Important Message about LEARN NC

LEARN NC is evaluating its role in the current online education environment as it relates directly to the mission of UNC-Chapel Hill School of Education (UNC-CH SOE). We plan to look at our ability to facilitate the transmission of the best research coming out of UNC-CH SOE and other campus partners to support classroom teachers across North Carolina. We will begin by evaluating our existing faculty and student involvement with various NC public schools to determine what might be useful to share with you.

Don’t worry! The lesson plans, articles, and textbooks you use and love aren’t going away. They are simply being moved into the new LEARN NC Digital Archive. While we are moving away from a focus on publishing, we know it’s important that educators have access to these kinds of resources. These resources will be preserved on our website for the foreseeable future. That said, we’re directing our resources into our newest efforts, so we won’t be adding to the archive or updating its contents. This means that as the North Carolina Standard Course of Study changes in the future, we won’t be re-aligning resources. Our full-text and tag searches should make it possible for you to find exactly what you need, regardless of standards alignment.

Photograph of colonial re-enactor dipping a wick in a pot of wax to make candles.

A reenactor demonstrates candlemaking at Alamance Battleground. Photograph by David Walbert. About the photograph

Eighteenth-century America was a different world from ours, in ways that are often hard to pin down. People spoke English, but their words didn’t always mean what they mean today. They were Christians, but their Christianity was different from the religion of modern churches, and most people believed in some kind of astrology. Their family structures look much like ours, but children worked, women couldn’t own property, and many people married without a legal contract. Some of their most important industries no longer exist. The tools they used in their daily lives appear primitive, but they often have specific and complicated uses that we can barely imagine today.

In this chapter we’ll explore some aspects of colonial culture and society: agriculture and industry, family and marriage, what people learned and read, how they worshiped, the experiences of children, and even the money they used. We’ll also try to make connections between the big events and ideas of the eighteenth century and the daily lives of ordinary people.