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 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)
A bilious fever
In Antebellum North Carolina, page 2.9
Excerpt from an 1850 novel in which the author describes the illness he succumbed to on a trip to Nag's Head. Includes historical commentary.
Format: book/primary source
Commentary and sidebar notes by L. Maren Wood.
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)
The Columbian Exchange
In Prehistory, contact, and the Lost Colony, page 5.1
When Christopher Columbus and his crew arrived in the New World, two biologically distinct worlds were brought into contact. The animal, plant, and bacterial life of these two worlds began to mix in a process called the Columbian Exchange. The results of this exchange recast the biology of both regions and altered the history of the world.
Format: article
By J.R. McNeill.
The Columbian Exchange at a glance
In Prehistory, contact, and the Lost Colony, page 5.2
Countless animals, plants, and microorganisms crossed the Atlantic Ocean with European explorers and colonists in the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries. This chart lists some of the organisms that had the greatest impact on human society worldwide.
Format: article
Diary of a journey of Moravians
First-hand account of the journey of twelve Moravian brothers from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania to Bethabara, North Carolina in 1753.
Format: diary (multiple pages)
Disease and catastrophe
In Prehistory, contact, and the Lost Colony, page 5.3
Of all the kinds of life exchanged when the Old and New Worlds met, lowly germs had the greatest impact. Europeans and later Africans brought smallpox and a host of other diseases with them to America, where those diseases killed as much as 90 percent of the native population of two continents. Europeans came away lucky -- with only a few tropical diseases from Africa and, probably, syphilis from the New World. In America, disease destoyed civilizations.
Format: article
By David Walbert.
Diseases: A brief guide to causes, symptoms, history, and treatment
Since the beginning of human existence on the planet, diseases have played a significant role in the events of every era. This brief listing of some of the most notorious diseases explains their causes, symptoms, history, prevention, and treatment, and provides links to further information.
Format: article
By Emily Jack.
The fate of North Carolina's native peoples
In Colonial North Carolina, page 3.8
After the Tuscarora War (1711–1713) and Yamasee War (1715–1716), only the Cherokee among North Carolina's native peoples remained intact. The Coastal Plain and Piedmont were effectively cleared for European settlement.
Format: article
By David Walbert.
The fate of North Carolina's native peoples: Causes and effects
This activity provides a way for students to further their comprehension as they read an article about changes in the population of North Carolina in the early 1700s as European settlers displaced American Indians. Students will complete a graphic organizer and answer a series of questions.
Format: worksheet/lesson plan (grade 8 Social Studies)
By Pauline S. Johnson.
The founding of Virginia
In Colonial North Carolina, page 1.1
In North Carolina History: A Sampler, page 2.3
England planted its first successful North American colony at Jamestown in 1607, but settlers fought Indians and disease, and the colony grew slowly. By the end of the seventeenth century, Virginia had established tobacco as its main crop, a representative government, and slavery as a dominant system of labor.
Format: article
By L. Maren Wood.
North Carolina and the "Blue Death": The flu epidemic of 1918
In North Carolina in the early 20th century, page 3.13
In North Carolina History: A Sampler, page 2.9
The influenza epidemic of 1918–1919 proved deadlier to North Carolinians than the Great War itself. This article describes the effects of the epidemic and how public health officials tried to stop it.
Format: article
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)
Quarantines
In North Carolina in the early 20th century, page 2.6
This article, published by the North Carolina State Board of Health in 1889, instructed public officials about how to properly quarantine sick people to stop the spread of diseases. Includes historical commentary about common diseases of the time and how they were understood by doctors.
Format: article/primary source
Commentary and sidebar notes by L. Maren Wood.
Smallpox
In Prehistory, contact, and the Lost Colony, page 5.4
Smallpox is a serious, contagious, and sometimes fatal infectious disease caused by the variola virus. Historically, smallpox had a mortality rate of as much as 30 percent. In the Americas, it killed as much as 90 percent of the indigenous population after contact with Europeans introduced the disease. Smallpox is now eradicated after a successful worldwide vaccination program.
Format: article
Spain and America: From Reconquest to Conquest
In Prehistory, contact, and the Lost Colony, page 3.1
In 1491, no European knew that North and South America existed. By 1550, Spain -- a small kingdom that had not even existed a century earlier -- controlled the better part of two continents and had become the most powerful nation in Europe. In half a century of brave exploration and brutal conquest, both Europe and America were changed forever.
Format: article
By David Walbert.
Stopping the spread of influenza
In North Carolina in the early 20th century, page 3.14
Article published by the North Carolina State Board of Health during the influenza pandemic of 1918–19, instructing the public on how to limit the spread of the disease. Includes historical commentary.
Format: article/primary source
Summary of a report sent to Bethlehem
In Diary of a journey of Moravians, page 16
In Colonial North Carolina, page 5.4
In 1733, a group of Moravians — a Protestant Christian denomination originating in fourteenth-century Bohemia — moved from Europe to North America seeking freedom from religious persecution. In 1753, a group of twelve single brothers left Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, for a new settlement in North Carolina. Their report back to Bethlehem describes what they found in their new home. Includes historical commentary.
Format: report