Learn about the history of North Carolina and find fun and interesting things to do and see all across North Carolina. We've also found the best books, guides, websites, and other resources to make your study of North Carolina fun and educational.
Things to See & Do in North Carolina
Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site
Carl Sandburg, nationally renowned poet, biographer, lecturer, newspaper columnist, folksinger, author of American fairytales, and winner of two Pulitzer Prizes, provided broad and enduring 20th century insight into the circumstances, worth and spirit of the American people. He passionately championed for the everyday working person, those who may neither have had the words nor the power to speak for themselves. A Midwesterner most of his life, Sandburg and his family moved to North Carolina in 1945. This farm in Flat Rock offered the peace and solitude required for his writing and offered Mrs. Sandburg over 30 acres of pasture-land that she desired to raise her champion dairy goats. Sandburg, having already achieved literary fame before relocating to North Carolina, continued to write and lecture and published more than one-third of his works during his 22 years at Connemara. Today the site, managed by the National Park Service, preserves the Sandburg legacy for future generations. The historic landscape consists of the Sandburg residence, a dairy goat barn complex that is home to the park's Connemara Farms goat herd, sheds, rolling pastures, mountainside woods, five miles of hiking trails on moderate to steep terrain, two small lakes, several ponds, flower and vegetable gardens, and an apple orchard.
Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail
The Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail (OVNHT) commemorates the campaign leading to the battle of Kings Mountain by following the Revolutionary War route of Patriot militia men from Virginia, today's eastern Tennessee, North Carolina, and South Carolina to the battle site at Kings Mountain National Military Park in South Carolina. Although the Trail is still being fully developed visitors may access approximately 30 miles of the route at various points along the 330 mile long corridor. A parallel Commemorative Motor Route may also be driven. The Motor Route uses existing state highways and, in some stretches, actually travels over the old historic roadway.
Moores Creek National Battlefield
Located in Currie, the park commemorates the 1776 victory by 1,000 Patriots over 1,600 Loyalists at the Battle of Moores Creek Bridge. The battle ended Royal Governor Josiah Martin's hopes of regaining control of the colony for the British crown. The Loyalist defeat ended British plans for an invasionary force to land in Brunswick, North Carolina. The colony of North Carolina voted to declare independence from the British on April 12, 1776, shortly after the victory at Moores Creek. Throughout the park, remnants remain of the 1776 road traveled by patriot and loyalist forces. A 1-mile trail with wayside exhibits leads through the battlefield and across Moores Creek. The historic bridge site is located along the trail. The park offers a visitor center with exhibits and audio-visual program; a .3 mile colonial forest trail, and a picnic area.
Fort Raleigh National Historic Site
The first English attempts at colonization in the New World (1585-1587) are commemorated here. These efforts, sponsored by Sir Walter Raleigh, ended with the disappearance of 116 men, women and children (including two that were born in the New World). The fate of this "lost colony" remains a mystery to this day. The Park was established in 1941, and enlarged in 1990 by Public Law 1001-603 to include the preservation of Native American culture, The American Civil War, the Freedman's Colony, and the activities of radio pioneer Reginald Fessenden. The park is also home to the outdoor symphonic drama "The Lost Colony," performed in the Waterside Theatre during the summer since 1937. The park is 513 acres in size.
Guilford Courthouse National Military Park
The battle fought here on March 15, 1781, was the largest, most hotly-contested action of the Revolutionary War's climactic Southern Campaign. The serious loss of British manpower suffered at Guilford Courthouse foreshadowed Lord Cornwallis's final defeat at Yorktown seven months later. Guilford Courthouse National Military Park, the nation’s first national park established at a Revolutionary War site, preserves the 220-acre heart of the 1781 battlefield. Among the 28 monuments raised on the battlefield is a memorial containing the graves of two of North Carolina’s signers of the Declaration of Independence, William Hooper and John Penn. Although Guilford Courthouse is 600 miles south of Philadelphia and Independence Hall, it is appropriate that this monument stands at the site of one of the most important battles of the Revolutionary War. It was the sacrifices of American patriots on this and scores of other battlefields that gave substance to the bold statements of principle contained in the Declaration of Independence.
Wright Brothers National Memorial
The first successful sustained powered flights in a heavier-than-air machine were made here by Wilbur and Orville Wright on December 17, 1903. A 60-foot granite monument dedicated in 1932, is perched atop 90-foot tall Kill Devil Hill commemorating the achievement of these two visionaries from Dayton, Ohio. A visit should include touring the museum exhibits, participating in a ranger conducted program, touring the reconstructed camp buildings and first flight trail area, and a climb up Kill Devil Hill to view the memorial pylon.
Teaching Tips & Ideas
Knowledge Quest offers historical outline maps and timelines designed for the interactive study of world history and geography.
How I Teach a Large Family in a Relaxed, Classical Way: History
A look at teaching history across several grades using the classical method of education and a rotation of history every four years.
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Maria Montessori: Her Life and Work
Maria Montessori is important background reading for parents considering Montessori education for their children, as well as for those training to become Montessori teachers. The first woman to win a degree as a Doctor of Medicine in Italy in 1896, Maria Montessori's mission to improve children's education began in the slums of Rome in 1907, and continued throughout her lifetime. Her insights into the minds of children led her to develop prepared environments and other tools and devices that ha...
Drawn Into the Heart of Reading
Drawn Into the Heart of Reading was developed for use with students of multiple ages at the same time, perfect for the homeschooling family. It is designed for use as an entire reading program or as a supplement to an existing program for students in grades 2-8.
The Story of the World
This book series by Susan Wise Bauer is another that is best enjoyed as a read aloud rather than seen as a history textbook. It is full of engaging stories, mixing facts and historical legends. The companion study guides offer questions, narration exercises, activities, crafts, and reproducible pages. There are also lists for each chapter of supplemental books that are easily found at your local library. Story of the World: History for the Classical Child, Volume 1: Ancient Times (From the Ear...
Morning by Morning : How We Home-Schooled Our African-American Sons to the Ivy League
Home schooling has long been regarded as a last resort, particularly by African-American families. But in this inspirational and practical memoir, Paula Penn-Nabrit shares her intimate experiences of home-schooling her three sons, Charles, Damon, and Evan. Paula and her husband, C. Madison, decided to home-school their children after racial incidents at public and private schools led them to the conclusion that the traditional educational system would be damaging to their sons’ self-esteem...
Ages: 8 years and up; For 2 or more playersSmart Mouth is a quick-thinking shout-it-out hilarious word game that helps build vocabulary skills. It includes variations of the rules for category play and for younger players. Players slide the Letter Getter forward and back to get two letters. The first player to shout out a word of five or more letters using those letters wins the round. The game includes tips for teachers. This is a fun game to play with children and adults together.