Lesson Plans


Title Description
Agriculture and Textiles Agriculture and textiles remain two of North Carolina’s major industries.  Studying and identifying the characteristics of these industries within our state’s history can provide a unique perspective on major historical events.  This lesson plan includes photographs and worksheets to facilitate discussion and analysis.  
Analyzing Technological Change with Historic Photographs In many historical photographs there are signs of technology present. Identifying such technology and recognizing the changes in it over time are important skills that may not be covered in textbooks. Studying historic photographs can be an effective method of teaching such progressive changes.
Carolina Charter An important document can be taught in a variety of ways: for its informational value, for its significance in history, or as an artifact. Many documents that are very important for their content, such as the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights, or a state constitution, meet all three criteria.
Civil Rights North Carolina is home to many integral events in the Civil Rights movement.  By examining primary documents concerning racism and civil rights, students will come to a better understanding of race relations during a time of segregation, civil unrest, and racial tension.  This lesson plan asks students and teachers to consider the viewpoints of those who fought for justice and those who opposed it. See primary documents, such as an actual note from the Ku Klux Klan.
Flights of the Wright Brothers On December 17, 1903, Orville and Wilbur Wright made the first machine-powered flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. With Orville aboard, the flight lasted about 12 seconds and covered 100 feet. The brothers made 3 other flights that day with the final one lasting 59 seconds and covering 852 feet. A version of this lesson plan is also available through the online project North Carolina Educational Resources.
Futch Civil War Letters This lesson plan includes a letter from John Futch, Co. K, 3rd North Carolina Troops, to his wife Martha Ramsey Futch and a letter from Catherine Ramsey to Futch, her son-in-law. John Futch enlisted February 1, 1862 in New Hanover County and was reported absent without leave from August 11-31, 1863. He was shot for desertion on September 5, 1863. A version of this lesson plan is also available through the online project North Carolina Educational Resources.
George Moses Horton George Moses Horton was a slave who composed poetry and sold his poems to university students. His initial book was the first one published in the South by an African American. The sample acrostic is one written for Sion Hart Rogers, a University of North Carolina student in the 1840s, to give to Miss Mary E. V. Powell. A version of this lesson plan is also available through the online project North Carolina Educational Resources.
Hang Down your Head On May 1, 1868 Tom Dula (pronounced Dooley) was hanged for the murder of Laura Foster. The hanging followed several sensational trials, including two in the North Carolina Supreme Court. A version of this lesson plan is also available through the online project North Carolina Educational Resources.
Learning from the Grave The landscape of most cities and towns includes land set aside for burials. Burial practices and cemeteries have changed throughout history and give us a visual interpretation of a society’s beliefs and precepts. Cemeteries contain a wealth of information that can be used in many subject areas, including language arts, social studies, science, and mathematics. Gravestones also offer a look at an under-explored art form.
Life in Colonial North Carolina (Primary Source Sets) This collection of primary source sets allows students to select a topic of interest and evaluate themed primary sources from the Colonial Court Records collection. Students will transcribe digital images of the primary source records, interpret and analyze the text, and use the discussion questions provided to develop a deeper understanding of what life was like in colonial North Carolina.
Maco Light Maco is a small crossroads west of Wilmington where the Manchester and Augusta Railroad crosses the road. In 1867 it was known as Farmers Turnout. The legend of a mysterious light appearing there is an old one, dating from soon after 1867. Among the many suggested causes of the light are automobile lights or marsh gas from the nearby swamp.
Millie-Christine Millie-Christine McKoy, conjoined twins, were born in Columbus County, NC in 1851. Born to enslaved parents, the twins shared one spinal column and were likely two girls with one nervous system. They referred to themselves as one person, however, and hyphenated their name to reflect this belief. A version of this lesson plan is also available through the online project North Carolina Educational Resources.
Powerful Words Propaganda is a powerful tool used to sway people’s opinions on certain issues. Examples of propaganda can be found in many different formats. A definition of propaganda is: Any technique that attempts to influence the opinion, emotions, attitudes, or behavior of a group in order to benefit the sponsor.
Tar Heel Travelers The teens and 20s were a time of great travel in the United States. People often took voyages that lasted for months and many left diaries and journals chronicling their journeys. North Carolina has had its share of word travelers and many of them have left details about their journeys. In the North Carolina State Archives are journals, itineraries, mementos, and photographs of the travels of many of our state’s residents.
Teaching Natural Disasters Natural disasters happen every day, and in North Carolina in 2011 we seemed to have had more than other years. One effective way to deal with natural disasters is to study them historically. It is often helpful for students to talk about what led up to the disaster and what people did after it to cope and carry on.
Tiny Broadwick Pioneer of Aviation Tiny Broadwick was a daring young woman who parachuted for the first time from a hot air balloon in 1908, when she was fifteen years old. During her lifetime she made over 1100 jumps from balloons and airplanes. She is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records for first person to perform a “premeditated free-fall” and first women to parachute from an airplane into water.
Two Soldiers Two soldiers in different wars wrote letters home that express powerful feelings of patriotism. As they wrote, each knew he was either dying or about to die.
World War I While North Carolina made strong contributions to the fight in WWI, it is important to understand the differing perspectives regarding the United States’ war effort. Read about the many Americans who preferred to be isolated from troubles abroad versus those sought to join the war. This lesson plan includes photographs, posters, and newspaper articles, as well as activities to help with analysis.
World War II and the Pacific Theater: General Island Life During World War II in the Pacific Theater, Daniel Dortch Price of Mount Olive, N.C., shot two 16mm films of camp and island life in Guadalcanal in 1943. Using Price’s films and an oral history interview with him, this teacher’s packet explores the daily aspects of Pacific island life in WWII, as told or seen by North Carolinians through original letters, photographs, daily diary entries, or through interviews held in the Military Collection at the State Archives of North Carolina.