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

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.

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Related pages

  • Understanding North Carolina's Moravian settlers: In this lesson plan, students read a diary written by a young Moravian man traveling from Pennsylvania to a Moravian settlement in North Carolina in 1733. Students complete a graphic organizer with details of the journey and follow the route on a map.
  • Discussion questions: Expanding to the west: This set of discussion questions was designed to help students understand an article about the settlement of the Piedmont region of North Carolina between 1730 and 1775.
  • Along the Trail of Tears: A part of history is often forgotten when teaching younger students. This is the relocation of the Cherokee Indians when the white settlers wanted their property. The US Government moved whole groups of Indians under harsh conditions. This trip became known as the Trail of Tears. Using this as a background students will explore and experiment with persuasive writing as they try to express the position of Cherokee leaders.

Related topics


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Learning outcomes


  • Students will summarize historic background from an 18th century community in our area.
  • Students will compare/contrast life today with the past community.
  • Students will analyze pictures to answer questions about Bethabara.


  • Students will work cooperatively to gather information from a website.
  • Students will design a visual presentation for classmates to learn the information from each topic.
  • Students will answer questions about pictures taken and published online by NCECHO.

Teacher planning

Time required for lesson

3 Days



  • Computer(s) with internet access
  • Paper and pencil for notetaking
  • Assigned topics for research
  • Materials for creating visual presentation

Classroom environment

  • Room for small team of students to sit to work with teacher on computer
  • Other assignments/centers for rest of class until time to work with teacher


  • Drawing materials for students to create visual presentation
  • Teacher should post list of topics and student-generated list of ideas for project

Technology resources

Internet connection to NCECHO to view NCECHO pictures and the Moravian Story on the City of Winston-Salem website.


Students have previous experience with picture walks through reading selections and nonfiction science/social studies lessons. Check out Education.com’s Picture Walk for a tutorial for more information about how to do a Picture Walk.


Day 1

  1. Introduce Bethabara as a site of local interest and example of life long ago. Check for any prior knowledge in discussion.
  2. Set up centers for student participation when not working with teacher. (I use computer touch typing and math drill activities with Math Blaster because I have 17 computers in my classroom) Other possibilities: silent reading, handwriting practice, partner reading of weekly selection, puzzles, matching games for math concepts, etc.
  3. Explain task on website by listing topics for research:
    • Background of Moravians before America
    • First emigrants to Bethabara with details
    • Difficulties with environment and inhabitants
    • What happened to Bethabara?
  4. Student groups are given the assignment to teach the rest of the class about each of the above topics through some form of visual presentation. Brainstorm possibilities.

Once everyone understands requirements for each 20-minute center, move teams into the activities. Teacher (with one team prepared to take notes at computer) opens the link to the Moravian Story:

  1. Begin reading through information (about 4-7 sections of information for each team), explaining terms and background.
  2. Note diary form which makes Moravian history so well-documented.
  3. Focus on topic assigned to the team, agree on items which could be used to show the rest of the class the important information (this serves as a plan for their presentation).
  4. Switch groups until everyone has completed the research (about 90 minutes).

Day 2

  1. Discuss ways to present information after teams review notes.
  2. Allow students to work on presentations (30 minutes or as long as they are productive!).
  3. Teams present projects and allow for questions from classmates (10 minutes each).
  4. Post student work for reference throughout unit as students begin to recognize differences between Bethabara of long ago and today (this will become clearer after the photo analysis on the next day and the field trip to the park).

Day 3

  1. Set up centers
  2. Teacher provides list of questions to answer about photos on NCECHO site:
    1. Look at the Gemeinhaus photo. How was the building used by the Moravians? How is this different from YOUR church, school, meeting places? Why is this a smart idea?
    2. Draw a picture of the palisades. Why did the Moravians build a fence? Notice that the fence is made of wood and has been rebuilt. Why wouldn’t the original fence still be in place? What would we use today?
    3. Examine the materials used to line the cellar. Think of ways this might have been built then and now.
    4. Look at the garden (lots of pictures). Explain “reconstructed”, well-documented”, “colonial”, “medicinal.” Identify at least two plants we grow today that were also grown in 1759.
    5. How much do we know about the Bethabara Tavern? What services did this business offer? How would these services be provided today?
    6. If the eighth grade mural is an accurate depiction of life in Bethabara, what do we know about how the Indians and Moravians got along? What other stories of Indians and settlers do we know?


Team visual presentations

  • 4 = Basic information is clear, project shows that students worked successfully together to make an appealing, creative, detailed piece; student explanation is interesting, clear, shared, and engaging
  • 3 = Basic information is clear, project showed students worked together to make an appealing piece; explanation is interesting and clear but may not demonstrate that work is shared or is not engaging for audience
  • 2 = Some aspects of information are lacking or unclear, project shows lack of cooperation or is incomplete, student explanation lacks clear focus and details and does not demonstrate sharing and lacks qualities to engage audience
  • 1 = Incomplete information, unclear visual items, project suggests lack of cohesion and cooperation, student explanation does not “teach” material or answer student questions

Class/Team discussion

  • Answers to questions from photo analysis
  • Venn diagram of THEN and NOW

Supplemental information

More information about Bethabara Park can be found on the Historic Area page of the website. Contact Historic Bethabara Park (see website) for information they send to schools prior to field trips


This lesson was created at an NCCAT seminar at The Trinity Center at Pine Knoll Shores (04/03)to introduce classroom teachers to NC ECHO with the cooperation and guidance of LEARN NC. It serves as a technology enrichment activity to improve student computer literacy and ability to search for and use primary sources.

  • North Carolina Essential Standards
    • Social Studies (2010)
      • Grade 3

        • 3.H.1 Understand how events, individuals and ideas have influenced the history of local and regional communities. 3.H.1.1 Explain key historical events that occurred in the local community and regions over time. 3.H.1.2 Analyze the impact of contributions...
        • 3.H.2 Use historical thinking skills to understand the context of events, people and places. 3.H.2.1 Explain change over time through historical narratives (events, people and places). 3.H.2.2 Explain how multiple perspectives are portrayed through historical...
      • 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...

North Carolina curriculum alignment

English Language Arts (2004)

Grade 2

  • Goal 2: The learner will develop and apply strategies and skills to comprehend text that is read, heard, and viewed.
    • Objective 2.01: Read and comprehend both narrative and expository text appropriate for grade two by:
      • determining purpose (reader's and author's).
      • making predictions.
      • asking questions.
      • locating information for specific reasons/purposes.
      • recognizing and applying text structure.
      • comprehending and evaluating author's decisions and word choice.
      • determining fact and opinion.
      • recognizing and comprehending figurative language.
      • making inferences and drawing conclusions.
    • Objective 2.03: Read expository materials for answers to specific questions.
  • Goal 4: The learner will apply strategies and skills to create oral, written, and visual texts.
    • Objective 4.05: Respond appropriately when participating in group discourse by adapting language and communication behaviors to the situation to accomplish a specific purpose.

Social Studies (2003)

Grade 2

  • Goal 3: The learner will analyze how individuals, families, and communities are alike and different.
    • Objective 3.01: Compare similarities and differences between oneself and others.
  • Goal 4: The learner will exhibit an understanding of change in communities over time.
    • Objective 4.03: Describe human movement in the establishment of settlement patterns such as rural, urban, and suburban.