Wil Lou Gray’s life. 

38. Compare and Contrast: Compare and contrast the physical appearance, both inside and out, of Wil Lou Gray’s first school and your school today. Which school would you rather go to for your education and why? Explain.

Analysis: Why was it so difficult to get adults educated? How did an education impact their family and communities?  

Debate: Debate the community conflict of educating adults. Why was there disagreement over educating illiterate adults in rural communities? 

Map Skills: Locate Laurens and the Wil Lou Gray Opportunity School in West Columbia on a South Carolina state map. Create driving directions from Laurens to the school.  

Research: Class or small group project. Investigate the enrollment application process for the Wil Lou Gray Opportunity School. Who should apply? What educational opportunities are available? What are the requirements of the school? How many students are enrolled? What type of housing is available? 

Field Trip: Take a field trip to the Wil Lou Gray Opportunity School in West Columbia. School Contact should be made for approval: 803-896-6480, Wil Lou Gray Opportunity School, 3300 West Campus Road, West Columbia, SC 29170


More in this Series