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.

From the education reference

oral history
A method of collecting historical information through recorded interviews with individuals who are willing to share their memories of the past.

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A survivor's story: How does it really feel?
Students use oral history excerpts of a Hurricane Floyd survivor to explore the concept of contradiction or irony.
Format: lesson plan (multiple pages)
Brown versus Board of Education: Rhetoric and realities
In this lesson, students will listen to three oral histories that shed light on political and personal reactions toward the 1954 Supreme Court ruling Brown versus Board of Education. Includes a teacher's guide as well as the oral history audio excerpts and transcripts.
Format: lesson plan (multiple pages)
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)
Eyewitness to the flood
In this lesson, students will listen to oral history excerpts from Hurricane Floyd survivors and contrast their experiences with the experiences of the characters in Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God.
Format: lesson plan (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
Race in Charlotte schools
The lesson on this page are designed to help educators teach about school desegregation in the South. In these activities, students immerse themselves in a time period when public schools were first becoming integrated by listening to oral histories of people who experienced this change first-hand.
Format: lesson plan
The value of oral history
In Oral history in the classroom, page 1
Why use oral history with your students? Oral history has benefits that no other historical source provides.
Format: article
By Kathryn Walbert.
World War I and the changing face of gender roles
In this lesson, students analyze oral histories in order to learn more about Progressivism and the impact of World War I and World War II on the role of women in the United States.
Format: lesson plan (grade 11–12 Social Studies)
By Lee Adcock.
Connecting oral history to geography: The changes of Madison County
In North Carolina maps, page 2.4
In this lesson, students ground the story of a county in corresponding maps. Students will show an understanding of the geography surrounding an oral history.
Format: lesson plan (grade 8 English Language Arts and Social Studies)
By Jennifer Job.
Change in the mountains
The resources on this page are designed to help educators teach about changes that have occurred in the mountain region of North Carolina over the last century. The lessons will provide an opportunity for students to learn about the effects technological innovation had on community development in mountain communities.
Format: lesson plan
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.
Race in her lifetime
In this lesson, students will use oral histories to trace the life of Rebecca Clark, an African American who was born in rural Orange County just before the Depression and witnessed the changes in civil rights over the years.
Format: lesson plan (multiple pages)
Development and flooding: Is there a connection?
In this lesson, students will take their knowledge about the hydrosphere and apply it to the issue of population growth and development. In particular, students will learn how increasing development in eastern North Carolina may have worsened the effects of flooding from Hurricane Floyd due to lack of soil and tree absorption of run-off. Students will create their own development plans for North Carolina in small groups, explaining how their plan will benefit North Carolina’s water resources and environment.
Format: lesson plan (grade 9–12 Science)
Oral history links and resources
In Oral history in the classroom, page 6
Guides, tips, lesson plans, and examples of student projects on the web.
Format: article
By Kathryn Walbert.
Introduction
The nearer we come to the present, the more difficult it becomes to write history. When we consider events of a hundred years ago, we can evaluate their long-term impact. But the events of the last ten or twenty years are still raw; we don't know their consequences...
Format: article
By David Walbert.
Cotton mills from differing perspectives: Critically analyzing primary documents
In this lesson, students will read two primary source documents: a 1909 pamphlet exposing the use of child labor in the cotton mills of North Carolina, and a weekly newsletter published by the mill companies. Students will also listen to oral history excerpts from mill workers to gain a third perspective. In a critical analysis, students will identify the audiences for both documents, speculate on the motivations of their authors, and examine the historical importance of each document.
Format: lesson plan
By Dayna Durbin Gleaves.
Suffrage: The changing role of women
In this lesson, students use oral history excerpts and photographs to learn about the women's suffrage movement in the United States from a variety of perspectives.
Format: lesson plan (multiple pages)
Rethinking Reports
Creative research-based assignments provide alternatives to the President Report, Animal Report, and Famous Person Report that ask students to think about old topics in new ways, work collaboratively, and develop products that support a variety of learning styles.
Format: series (multiple pages)
Children at work: Exposing child labor in the cotton mills of the Carolinas
In this lesson, students will learn about the use of child labor in the cotton mills of the Carolinas during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. They will learn what life was like for a child worker and then write an investigative news report exposing the practice of child labor in the mills, using quotations from oral histories with former child mill workers and photographs of child laborers taken by social reform photographer Lewis Hine.
Format: lesson plan (grade 8–12 Social Studies)
By Dayna Durbin Gleaves.
Southern women trailblazers
The resources on this page are designed to help educators teach about the changing role of women in American society, particularly in the south. By engaging in these activities, students will not only learn about women considered to be trailblazers in their time, but they will also think critically about traditional gender roles, women's roles in politics, academics, and professions, and the contributions of women to society.
Format: lesson plan