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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  • Slavery across North Carolina: In this lesson, students read excerpts from slave narratives to gain an understanding of how slavery developed in each region of North Carolina and how regional differences created a variety of slave experiences.
  • The Roanoke Island Freedmen's Colony: During the Civil War, former slaves freed by the Union army and African Americans who escaped to Union lines were given a village on Roanoke Island.
  • A forced migration: The first Africans, brought to America through forced migration, came as indentured servants to Jamestown, Virginia, in 1619. Africans brought to the colonies in later years were bought and sold as slaves. At the time of the American Revolution, most of the enslaved people in North Carolina lived in the eastern part of the colony and the majority lived on large plantations, where their work was critical to the state’s cash crops and economy.

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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 Slavery in North Carolina story from UNC Libraries.

Lesson plans

Slave narratives: A genre study by Dayna Durbin Gleaves
Grade 9 English Language Arts and Social Studies
In this lesson, students will read selected excerpts from slave narratives, determining common characteristics of the genre. Students will then write their own slave narratives as a slave from their region of North Carolina, researching for historical accuracy and incorporating elements of the slave narrative genre to demonstrate understanding.
Slavery across North Carolina by Dayna Durbin Gleaves
Grade 9 Social Studies
In this lesson, students read excerpts from slave narratives to gain an understanding of how slavery developed in each region of North Carolina and how regional differences created a variety of slave experiences.
Two perspectives on slavery: A comparison of personal narratives by Dayna Durbin Gleaves
Grades 9-12 English Language Arts and Social Studies
In this lesson, students will evaluate and critique authors’ perspectives. Students will read two first-person narratives and analyze how each text is influenced by its author’s cultural background.
Spirituals and the power of music in slave narratives by Dayna Durbin Gleaves
Grades 4-5 Music Education and Social Studies
In this lesson, students will read short excerpts from slave narratives describing the importance of music in the lives of slaves. Students will then learn about spirituals through listening to songs and discussing the value of music. This lesson could also work well as a collaborative unit with the music teacher.