2.5 Women in North Carolina monuments
Provided by UNC Libraries / Documenting the American South.
In this lesson, students will learn about five women represented in North Carolina’s commemorative landscape. Students will first examine the monuments in small groups. Then students will research the individual using primary sources in the Commemorative Landscape collection and other relevant databases. Lastly, students will share their findings with their peers and problematize the limited representation of women in North Carolina’s commemorative landscape. Students will go on to research three important female figures in North Carolina history and propose a monument that could honor one of them.
- understand the meaning of “commemoration.”
- identify and describe women represented in North Carolina monuments.
- problematize the ways in which women have and have not been represented in North Carolina’s monuments.
Time required for lesson
Three 45-minute classes
- Drawing paper
- Crayons and/or markers
- Notebook paper
- Five to seven laptops or classroom computers
- Access to the Commemorative Landscapes collection
- Access to NCpedia
- Explain that women played and continue to play an important role in North Carolina’s history. Share that they will learn about five women represented in North Carolina monuments using the Commemorative Landscapes collection.
- Divide the class into five groups of three to five students. Explain that each group will be learning about one woman represented in North Carolina’s commemorative landscape. They will become experts on that particular woman and share what they found with the class at the end of the class period.
- Assign each group to one of the following monuments:
- As students study the monument, ask them to answer and record the questions below:
- What is the name of the monument?
- When was the monument built?
- Who is represented in the monument?
- What does the monument look like? Are there are any unique elements or features?
- What is most interesting about the monument’s appearance?
- Are there any inscriptions? If so, what do they say?
- Is the monument still in existence?
- After students have learned about the monument, encourage them to use the Commemorative Landscapes Database and NCpedia to answer the following questions:
- Why was this woman important to North Carolina’s history?
- Why do you think a monument was built to this particular woman?
- Facilitate a Jigsaw activity that allows students to share their knowledge about the monument.
- After students have completed the jigsaw activity, ask the class to discuss why they think these particular women were represented. Encourage students to see that the women featured in North Carolina’s monuments feature a very limited picture of women’s role in North Carolina history. The five monuments featured represent mythical female figures or the wives and daughters of North Carolina leaders.
- Explain that over the next two days, they will learn about thirty other important women in North Carolina history and choose one of these women to represent in a monument of their own design.
- In pairs students will use NCpedia to research three important women in North Carolina’s history. Emphasize that each pair of students should try to find a woman leader who was born during three different time periods:
- before 1900
- after 1900 and before 1950
- after 1950
- Encourage students to spend fifteen minutes simply browsing through the database and reading about the featured women. Ask students to keep a list of women that they find interesting or would like to learn more about on a sheet of notebook paper.
- After students have browsed through the database, encourage them to continue their search while selecting three women that they find particularly interesting. To help guide their research, ask students to answer the following questions:
- What is the woman’s name?
- When was she born? When did she die?
- Why is she an influential woman in North Carolina’s history?
- Why do you find her interesting?
- Is there a picture of her? If so, what does she look like?
- Encourage student pairs to share about three women they researched with one or two other pairs of students.
- Explain to the students that they will choose one of the three North Carolina women that they researched to honor as a monument. They will plan and draw what the monument will look like and where it will be placed.
- Students will then write a letter or e-mail to the National Park Service describing their proposed monument and explaining why the monument should be erected.
- Students should begin by writing a rough draft of their letter explaining:
- what person they selected and why
- the meaning behind their monument design
- the location selection
- Students will exchange rough drafts with a peer. Students will provide constructive feedback to help their peer’s letter sound clear and convincing. You may choose to use some of these peer editing strategies to guide peer editing.
- Students will make revisions and edits to their letter before mailing it or e-mailing it to the National Park Service.
- Evaluate student writing against the information provided through class activities.
- Gauge student participation in class discussions.
North Carolina curriculum alignment
Social Studies (2003)
- Goal 3: The learner will identify key events and evaluate the impact of reform and expansion in North Carolina during the first half of the 19th century.
- Objective 3.03: Identify and evaluate the impact of individual reformers and groups and assess the effectiveness of their programs.