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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Advertising for slaves
In Antebellum North Carolina, page 1.10
Advertisements for sales of slaves and for runaways in the Carolina Watchman (Salisbury, North Carolina), January 7, 1837. Includes historical commentary.
Format: newspaper/primary source
Aftermath of the Battle of Alamance
In Revolutionary North Carolina, page 1.12
Contemporary newspaper account of the prosecution and execution of Regulator leaders after the Battle of Alamance, May/June 1771. Includes historical commentary.
Format: newspaper/primary source
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)
The burning of Washington
In North Carolina in the New Nation, page 8.6
Report in the Raleigh Star, September 2, 1814, on the burning of Washington by the British during the War of 1812. Includes historical commentary.
Format: newspaper/primary source
Commentary and sidebar notes by David Walbert and 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)
Current events in Africa
In this lesson for grade seven, students find two news stories about a current event in Africa: one from an American media source and one from an African media source. Students compare the two to gain an understanding of cultural bias and perspective.
Format: lesson plan (grade 7 English Language Arts, Information Skills, and Social Studies)
By Shane Freeman.
Debating war with Britain: Against the war
In North Carolina in the New Nation, page 8.5
Article from the Carolina Federal Republican of Raleigh, published just after Congress declared war on Great Britain in 1812, arguing against the war. Includes historical commentary.
Format: newspaper/primary source
Commentary and sidebar notes by L. Maren Wood.
Debating war with Britain: For the war
In North Carolina in the New Nation, page 8.4
Article from the Raleigh Star, published just after Congress declared war on Great Britain in 1812, arguing in support of the war. Includes historical commentary.
Format: newspaper/primary source
Education and literacy in Edgecombe County, 1810
In North Carolina in the New Nation, page 5.4
In this 1810 letter, Jeremiah Battle of Edgecombe County describes the lack of education in eastern North Carolina and the consequences for society and politics. Includes historical commentary.
Format: letter/primary source
Commentary and sidebar notes by L. Maren Wood.
Educator's Guides: North Carolina Digital History
Best practices, process guides, worksheets, and other resources for teaching with LEARN NC's digital textbook of North Carolina history.
Format: (multiple pages)
Farmville's choice
In this lesson, students will learn about rural life in North Carolina at the turn of the century. Home demonstration and 4H clubs implemented many programs to help people learn better farming techniques, ways of preserving food, and taking care of the home. Several North Carolina leaders went to great lengths to ensure the success of these programs. In part of this activity, students help the town of Farmville dedicate a monument to one of those people.
Format: lesson plan (multiple pages)
"A female raid" in 1863: Using newspaper coverage to learn about North Carolina's Civil War homefront
In this lesson plan, students will use original newspaper coverage to learn about a raid on local stores by Confederate soldier's wives in March 1863 in Salisbury, North Carolina, and use that historical moment to explore conscription, life on the homefront, economic issues facing North Carolina merchants, the challenges of wartime politics, and the role of newspaper editors in shaping public opinion.
Format: lesson plan (grade 8–12 English Language Arts and Social Studies)
By Kathryn Walbert.
"For What Is a Mother Responsible?" -- Idealized motherhood vs. the realities of motherhood in antebellum North Carolina
In this lesson for grade 8, students analyze a newspaper article about motherhood from a North Carolina newspaper in 1845 and compare it to descriptions of motherhood from other contemporary sources. Students will also compare these antebellum descriptions to the modern debates over mothers' roles in American society.
Format: lesson plan (grade 8–12 Social Studies)
By Kathryn Walbert.
Insurrections in North Carolina?
In North Carolina in the New Nation, page 9.7
Article from a Raleigh newspaper reporting alleged slave insurrections in North Carolina, and white responses to these rumors, following Nat Turner's Rebellion in 1831. Includes historical commentary.
Format: newspaper/primary source
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)
North Carolina in the New South
Primary sources and readings explore North Carolina in the decades after the Civil War (1870–1900). Topics include changes in agriculture, the growth of cities and industry, the experiences of farmers and mill workers, education, cultural changes, politics and political activism, and the Wilmington Race Riot.
Format: book (multiple pages)
North Carolina's first newspaper
In Colonial North Carolina, page 6.11
Without the large port cities of other colonies, North Carolina did not get its first newspaper until 1751. In the second half of the eighteenth century, newspapers were founded in several cities across the coastal plain and Piedmont.
Format: article
Reading newspapers: Advertisements
In Educator's Guides: North Carolina Digital History, page 2.6
A learner's guide to reading and understanding advertisements in historical newspapers.
Format: article/learner's guide
By Kathryn Walbert.
Reading newspapers: Editorial and opinion pieces
In Educator's Guides: North Carolina Digital History, page 2.3
A learner's guide to identifying, reading, and understanding editorial and opinion pieces in historical newspapers.
Format: article/learner's guide
By Kathryn Walbert.
Reading newspapers: Factual reporting
In Educator's Guides: North Carolina Digital History, page 2.5
This learner's guide introduces students to the use of historical newspapers as primary sources and provides key questions for reading them.
Format: article/learner's guide
By Kathryn Walbert.