LEARN NC was a program of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Education from 1997 – 2013. It provided lesson plans, professional development, and innovative web resources to support teachers, build community, and improve K-12 education in North Carolina. Learn NC is no longer supported by the School of Education – this is a historical archive of their website.


Education for the Lumbee Tribe has always been important. After Reconstruction ended and the state of North Carolina began its journey to educate its people, no provisions were made for American Indians. Segregated schools provided education for whites and African Americans. American Indian children in Robeson County were not allowed to attend the white schools, and their parents did not want to send their children to schools set aside for African American students. The Decade of Despair, 1875-1885, brought the Indians of Robeson County to the realization that they lacked recognition as a tribe. Adolph Dial in his book The Only Land I Know explained “They were unacceptable to the white community, and resisted being fitted into the mold of segregation which was then being shaped for the Negro. The Robeson Indians responded with determination to improve their situation.” One way to improve the situation came in the form of a formal education system.

Learning Outcomes

  • Students will discover the differences in traditional and formal education for Lumbee children.
  • Students will review the chronology of formal education for Lumbee children.

Teacher Planning

Time required for lesson

Two 45-60 minutes class periods


Technology resources



  • The K-W-L tool will be used to introduce the education of Lumbee Indians.


Day 1

  1. Allow students to fill out the first two sections of the K-W-L chart.
  2. Work with students to read and understand the article “Laying the Foundation: American Indian Education in North Carolina” by Jefferson Currie II.
  3. Discuss the major benchmarks that moved the educational process for Indian students along.
  4. Return to Dial quote (in the lesson’s introduction) to have students think about the need for a school set aside especially for American Indian children rather than asking them to attend classes with African American children. Why was this an issue?
  5. Working with a partner, students will create a timeline of the progress and process in educating Indians in North Carolina.

Day 2

  1. Work with students to read and understand the article “Respect and Encourage the Individual: Learning among the Lumbee.”
  2. Discuss with students how traditional Lumbee education differs from the schooling they receive each day. Working in pairs, students will complete a Venn diagram to show the differences and similarities in the education process.
  3. Students then fill out the last column of the K-W-L chart.


  • Oral discussion, completion of timeline, Venn diagram, and K-W-L chart.


Learning outcomes:

  • To become acquainted with persons and objects associated with the educating of NC Indian children.
  • To use a talk show format to discuss the progress of educating Indian students in Robeson County and the persons/objects of significance.

Teacher planning

Time required for lesson

Two 45-60 minutes in library/class and homework time.


  • library
  • Internet access




  1. Divide the class so that each group has one educator or object of education to research. Students should look for information outlining the significance of the person/object.
  2. The following educators are a starting point for research: Aldoph Dial, English Jones, Hamilton McMillan, Malinda Maynor, Ruth Dial Moore, W.L. Moore, Old Main, Rosemarie Lowery Townsend, University of North Carolina at Pembroke.
  3. Allow time in the library to gather research. Students should also be given time in class to collaborate and produce the talk show.
  4. For more information on creating discussions that follow a talk show format, see Alternative Discussion Formats: The Talk Show by Kathryn Walbert, available from LEARN NC.

  • North Carolina Essential Standards
    • Social Studies (2010)
      • Grade 4

        • 4.H.1 Analyze the chronology of key historical events in North Carolina history. 4.H.1.1 Summarize the change in cultures, everyday life and status of indigenous American Indian groups in North Carolina before and after European exploration. 4.H.1.2 Explain...
      • Grade 8

        • 8.C.1 Understand how different cultures influenced North Carolina and the United States. 8.C.1.1 Explain how exploration and colonization influenced Africa, Europe and the Americas (e.g. Columbian exchange, slavery and the decline of the American Indian populations)....
        • 8.H.3 Understand the factors that contribute to change and continuity in North Carolina and the United States. 8.H.3.1 Explain how migration and immigration contributed to the development of North Carolina and the United States from colonization to contemporary...

North Carolina curriculum alignment

English Language Arts (2004)

Grade 4

  • Goal 2: The learner will apply strategies and skills to comprehend text that is read, heard, and viewed.
    • Objective 2.03: Read a variety of texts, including:
      • fiction (legends, novels, folklore, science fiction).
      • nonfiction (autobiographies, informational books, diaries, journals).
      • poetry (concrete, haiku).
      • drama (skits, plays).
    • Objective 2.05: Make inferences, draw conclusions, make generalizations, and support by referencing the text.
    • Objective 2.06: Summarize major points from fiction and nonfiction text(s) to clarify and retain information and ideas.
    • Objective 2.07: Determine usefulness of information and ideas consistent with purpose.
    • Objective 2.08: Verify the meaning or accuracy of the author's statement(s) by referencing the text or other resources.
    • Objective 2.09: Listen actively by:
      • asking questions.
      • paraphrasing what was said.
      • interpreting speaker's verbal and non-verbal messages.
      • interpreting speaker's purposes and/or intent.
  • Goal 3: The learner will make connections with text through the use of oral language, written language, and media and technology.
    • Objective 3.05: Analyze and integrate information from one or more sources to expand understanding of text including graphs, charts, and/or maps.
    • Objective 3.06: Conduct research for assigned projects or self-selected projects (with assistance) from a variety of sources through the use of technological and informal tools (e.g., print and non-print texts, artifacts, people, libraries, databases, computer networks).
  • Goal 4: The learner will apply strategies and skills to create oral, written, and visual texts.
    • Objective 4.02: Use oral and written language to:
      • present information and ideas in a clear, concise manner.
      • discuss.
      • interview.
      • solve problems.
      • make decisions.
    • Objective 4.03: Make oral and written presentations using visual aids with an awareness of purpose and audience.
    • Objective 4.04: Share self-selected texts from a variety of genres (e.g., poetry, letters, narratives, essays, presentations).
    • Objective 4.05: Use planning strategies to generate topics and organize ideas (e.g., brainstorming, mapping, webbing, reading, discussion).
    • Objective 4.10: Use technology as a tool to gather, organize, and present information.

Grade 8

  • Goal 2: The learner will use and evaluate information from a variety of sources.
    • Objective 2.01: Analyze and evaluate informational materials that are read, heard, and/or viewed by:
      • monitoring comprehension for understanding of what is read, heard and/or viewed.
      • recognizing the characteristics of informational materials.
      • summarizing information.
      • determining the importance of information.
      • making connections to related topics/information.
      • drawing inferences.
      • generating questions.
      • extending ideas.
    • Objective 2.02: Use multiple sources of print and non-print information to explore and create research products in both written and presentational forms by:
      • determining purpose, audience, and context.
      • understnaing the focus.
      • recognizing and/or choosing a relevant topic.
      • recognizing and/or selecting presentational format (e.g., video, essay, interactive technology) appropriate to audience.
      • evaluating information for extraneous detail, inconsistencies, relevant facts, and organization.
      • researching and organizing information to achieve purpose.
      • using notes and/or memory aids to structure information.
      • supporting ideas with examples, definitions, analogies, and direct references to primary and secondary sources.
      • noting and/or citing sources used.
      • recognizing the use of and/or employing graphics such as charts, diagrams,and graphs to enhance the communication of information.

Social Studies (2003)

Grade 4

  • Goal 2: The learner will examine the importance of the role of ethnic groups and examine the multiple roles they have played in the development of North Carolina.
    • Objective 2.03: Describe the similarities and differences among people of North Carolina, past and present.
    • Objective 2.04: Describe how different ethnic groups have influenced culture, customs and history of North Carolina.
  • Goal 3: The learner will trace the history of colonization in North Carolina and evaluate its significance for diverse people's ideas.
    • Objective 3.01: Assess changes in ways of living over time and determine whether the changes are primarily political, economic, or social.
    • Objective 3.02: Identify people, symbols, events, and documents associated with North Carolina's history.
  • Goal 4: The learner will analyze social and political institutions in North Carolina such as government, education, religion, and family and how they structure society, influence behavior, and respond to human needs.
    • Objective 4.05: Identify and assess the role of prominent persons in North Carolina, past and present.

Grade 8

  • Goal 5: The learner will evaluate the impact of political, economic, social, and technological changes on life in North Carolina from 1870 to 1930.
    • Objective 5.02: Examine the changing role of educational, religious, and social institutions in the state and analyze their impact.
  • Goal 7: The learner will analyze changes in North Carolina during the postwar period to the 1970's.
    • Objective 7.02: Evaluate the importance of social changes to different groups in North Carolina.