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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  • Majestic peaks: Mountains of North Carolina and Ecuador: In this lesson, students analyze two photographs: one of the mountains of Ecuador and one of the mountains of Western North Carolina. Students then analyze the two photographs together to gain an understanding of the two regions' similarities and differences.
  • Antislavery feeling in the mountains: In this excerpt from his book (1860), Frederick Law Olmsted describes his interactions with residents of the Appalachian region and their opinions on slavery. Includes historical commentary. Note: This source contains explicit language or content that requires mature discussion.
  • The Southern Highland Craft Guild: The Southern Highland Craft Guild, founded by Frances Goodrich, played an important role in western North Carolina's Craft Revival of the early twentieth century. Goodrich and others helped find ways of teaching traditional crafts and making them profitable again.

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The following resources and lesson plans have been provided by the University of North Carolina Libraries. To learn more about this topic, read the Change in the Mountains story from UNC Libraries.

Lesson plans

Where have we been? Tracing family through a timeline of national history
Grades 4-5 Social Studies
In this lesson, students are introduced to examples of how wars and technological developments have impacted the movement of people throughout United States and world history. Using a timeline, students will begin to connect historical events with the people they impacted. They will then investigate where their families fit into history in both time and place.
Changing communities: Past vs. future
Grade 8 Social Studies
In this lesson, students will learn about the geographical, political, and technological issues that have influenced change in mountain communities using oral histories by Madison County residents. They will learn about the history of road building in the North Carolina mountains and the relatively recent decision to connect two halves of interstate highway in Madison County. They will compare and contrast the negative and positive changes that road construction has brought to the region, and listen to oral histories of locals who have experienced both good and bad effects.
Interstate highways from the ground up by Kristin Post
Grades 9-12 Social Studies
This lesson gives students a first-hand opportunity to hear about the planning and effort it takes to build a highway through an oral history of a North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) resident engineer. Through his oral history, students will learn about “the largest single construction project in the history of the NCDOT.” That project is also known as the I-26 corridor in Madison County, North Carolina. This lesson encourages students to think about the enormous impact of highways in our personal lives, and on North Carolina’s economy, while recognizing how we take highways for granted.