Lessons and Resources
This portion of the website provides classroom resources for teachers. It is split into the following three sections (two sets of lesson plans and a virtual excavation):
NEW! Exploring Indigenous Cultures: Ancient North Carolinians, Past and Present are lesson plans developed as part of the 2021–2022 UNC World View Fellows Program for a variety of disciplines in K-12 schools and community colleges.
Intrigue of the Past is a book of lesson plans and information about North Carolina Indians. It was initially published in 2001; while it has seen updates since then, for consistency we have kept it organized according to the subject divisions at that time.
Excavating Occaneechi Town is a digital site report that describes and interprets the buried remains of an eighteenth-century Indian village in North Carolina. While we hope to be able to update it in the future, we present it here as a legacy link which may be used as is, or with your own adaptations.
American Indians lived in the area we now call North Carolina for at least 15,000 years. Archaeologists study the remnants of their communities to learn who these people were and how they lived and prospered for thousands of years. By collecting pieces of the archaeological puzzle, we know more about past indigenous lifeways and how people and cultures changed over time. Today, North Carolina is home to the largest population of American Indians east of the Mississippi River, totaling as of 2021 more than 184,000 people with eight state-recognized tribes and four urban Indian organizations.
The lessons presented here were developed as part of the 2021–2022 UNC World View Fellows Program, Exploring Indigenous Cultures: Ancient North Carolinians, Past and Present. North Carolina educators selected as Program Fellows created lessons for a variety of disciplines in K-12 schools and community colleges so students can learn about the ancient peoples that lived here and those who represent today’s vibrant American Indian populations.
Intrigue of the Past: North Carolina’s First Peoples results from a marriage of the Bureau of Land Management’s Project Archaeology and the University of North Carolina’s Research Laboratories of Archaeology’s commitment to provide a program designed to share with and teach North Carolina students about our state’s rich and fascinating past. Equally important, the program emphasizes that the archaeological evidence of that past is fragile and threatened, and we all have a responsibility to see to its wise use.
Each lesson is designed to teach one or two archaeological concepts. A key (at the head of each lesson) lists subjects addressed, skills learned, strategies used to teach skills and concepts, duration, and class size.
Activity sheets for students to complete are included in many lessons. Some lessons include masters that can be used as teaching aids. Both activity sheets and masters are reproducible as transparencies or handouts. The activities are easy to prepare and all materials are included or readily available.
Excavating Occaneechi Town came to exist because archaeologists wanted to describe and explain the buried remains of what they found over the course of the excavation in an accessible and interactive way. The report contains visual and descriptive information that you do not usually get to experience in a typical archaeological site report. It is a complete, fully searchable record of all the excavated contexts and recovered artifacts from Occaneechi Town with 1,000+ full-color photographs and maps, and information on 100,000+ analyzed artifacts!