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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Biltmore in the community
The hospitality of the Biltmore Dairy and the quality of its ice cream products were legendary in the Asheville community. O.L. Merchant was a partner in the Merchant Construction company. The building contractor for the Frith, Edith’s house in Biltmore...
Format: article
By Sue Clark McKendree.
Brown versus Board of Education: Rhetoric and realities
In this lesson, students will listen to three oral histories that shed light on political and personal reactions toward the 1954 Supreme Court ruling Brown versus Board of Education. Includes a teacher's guide as well as the oral history audio excerpts and transcripts.
Format: lesson plan (multiple pages)
Children at work: Exposing child labor in the cotton mills of the Carolinas
In this lesson, students will learn about the use of child labor in the cotton mills of the Carolinas during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. They will learn what life was like for a child worker and then write an investigative news report exposing the practice of child labor in the mills, using quotations from oral histories with former child mill workers and photographs of child laborers taken by social reform photographer Lewis Hine.
Format: lesson plan (grade 8–12 Social Studies)
By Dayna Durbin Gleaves.
Civil rights protests and dilemmas
In this lesson students explore well-known civil rights protests then listen to two oral histories of individuals who protested in their own way to promote equality for African Americans. Students specifically will consider personal risks involved in protest.
Format: lesson plan (multiple pages)
Conclusion
Children born or raised at the farm and dairy village have wonderful memories of growing up on Biltmore Estate. For Mildred Buchanan, living here “was fun. I guess you felt a little but more secure than you would out in the town....You just wasn’t...
Format: article
By Sue Clark McKendree.
Cotton mills from differing perspectives: Critically analyzing primary documents
In this lesson, students will read two primary source documents: a 1909 pamphlet exposing the use of child labor in the cotton mills of North Carolina, and a weekly newsletter published by the mill companies. Students will also listen to oral history excerpts from mill workers to gain a third perspective. In a critical analysis, students will identify the audiences for both documents, speculate on the motivations of their authors, and examine the historical importance of each document.
Format: lesson plan
By Dayna Durbin Gleaves.
De facto vs. de jure segregation
This lesson will help students understand the difference between de facto and de jure segregation. Students will listen to three oral history excerpts and discuss the experiences of segregation described in each. As a follow-up activity, students will brainstorm solutions to both de facto and de jure segregation.
Format: lesson plan (grade 10–12 Social Studies)
By Dayna Durbin Gleaves.
Desegregating public schools: Integrated vs. neighborhood schools
In this lesson, students will learn about the history of the "separate but equal" U.S. school system and the 1971 Swann case which forced Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools to integrate. Students will examine the pros and cons of integration achieved through busing, and will write an argumentative essay drawing on information from oral histories.
Format: lesson plan (grade 10–12 English Language Arts and Social Studies)
By Dayna Durbin Gleaves.
Edith Vanderbilt's relationship with estate families
George Vanderbilt’s marriage to Edith Stuyvesant Dresser in June 1898 precipitated a special celebration when the Agricultural Department won a tug-of-war competition with nursery workers, foresters, and Biltmore House employees and received a “handsome...
Format: article
By Sue Clark McKendree.
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)
Effects of civic action
In this lesson, secondary students will analyze primary source materials to investigate how 4-H clubs made an impact on the home front in completing projects that supported the war effort during World War II. This lesson should be taught at the end of a World War II unit.
Format: lesson plan (grade 8–12 Social Studies)
By Pauline S. Johnson.
The employee clubhouse
In 1933, the Employee Clubhouse opened in Woodcote, managed by Marjorie Edwards. Marjorie was not paid a salary; rather she made a profit from the meals she served. Marjorie’s responsibilities as a hostess were to keep the house clean, and to serve weekday...
Format: article
By Sue Clark McKendree.
Eyewitness to the flood
In this lesson, students will listen to oral history excerpts from Hurricane Floyd survivors and contrast their experiences with the experiences of the characters in Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God.
Format: lesson plan (multiple pages)
Feed a fighter
In this lesson students will examine “Additional Helps for the 4-H Mobilization for Victory Program,” a Cooperative Extension Work document from the Green 'N' Growing collection at Special Collections Research Center at North Carolina State University Libraries. The document will help students understand the efforts civilians underwent to support military efforts in World War II.
Format: lesson plan (grade 9–12 English Language Arts and Social Studies)
By Lisa Stamey.
I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!
Biltmore Dairy ice cream also played a leading role at estate gatherings — Cornelia’s birthday celebrations, Christmas parties, May Day festivities, and picnics. In fact, virtually every oral history interview or questionnaire containing childhood...
Format: article
By Sue Clark McKendree.
Introduction
George Vanderbilt established the first agricultural operations at Biltmore to produce dairy products, meat, poultry, fruits, and vegetables for use in Biltmore House. However, it was his hope that the estate would be self supporting, and by the mid-1890s,...
Format: article
By Sue Clark McKendree.
Race in her lifetime
In this lesson, students will use oral histories to trace the life of 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: lesson plan (multiple pages)
Reading Amadas and Barlowe
In Two worlds: Educator's guide, page 4.2
In this lesson, students will read about Amadas and Barlowe's 1584 voyage to the Outer Banks, and will practice thinking critically and analyzing primary source documents.
Format: lesson plan (grade 8 English Language Arts and Social Studies)
By Pauline S. Johnson.
Reading slave narratives: The WPA interviews
In Educator's Guides: North Carolina Digital History, page 2.7
A reading guide for students working with WPA Federal Writers Project interviews with former slaves.
Format: article/learner's guide
By David Walbert.
A record of school desegregation: Conduct your own oral history project
In this unit, students will research the history of school desegregation and will use their knowledge to conduct oral history interviews with community members. Students will reflect on the experience through writing.
Format: lesson plan (grade 8 Social Studies)
By Dayna Durbin Gleaves.