Preparing for the Golden Horseshoe Test

~the 2nd in a series of articles~

Click here to read the 1st article in the series.

Learning about West Virginia in the 8th grade is both a valuable academic opportunity and essential preparation for the Golden Horseshoe exam, a prestigious statewide competition.  Even if your student does not plan to take the Golden Horseshoe test, the study is traditional for Mountaineers and a perfect complement to the middle school years.  Recommended resources are listed below:

  • West Virginia: Its Land, Its People is the textbook used in public and private schools.   Parents may be able to borrow the textbook from their local middle school or order the book through this link: CHEWV has teaching resources available to members.

State law says that county BOEs may issue a homeschool student a book if they are available, but schools are not required to loan textbooks if they do not have enough. Contact your county’s BOE or your local middle school’s WV History instructor to find out what is available.  While teacher editions and answer keys are not likely to be offered, CHEWV has resources for members to help plan and teach WV history.

Check your local library for additional resources for teaching WV History:

  • The Golden Horseshoe  by Frances B. Gunter is a fictionalized mystery that sends a group of youth on a mysterious quest. As a result, the reader learns about important historical events. Your student may not realize this is a history book as they get caught up in the story!
  • West Virginia Encyclopedia, by Ken Sullivan, is also available online. They have a great guide for teachers with a list of relevant articles.

The West Virginia Cultural Center offers online resources that would be an invaluable addition as you teach your students about West Virginia history including quizzes!

West Virginia History Tip #2: Not only does the Golden Horseshoe test cover state history, it includes questions about economics, cultural studies, civics, geography, and popular culture. Students should strive for mastery of these areas to provide a comprehensive picture of the great state of West Virginia.

West Virginia History Tip #3: Educational field trips include Blennerhassett Island and Prickett’s Fort, both of which close for the winter season in October or November. These state parks are wonderful living history opportunities for your students to experience history outside of the world of a textbook. Plan your trip today!

Read the next article in the Golden Horseshoe series here.