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

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LEARN NC is no longer supported by the UNC School of Education and has been permanently archived. On February 1st, 2018, you will only be able to access these resources through the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine. We recommend that you print or download resources you may need before February 1st, 2018, after which, you will have to follow these instructions in order to access those resources.

Child labor in North Carolina's textile mills
The photographs of Lewis Hine show the lives and work of children in North Carolina's textile mill villages in the first decades of the twentieth century.
Format: slideshow (multiple pages)
Child labor in the cotton mills
The resources on this page are designed to help educators teach about what life was like for children working in the cotton mills of North Carolina in the early 20th century. Through these lessons, students will learn about child labor by listening to the oral histories of people who worked in these cotton mills as children.
Format: lesson plan
Proposed amendment to the Fair Labor Standards Act
In Tobacco bag stringing: Life and labor in the Depression, page 1.7
It is declared to be the policy of this Act not to displace the use of cotton or cotton materials and the administrator shall by regulations or by order exempt any work where the application of the provisions of Section 6 may result in the use of other materials...
The Fair Labor Standards Act
In The Great Depression and World War II, page 2.4
The Fair Labor Standards Act, signed into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on June 25, 1938, revolutionized the federal government's oversight of industry. Although it directly impacted only about a quarter of American workers, in affected industries, it banned oppressive child labor, limited the workweek to 44 hours, and established a minimum wage of 25 cents an hour.
Format: article
Persuasive writing: The importance of work permits
In CareerStart lessons: Grade eight, page 1.5
In this lesson, students will read about child labor laws and work permits, and will write a persuasive paper based on what they've learned.
Format: lesson plan (grade 8 English Language Arts)
By Andrea Fedon, Gail Frank, and Cindy Neininger.
The transformation of cacao into chocolate
Transforming cacao into chocolate is a labor-intensive process that involves many steps. This slideshow tells the story of that process, focusing on one cacao plantation in the Barlovento region of Venezuela.
Format: slideshow (multiple pages)
Tobacco bag stringing: Educator's guide
Elementary lesson plans Elementary lesson plans based upon Tobacco Bag Stringing: Life and Labor in the Depression will help students understand what tobacco bag stringing was, study primary source documents and visuals,...
Format: lesson plan
Ending child labor in North Carolina
In The Great Depression and World War II, page 2.1
The movement to ban child labor began in the early 1900s and slowly turned the tide of public opinion. As mill work changed in the 1920s, mills employed fewer children. North Carolina finally regulated child labor in 1933.
Format: article
The four factors of production
Students will learn to identify and explain the four factors of production: land, labor, capital, and entrepreneurship.
Format: lesson plan (grade 9–10 Social Studies)
By penn pace.
Opposition to the Knights of Labor
In North Carolina in the New South, page 3.11
Editorial in a Durham newspaper, 1887, expressing concern about the Knights of Labor. Includes historical commentary.
Format: newspaper/primary source
Home renovation: Working with area
In CareerStart lessons: Grade six, page 2.9
In this lesson for grade six, students will work together in cooperative groups using the internet to calculate the cost of finishing a basement.
Format: lesson plan (grade 6 Mathematics)
By Kim Abrams, Mike McDowell, and Barbara Strange.
North Carolina in the early 20th century
Primary sources and readings explore North Carolina in the first decades of the twentieth century (1900–1929). Topics include changes in technology and transportation, Progressive Era reforms, World War I, women's suffrage, Jim Crow and African American life, the cultural changes of the 1920s, labor and labor unrest, and the Gastonia stirke of 1929.
Format: book (multiple pages)
A union organizer blames the mill
In North Carolina in the early 20th century, page 8.4
Article printed by the Gastonia Daily Gazette during the Loray Mill strike in 1929, one of the few printed that represented the views of the strikers. Includes historical background and commentary.
Format: newspaper/primary source
Commentary and sidebar notes by L. Maren Wood.
A child's day: Vietnam
In this lesson plan, students listen to audio recordings from Vietnam and discuss what life may be like for the children heard in the recordings. Students discuss topics including school, cross-cultural similarities, and child labor.
Format: lesson plan (grade 7 Social Studies)
By Kristin Post.
North Carolina in the New South
Primary sources and readings explore North Carolina in the decades after the Civil War (1870–1900). Topics include changes in agriculture, the growth of cities and industry, the experiences of farmers and mill workers, education, cultural changes, politics and political activism, and the Wilmington Race Riot.
Format: book (multiple pages)
Tobacco workers strike
In North Carolina in the New South, page 3.12
Magazine article describing an unsuccessful strike by tobacco mill workers in Durham, North Carolina, 1881.
Format: magazine/primary source
Commentary and sidebar notes by L. Maren Wood.
"Card" Specialty
Students will make a greeting card for their pen pals or book buddies while studying specialization and division of labor in Social Studies.
Format: lesson plan (grade 3–5 Social Studies)
By Pat Pennino.
The Bonsack machine and labor unrest
In North Carolina in the New South, page 3.7
When the Duke tobacco company adopted the Bonsack machine for rolling cigarettes, workers who had rolled cigarettes by hand were thrown out of work, and their replacements made less money.
Format: article
Working with animals
In Rice farming and rural life in Vietnam, page 7
In addition to providing labor, water buffalo also sometimes are eaten at major community feasts. Traditionally, buffalo were a major source of wealth for Southeast Asian families. They still are favored in highland wet-rice areas where neither humans not...
By Lorraine Aragon.
An industry representative visits Loray Mills
In North Carolina in the early 20th century, page 8.3
Article from the Charlotte Observer during the Loray Mill strike in Gastonia, 1929. Includes historical background and commentary.
Format: newspaper/primary source
Commentary and sidebar notes by L. Maren Wood.