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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About the Archaeology Primer
In Excavating Occaneechi Town: An archaeology primer, page 1
The Occaneechi Indians were once prominent in the Virginia and Carolina Piedmont. As their numbers were reduced by clashes with European colonists, they retreated to a village on the Eno River. Their numbers further dwindled due to disease and warfare, and by 1730 the Occaneechi were all but gone. In 1983, archaeologists discovered a village site near Hillsborough, North Carolina. Through a series of digs, they confirmed that they had found Occaneechi Town.
Format: article
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)
Colonial North Carolina
Colonial North Carolina from the establishment of the Carolina in 1663 to the eve of the American Revolution in 1763. Compares the original vision for the colony with the way it actually developed. Covers the people who settled North Carolina; the growth of institutions, trade, and slavery; the impact of colonization on American Indians; and significant events such as Culpeper's Rebellion, the Tuscarora War, and the French and Indian Wars.
Format: book (multiple pages)
Discussion questions: Expanding to the west
This set of discussion questions was designed to help students understand an article about the settlement of the Piedmont region of North Carolina between 1730 and 1775.
Format: lesson plan (grade 8 Social Studies)
By Pauline S. Johnson.
Excavating Occaneechi Town: An archaeology primer
Republished with permission from the Research Laboratories of Archaeology, the Archaeology Primer uses photographs of the excavations at Occaneechi Town to introduce fundamental concepts of archaeology. The primer provides an introduction to the methods of archaeology and to some common types of artifacts, and prepares students to participate in an electronic archaeological dig.
Format: slideshow (multiple pages)
Expanding to the west: Settlement of the Piedmont region, 1730 to 1775
In Colonial North Carolina, page 5.1
The population of North Carolina's Piedmont region more than doubled in the decade from 1765 to 1775. Most of the settlers who arrived during that time were European Americans traveling from the North via the Great Indian Trading Path and the Great Wagon Road.
Format: article
By Christopher E. Hendricks and J. Edwin Hendricks.
From stringbands to bluesmen: African American music in the Piedmont
In North Carolina in the early 20th century, page 6.8
In North Carolina History: A Sampler, page 8.5
This article from Carolina Music Ways discusses the transition in African American music from stringband to blues in the North Carolina Piedmont between 1860 and 1940, with a focus on Preston Fulp, a blues musician who gained prominence in Winston-Salem in the 1930s.
Format: article
Governing the Piedmont
In Colonial North Carolina, page 5.7
As settlers spread across the North Carolina Piedmont in the eighteenth century, the provincial government didn't keep up with them. Westerners weren't fairly represented in the provincial Assembly, and the so-called "Granville District," owned by the one remaining Lord Proprietor, was badly mismanaged.
Format: article
By David Walbert.
Hillbillies and mountain folk: Early stringband recordings
In North Carolina in the early 20th century, page 6.9
This article from Carolina Music Ways explores the history of "hillbilly" records in the North Carolina Piedmont in the 1920s and 1930s.
Format: article
Intrigue of the Past
Lesson plans and essays for teachers and students explore North Carolina's past before European contact. Designed for grades four through eight, the web edition of this book covers fundamental concepts, processes, and issues of archaeology, and describes the peoples and cultures of the Paleoindian, Archaic, Woodland, and Mississippian periods.
Format: book (multiple pages)
Joining together in song: Piedmont music in black and white
In Antebellum North Carolina, page 6.1
This article from Carolina Music Ways discusses musical interactions between African Americans and European Americans prior to the Civil War, including African American participation in Moravian sacred music and the contributions of black and white Americans to the string band tradition in the North Carolina Piedmont.
Format: article
Jubilee quartets and the Five Royales: From gospel to rhythm & blues
In North Carolina in the early 20th century, page 6.10
This article from Carolina Music Ways discusses the transition in African American music from gospel music to secular rhythm and blues between 1920 and 1960.
Format: article
Life on the land: The Piedmont before industrialization
In North Carolina in the New South, page 1.1
In the decades after the Civil War, commercial agriculture and industry made their way into the North Carolina Piedmont, requiring subsistence farmers to adapt their farms and their ways of life to new economic realities.
Format: article
By James Leloudis and Kathryn Walbert.
The lost landscape of the Piedmont
In Prehistory, contact, and the Lost Colony, page 5.5
The Piedmont region of North Carolina is unrecognizable compared to the landscape of 400 years ago. Where man-made lakes now sit were huge bottomland forests. While pine trees accounted for only a small percentage of Piedmont acreage, they now dominate the region's forests -- a result of clearing hardwoods to create farmland. Other once-prominent landscapes include areas of grassland known as “Piedmont prairie,” and upland depression swamps where the clay soils often kept moisture on the land’s surface.
Format: article/primary source
Mapping the Great Wagon Road
In Colonial North Carolina, page 5.2
The Great Wagon Road took eighteenth-century colonists from Philadelphia west into the Appalachian mountains and south into the North Carolina Piedmont. This article describes the route and its history and offers two detailed maps, one from 1751 and one from the present, for comparison.
Format: article
By David Walbert.
The Mountains-to-Sea Trail
In Recent North Carolina, page 4.9
When complete, the Mountains-to-Sea Trail will stretch in one continuous path across the state from Clingman’s Dome, the highest peak in Smoky Mountains National Park, to Jockey’s Ridge State Park, a 420-acre sand dune system on the Outer Banks.
Format: article
By Emily Jack.
Natural diversity
In Prehistory, contact, and the Lost Colony, page 1.1
North Carolina has within its borders the highest mountains east of the Mississippi River, a broad, low-lying coastal area, and all the land in between. That variety of landforms, elevations, and climates has produced as diverse a range of ecosystems as any state in the United States. It has also influenced the way people have lived in North Carolina for thousands of years.
Format: article
By David Walbert.
North Carolina History: A Sampler
A sample of the more than 800 pages of our digital textbook for North Carolina history, including background readings, various kinds of primary sources, and multimedia. Also includes an overview of the textbook and how to use it.
Format: (multiple pages)
North Carolina history: Grade 4 educator's guide
This educator's guide provides teaching suggestions designed to facilitate using the digital North Carolina history textbook with fourth-grade students.
Format: (multiple pages)
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)