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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Resources tagged with exploration are also tagged with these keywords. Select one to narrow your search or to find interdisciplinary resources.

Amadas and Barlowe explore the Outer Banks
In Prehistory, contact, and the Lost Colony, page 4.5
In North Carolina History: A Sampler, page 3.1
On April 27, 1584, Captains Philip Amadas and Arthur Barlowe left the west coast of England in two ships to explore the North American coast for Sir Walter Raleigh. The party of explorers landed on July 13, 1584, on the North Carolina coast just north of Roanoke Island, and claimed the land in the name of Queen Elizabeth. Captain Barlowe's report describes the land and the people he encountered.
Format: journal/primary source
Commentary and sidebar notes by David Walbert.
British migration to Roanoke: Push and pull factors
In Two worlds: Educator's guide, page 4.1
In this lesson, students will examine the push/pull factors that led settlers to attempt to settle Roanoke Island in the 1580s.
Format: lesson plan (grade 8 Social Studies)
By Pauline S. Johnson.
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 De Soto expedition
In Prehistory, contact, and the Lost Colony, page 3.3
Hernando De Soto’s expedition through the southeastern United States in 1539–43 was one of the earliest of the early contacts between Europeans and native peoples. While historical documents tell the story of do Soto's journey, advances in both history and archaeology have enabled researchers to reconstruct the de Soto route.
Format: article/primary source
De Soto in America
In Two worlds: Educator's guide, page 3.4
In this lesson for grades 5-8, students will evaluate the effectiveness of the De Soto expedition through the interior of the southeastern United States in the years 1539-1543. They will examine the impact of that trip on the Native Americans. Students will engage in historical empathy as they put themselves in the place of the Native Americans and the Spanish soldiers who encountered them on the expedition.
Format: lesson plan
By Pauline S. Johnson.
Dig finds evidence of Spanish fort
Near Morganton, North Carolina, archaeologists are excavating what they believe to be the remnants of Juan Pardo's outpost at the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. The 16th-century outpost, known as Fort San Juan, disappeared after Indians burned it to the ground.
Format: article
Educator's guide: Spain and America
In Two worlds: Educator's guide, page 3.1
The article "Spain and America: From Reconquest to Conquest" introduces a lot of information and a number of issues that may be new to students. These suggestions will help you use the article in a way that best fits the needs of your class.
Format: /lesson plan (grade 8–12 Social Studies)
By Pauline S. Johnson.
Elisha Mitchell and his mountain
In North Carolina in the New Nation, page 7.4
Elisha Mitchell, a professor at the University of North Carolina, demonstrated that the mountain in the Black Mountain range that now bears his name was the tallest in eastern North America. Thomas Clingman disagreed, and the two men waged a battle in newspapers. After Mitchell's death, the U.S. Geological Survey confirmed his discovery.
Format: article
England's flowering
In Prehistory, contact, and the Lost Colony, page 4.1
The reign of England's Queen Elizabeth (1558–1603) was marked by a proliferation of the arts, an expansion of private markets, and a dedication to world exploration and privateering.
Format: article
Fort Raleigh and the Lost Colony
In Prehistory, contact, and the Lost Colony, page 4.3
England's first two settlements in the New World differed in character and purpose: The first short-lived colony, inhabited entirely by men, was set up as a stake in the newly discovered Americas and a base of privateering against French and Spanish shipping. The second was intended as a permanent colony and was settled by men, women and children. Their disappearance is a mystery that remains unsolved nearly 400 years later.
Format: article
Juan Pardo, the Indians of Guatari, and first contact
In Prehistory, contact, and the Lost Colony, page 3.4
The Guatari Indians lived in an influential settlement near Trading Ford and were led by a female chief. In 1567, they encountered Spanish explorers led by Captain Juan Pardo who came through the North Carolina Piedmont with grand hopes of creating a powerful empire.
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 New Nation
Primary sources and readings explore North Carolina in the early national period (1790–1836). Topics include the development of state government and political parties, agriculture, the Great Revival, education, the gold rush, the growth of slavery, Cherokee Removal, and battles over internal improvements and reform.
Format: book (multiple pages)
Reading guide: Spain and America
In Two worlds: Educator's guide, page 3.2
These terms and questions will guide students as they read "Spain and America: From Reconquest to Conquest." Filling in the chronological list of dates will enable students to understand the order in which events unfolded in Spain and in America, and answering the questions will encourage students to think critically about the readings in the chapter.
Format: /lesson plan (grade 8–12 Social Studies)
By Pauline S. Johnson.
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.
Spanish empire failed to conquer Southeast
In Prehistory, contact, and the Lost Colony, page 3.6
Juan Pardo’s expedition erected six forts in the Southeastern interior, including one at Guatari. Most of them seem to have fallen in short order. That result wasn’t surprising. The forts were isolated, lightly garrisoned in most cases, dependent on the Indians for food, and prone to trigger Indian resentment.
Format: article
Spanish had many reasons for Pardo expedition
In Prehistory, contact, and the Lost Colony, page 3.5
What spurred the Spanish to set up a territorial capital on the South Carolina coast in the 1560s and launch Juan Pardo’s expedition into the Southeastern interior? The reasons range from the self-serving (protecting an enormously profitable silver mine) to the spiritual (converting the Indians to Christianity) to the anxious (reducing the capital’s population to lower the demand for food).
Format: article
Teaching about North Carolina American Indians
This web edition is drawn from a teachers institute curriculum enrichment project on North Carolina American Indian Studies conducted by the North Carolina Humanities Council. Resources include best practices for teaching about American Indians, suggestions for curriculum integration, webliographies, and lesson plans about North Carolina American Indians.
Format: book (multiple pages)
Two worlds: Educator's guide
Lesson plans and activities to be used with "Two Worlds: Prehistory, Contact, and the Lost Colony" -- the first part of a North Carolina history textbook for secondary students.
Format: book (multiple pages)