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In Podcast #21 the Trekkers take you to the Pocahontas Coal Mine, home of the world famous Pocahontas coal, in the Appalachian Plateau region of Virginia.  It was the official coal of the U.S.Navy and was used to heat homes across the nation.   When the mine opened after the Civil War in 1883, it led to the growth of the railroad and cities in Virginia and helped with the Reconstruction of our state.  Explore the coal mine with the Trekkers and  learn about the difficult and dangerous life of a coal miner; find out how coal was formed and take a look at some petrified wood and a real fish fossil that we found in the mine!  Come on, let's go trekkin'

Even little kids had to work in the coal mines.  Here’s a picture of some elementary-aged boys who worked in the mines.  They had to be in the dark, dirty mines for the same amount of time as the men and often had jobs which were just as dangerous.  You can learn more by clicking here.

SOL Correlation:

1.12 The student will recognize that communities in Virginia include people who have diverse ethnic origins, customs, and traditions, who make contributions to their communities, and who are united as Americans by common principles.


2.7 The student will describe the differences between natural resources (water, soil, wood, and coal), human resources (people at work), and capital resources (machines, tools, and buildings).


2.12 The student will understand that the United States is a land of people who have diverse origins, customs, and traditions, who make contributions to their communities, and who are united as Americans by common principles.


3.7 The student will explain how producers use natural resources (water, soil, wood, and coal), human resources (people at work), and capital resources (machines, tools, and buildings) to produce goods and services for consumers.


3.11 The student will investigate and understand different sources of energy. Key concepts include

c) fossil fuels (coal, oil, natural gas) and wood; and


3.12 The student will recognize that Americans are a people of diverse ethnic origins, customs, and traditions, who are united by the basic principles of a republican form of government and respect for individual rights and freedoms.


4.8 The student will investigate and understand important Virginia natural resources.  Key concepts include

c) minerals, rocks, ores, and energy sources; and


VS.4 The student will demonstrate knowledge of life in the Virginia colony by

  1. b)describing how European (English, Scotch-Irish, German) immigrants, Africans, and American Indians (First Americans) influenced the cultural landscape and changed the relationship between the Virginia colony and England;


VS.8 The student will demonstrate knowledge of the reconstruction of Virginia following the Civil War by

  1. a)identifying the effects of Reconstruction on life in Virginia;

c) describing the importance of railroads, new industries, and the growth of cities to Virginia’s economic development


VS.10 The student will demonstrate knowledge of government, geography, and economics by

  1. b)describing the major products and industries of Virginia’s five geographic regions;

  2. c)describing the importance of railroads, new industries, and the growth of cities to Virginia’s economic development

Appalachian Plateau