K-12 Teaching and Learning From the UNC School of Education

Important Announcement about Online Courses and LEARN NC.

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.

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Related pages

  • Exploring the church in the southern black community: Students explore the Documenting the American South Collection titled, the “Church in the Southern Black Community.” Beginning with a historian's interpretation of the primary sources that make up the collection, students search the collection for evidence to describe the experiences of African Americans living in the south during the Antebellum through the Reconstruction Period centering on their community churches. The activity culminates in student presentations of a digital scrap book.
  • Mendenhall Plantation: A visit to the Mendenhall Plantation shows students that there were dissenters to slavery in antebellum North Carolina. Buildings on the property include the main house, an old school house, the Madison Lindsay House and Medical School, a spring house, and a barn. There is also a restored wagon that may have been used to help runaway slaves.
  • Teaching about slavery through newspaper advertisements: In this lesson for grades 8 and 11, students will analyze a selection of advertisements related to slavery from an 1837 newspaper in order to enhance their understanding of antebellum North Carolina, U.S. history, and the history of American slavery.

Related topics


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Learning outcomes

  • Students will analyze primary sources from the Documenting the American South collection.
  • Students will be able to identify some positives and negatives of the Great Awakening on race relations in America.
  • Students will write a “sermon” or persuasive essay for or against religion eliminating slavery and racism.

Teacher planning

Time required for lesson

90 minutes


Technology resources


Students should be familiar with the first and second Great Awakenings. The teacher should assign reading and teach the students about such events as camp meetings and revivals, and such people as George Whitefield, Lyman Beecher, Charles Finney, Jonathan Edwards, among others.


  1. Students should be taken to the Documenting the American South website.
  2. Students should examine specific pages of the following primary source documents from the website:
  3. Have the students answer questions from the Primary Document Question Sheet as they read the primary source documents.
  4. After reading the required pages and answering the questions, the students should also take the time to review race relations during the 19th century and the Great Awakening. Considering the historical context of these documents as well as what the documents themselves reveal, the students should make a chart of the positive and negative aspects of religion and the Great Awakening on race relations between whites and blacks.
  5. The students will then write a three paragraph persuasive essay (sermon), taking the role of a Southern itinerant preacher during the Great Awakening, arguing for or against religion as a cure for the social ills of slavery and racism. In the essay/sermon, the students will have to use evidence from both of the primary sources studied. The students will also have to make at least three arguments for or against religion as a cure for the social ills of slavery and racism.


  • Qualities of essays earning an A: Thorough presentation of arguments using both of the primary sources from Documenting the American South. The sermon is in historical context. Includes at least three major arguments for or against religion as a cure for the social ills of slavery and racism.
  • Qualities of essays earning a B: Good presentation of arguments using one of the primary sources from Documenting the American South. Includes at least two major arguments for or against religion as a cure for the social ills of slavery and racism.
  • Qualities of essays earning a C: Adequate presentation of arguments using one of the primary sources from Documenting the American South. Includes only one major argument for or against religion as a cure for the social ills of slavery and racism.

Supplemental information


This lesson plan was created at the 2004 Documenting the South Summer Writing Institute and made possible through funding provided by NC ECHO, LEARN NC, the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Education, and the UNC-Chapel Hill library system.

  • Common Core State Standards
    • English Language Arts (2010)
      • History/Social Studies

        • Grades 11-12
          • 11-12.LH.1 Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources, connecting insights gained from specific details to an understanding of the text as a whole.
          • 11-12.LH.6 Evaluate authors’ differing points of view on the same historical event or issue by assessing the authors’ claims, reasoning, and evidence.

  • North Carolina Essential Standards
    • Social Studies (2010)
      • United States History I

        • USH.H.1 Apply the four interconnected dimensions of historical thinking to the United States History Essential Standards in order to understand the creation and development of the United States over time. USH.H.1.1 Use Chronological thinking to: Identify the...
        • USH.H.4 Analyze how conflict and compromise have shaped politics, economics and culture in the United States. USH.H.4.1 Analyze the political issues and conflicts that impacted the United States through Reconstruction and the compromises that resulted (e.g.,...
        • USH.H.5 Understand how tensions between freedom, equality and power have shaped the political, economic and social development of the United States. USH.H.5.1 Summarize how the philosophical, ideological and/or religious views on freedom and equality contributed...

North Carolina curriculum alignment

Social Studies (2003)

Grade 11–12 — United States History

  • Goal 2: Expansion and Reform (1801-1850) - The learner will assess the competing forces of expansionism, nationalism, and sectionalism.
    • Objective 2.06: Evaluate the role of religion in the debate over slavery and other social movements and issues.