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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Antebellum homes and plantations
In Antebellum North Carolina, page 2.15
The most popular images of antebellum life are grand plantation houses -- but, as we've seen, a tiny fraction of North Carolinians lived in such houses. To get a sense of what daily life was like for a wider variety of people, we've developed a slideshow of...
Businesses by county, 1854
In Antebellum North Carolina, page 4.3
In North Carolina History: A Sampler, page 9.3
In this activity, students explore an excerpt from the Southern Business Directory and General Commercial Advertiser of 1854 to learn about business and town life in antebellum North Carolina.
Format: activity
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)
Methodist camp meeting, March 1, 1819
Methodist camp meeting, March 1, 1819
Format: image/illustration
Quaker Meadows Plantation
Tour the plantation of Captain Charles McDowell, Jr. and see what it was like to live in antebellum Burke County.
Format: article/field trip opportunity
The Southern Business Directory and General Commercial Advertiser, 1854 (excerpt)
Format: document/book
Religious camp meeting
Religious camp meeting
Format: image/painting
The United States and territories in 1850
The United States and territories in 1850
Format: image/map
Bellamy Mansion Museum of History and Design Arts
A spectacular example of antebellum architecture, this home was commandeered by Federal troops after the fall of Fort Fisher during the Civil War. The Bellamy Mansion is now a museum that focuses on history and the design arts and offers tours.
Format: article/field trip opportunity
Jonkonnu in North Carolina
In Antebellum North Carolina, page 3.13
In antebellum North Carolina, Christmas season was the time for an African American celebration called Jonkonnu that involved music, dancing, and elaborate costumes.
Format: article
North Carolina enslaved population by county, 1860
North Carolina enslaved population by county, 1860
Format: image/map
Somerset Place (NC Historic Site)
Located on the banks of Phelps Lake, Somerset Place is a representative antebellum plantation offering a view of life during the period before the Civil War. It became one of North Carolina's most prosperous rice, corn, and wheat plantations.
Format: article/field trip opportunity
Freeman-Marks House and Isaiah W. Snuggs House
Both listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the I.W. Snuggs House and the Freeman-Marks House are important reminders of the heritage and culture of Stanly County.
Format: article/field trip opportunity
Bellamy Mansion Museum of History and Design Arts in Wilmington, NC
Bellamy Mansion Museum of History and Design Arts in Wilmington, NC
This is the Bellamy Mansion Museum of History and Design Arts in Wilmington, North Carolina. This mansion is a premier architectural and historical treasure in North Carolina, a spectacular example of antebellum architecture. The Bellamy Mansion offers tours,...
Format: image/photograph
Reading primary sources: Newspaper advertisements
This interactive guide to reading classified advertisements in a 19th-century newspaper editorial steps through layers of questions, guiding the reader through the process of historical inquiry. This edition is one in a series of guides on reading historical primary sources.
Format: newspaper (multiple pages)
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.
Format: article/field trip opportunity
Davidson County Historical Museum
Located in the Old Davidson County Courthouse (ca. 1858), the Museum is the centerpiece of Uptown Lexington's National Register Historic District. Visit the Museum to learn more about local and regional history while exploring the grandest of North Carolina's antebellum courthouses.
Format: article/field trip opportunity
North Carolina counties, 1840
North Carolina counties, 1840
Map of North Carolina counties as their borders were drawn (roughly) in 1840.
Format: image/map
1853 map of North Carolina
1853 map of North Carolina
Map titled "A new map of Nth. Carolina: with its canals, roads & distances from place to place, along the stage & steam boat routes." Shows North Carolina as it existed c. 1850.
Format: image/map
Waynesborough Historic Village
Visitors to this recreated village will feel as if the have stepped back in time. "Waynesborough's focus begins in 1701 with the first Tuscarora visit and ends in 1900 with a complete economic and social shift to Goldsboro."
Format: article/field trip opportunity