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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Alice Caudle talks about mill work
In North Carolina in the early 20th century, page 7.5
WPA Federal Writers Project interview with a North Carolia woman about her life and work in textile mills in the early twentieth century. Includes historical background and commentary.
Format: interview/primary source
Commentary and sidebar notes by L. Maren Wood.
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)
Barning the tobacco
Barning the tobacco
Two men "barning" tobacco, packing it for storage in a barn.
Format: image/photograph
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
Buffaloes at the water collection tank
Buffaloes at the water collection tank
Buffalo wallow in a hillside tank while three young children look after them. Water is a very precious resource in the mountains and people harvest it by building collection tanks such as this one. These tanks are often community-owned and villagers contribute...
Format: image/photograph
Burros carrying goods
Burros carrying goods
In the mountains of Nepal pack animals such as these burros are used to carry goods down the rocky trails. While animals are still the major means of transporting goods across the mountains of Nepal, air-based transportation and road networks have significantly...
Format: image/photograph
Businesses by county, 1854
In Antebellum North Carolina, page 4.3
In North Carolina History: A Sampler, page 9.3
In this activity, students explore an excerpt from the Southern Business Directory and General Commercial Advertiser of 1854 to learn about business and town life in antebellum North Carolina.
Format: activity
Child labor
In North Carolina in the early 20th century, page 7.1
In North Carolina History: A Sampler, page 7.7
Slideshow Lewis Hine, photographer for the National Child Labor Committee, documented child labor across...
Format: article
Child labor laws in North Carolina
In The Great Depression and World War II, page 2.2
Excerpt of North Carolina's 1933 law regulating child labor. Includes historical background.
Format: legislation/primary source
Commentary and sidebar notes by L. Maren Wood.
Climbing the mountain trails
Climbing the mountain trails
Three men are climbing uphill along a mountain trail in Nepal. In the middle ground we see a Peepal Tree, which is worshiped by Hindus as a reincarnation of Vishnu, the god of protection. Behind the tree a patch of thatch grass is visible. In the mountains,...
Format: image/photograph
The closing of a factory
In Recent North Carolina, page 3.2
In North Carolina History: A Sampler, page 5.8
Excerpts from two oral history interviews about the closing of the White Furniture Factory in Mebane, North Carolina, in the 1990s. Includes historical background.
Format: interview/primary source
Commentary and sidebar notes by L. Maren Wood.
Congress considers an inquiry into textile strikes
In North Carolina in the early 20th century, page 8.6
Newspaper article about a congressional debate about southern textile strikes, 1929. Includes historical background and commentary.
Format: newspaper/primary source
Commentary and sidebar notes by L. Maren Wood.
Country memories
In Postwar North Carolina, page 9.2
Second part of an oral history interview with 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: interview
Commentary and sidebar notes by Kristin Post.
Drying fibers
Drying fibers
In Tirkhedhunga, Nepal, a woman spreads hemp fibers on the floor to dry. Sun hemp is grown for fibers and the fibers are used for making ropes, weaving baskets, and many other things.
Format: image/photograph
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 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
The Gastonia strike
In North Carolina in the early 20th century, page 8.1
A strike at Loray Cotton Mill in Gastonia, North Carolina, in 1929, led to the killing of the police chief and made national news.
Format: article
Georgia rice field workers
Georgia rice field workers
19th-century image of four Georgia rice field workers.
Format: image/photograph
Girl carrying firewood
Girl carrying firewood
A young Nepali girl walks barefoot along a stone path with a bundle of firewood slung on her back. The bundle is held in place by a rope wrapped over her head. Young and old alike contribute to domestic work in the mountain economy in Nepal. In rural areas...
Format: image/photograph
The Great Depression and World War II
Primary sources and readings explore the history of North Carolina and the United States during the Great Depression and World War II (1929–1945).
Format: book (multiple pages)