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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"The duty of colored citizens to their country"
In North Carolina in the New South, page 6.3
Sermon urging African Americans to support the war effort against Spain and to enroll in the U.S. army, thereby making a good statement for themselves and demonstrating their loyalty, even the face of continued suffering.
Format: speech/primary source
1924 Virginia Health Bulletin
1924 Virginia Health Bulletin
Virginia Health Bulletin announcing the Racial Integrity Act, 1924. The act, administered by Virginia state official Walter Plecker, sought to prevent interracial marriage, and made it illegal for people to identify their race as Indian. The full text of the...
Format: image/document
1943 Letter from Walter Plecker
1943 Letter from Walter Plecker
Letter from Virginia state official Walter Plecker to voting registrars, health care workers, school superintendents, and clerks of the court, 1943.
Format: image/letter
A record of school desegregation: Conduct your own oral history project
In this unit, students will research the history of school desegregation and will use their knowledge to conduct oral history interviews with community members. Students will reflect on the experience through writing.
Format: lesson plan (grade 8 Social Studies)
By Dayna Durbin Gleaves.
A sampling of Jim Crow laws
In North Carolina in the early 20th century, page 5.2
Examples of laws in southern states enforcing racial segregation prior to the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s.
Format: article/primary source
African American history
A guide to lesson plans, articles, and websites to help bring African American history alive in your classroom.
Format: bibliography/help
Antebellum North Carolina
Primary sources and readings explore North Carolina in the antebellum period (1830–1860). Topics include slavery, daily life, agriculture, industry, technology, and the arts, as well as the events leading to secession and civil war.
Format: book (multiple pages)
Arthur Griffin oral history excerpt
Arthur Griffin is an African-American man who attended segregated schools in the 1950s and 1960s. He graduated from Second Ward High School, an African-American high school in Charlotte, North Carolina which closed in 1969. He later became involved in school...
Format: audio/interview
Billy Graham and civil rights
In Postwar North Carolina, page 4.3
In North Carolina History: A Sampler, page 3.9
An exchange of letters between the Reverend Billy Graham and President Dwight Eisenhower, March 1956, on the Church's role in civil rights. Includes historical background and commentary.
Format: letter/primary source
Commentary and sidebar notes by L. Maren Wood.
Black codes
In Antebellum North Carolina, page 1.9
Excerpts from the North Carolina Revised Code of 1855 with respect to free and enslaved African Americans, known as the "black codes." Includes historical commentary.
Format: legislation/primary source
Commentary and sidebar notes by L. Maren Wood and David Walbert.
Brown v. Board of Education and school desegregation
In Postwar North Carolina, page 4.1
The 1955 Supreme Court decision overturned the 1890 decision in Plessy v. Ferguson, ruling that "separate educational facilities are inherently unequal" and forcing the integration of schools across the nation.
Format: article
Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, affirmed and remanded (1955)
In Brown II the court delegated the task of carrying out the desegregation to district courts with orders that desegregation occur “with all deliberate speed.”
Format: court decision/primary source
Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas
In Brown versus Board of Education: Rhetoric and realities, page 2.5
In Postwar North Carolina, page 4.2
The text of the Supreme Court's decision in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas, that the segregation of public schools was in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
Format: court decision
Civil rights protests and dilemmas
In this lesson students explore well-known civil rights protests then listen to two oral histories of individuals who protested in their own way to promote equality for African Americans. Students specifically will consider personal risks involved in protest.
Format: lesson plan (multiple pages)
Civil rights wax museum project
In this lesson plan, students will choose African Americans prominent in the Civil Rights Movement and research aspects of their lives. They will create timelines of their subjects' lives and a speech about their subjects, emphasizing why they are remembered today.
Format: lesson plan (grade 5 English Language Arts and Social Studies)
By Sabrina Lewandowski.
Conduct your own oral history project
In this unit, students will research the moviegoing experience in the early 20th century by analyzing primary sources. They will then conduct oral history interviews to learn about what it was like to go to the movies in various generations.
Format: lesson plan (grade 8 and 12 Social Studies)
By Lisa Speaker.
Daisy Bates oral history excerpt
Daisy Bates was a civil rights activist and the head of the state chapter of the NAACP. She served as advisor to the Little Rock Nine, nine black students who enrolled at the all-white Central High School in Little Rock, Alabama in 1957. She helped the students...
Format: audio/interview
De facto vs. de jure segregation
This lesson will help students understand the difference between de facto and de jure segregation. Students will listen to three oral history excerpts and discuss the experiences of segregation described in each. As a follow-up activity, students will brainstorm solutions to both de facto and de jure segregation.
Format: lesson plan (grade 10–12 Social Studies)
By Dayna Durbin Gleaves.
Desegregating public accommodations in Durham
In Postwar North Carolina, page 5.6
After the Freedom Rides of 1961 led to integration of interstate buses and terminals, the Civil Rights Movement moved on to "Freedom Highways" in 1962 -- campaigning to end segregation at establishments that served the traveling public. The Howard Johnson's restaurant on Chapel Hill Boulevard became a focal point in Durham.
Format: article
Desegregating public schools: Integrated vs. neighborhood schools
In this lesson, students will learn about the history of the "separate but equal" U.S. school system and the 1971 Swann case which forced Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools to integrate. Students will examine the pros and cons of integration achieved through busing, and will write an argumentative essay drawing on information from oral histories.
Format: lesson plan (grade 10–12 English Language Arts and Social Studies)
By Dayna Durbin Gleaves.