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Program in the Humanities

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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Check out this month’s CEC News!

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January 2016 – Happy New Year

FEATURED Resources: Black History Month

The Consortium has hundreds of lessons and PowerPoint presentations for teaching students about numerous topics related to Black History. While the grade level for each lesson varies, slight modifications can make the lesson work for most any age of student. Contact the Consortium for assistance in modifying a lesson to better meet your needs. Check out the sample lessons below and visit our Database of K-12 Resources at for many more.

Missing Pieces of the Puzzle:  African Americans in Revolutionary Times – Accompanying PPT

In a puzzle, each piece counts.  Yet often when studying the Revolutionary War, we forget to acknowledge the important roles Africans and African Americans played, whether in fighting for either side of the war, or fighting for their own rights to freedom.  Without including their pieces of the puzzle, the history we learn is incomplete.  In this lesson, students will learn how Blacks were contributing to colonial society, making active choices to survive their bondage and striving to shape and control their own lives amidst the Patriots’ struggle for political freedom.  By participating in an in depth class discussion centering around a Power Point presentation, students will explore the roles of Blacks during the Revolutionary War, gaining an understanding of the contradiction of a nation seeking independence while simultaneously denying freedom to those enslaved. Students will share their new understanding by creating an artistic bulletin board-sized puzzle (“Every Piece Counts”) focused on the roles African Americans played during the Revolutionary War.

North Carolina’s Settlements of Freedmen During the Civil War: The Roanoke Island Freedmen’s Colony and the Trent River Settlement 

When North Carolina was first occupied by Union forces in 1862, the hopes of freedom grew stronger for many enslaved North Carolinians.  In this lesson, students will learn about two freedmen’s settlements that were formed as the Union army advanced from the coast: the Roanoke Island Freedmen’s Colony and the Trent River Settlement in New Bern.  Through a reading and partner teaching activity, students will learn about these settlements, the people who inhabited them, and their many contributions to North Carolina and the nation during a crucial time of conflict.  Students will then use what they have learned and their creativity to create a historical marker honoring the significance of these settlements and the people comprising them.

Exploring Life in 1898 Wilmington & the Wilmington Race Riot with CROW, a novel for young adults

CROW, a novel for young adults by Barbara Wright, is an excellent way to engage students in learning about the 1898 Wilmington Race Riot and related themes such as slavery, Jim Crow, democracy, the rule of law, overcoming adversity, and more. This guide provides resources for using CROW in either the Social Studies or Language Arts classroom, or ideally, as an interdisciplinary unit for both courses.

George Henry White

In this lesson students examine the life and career of North Carolina native George Henry White, the last African American Congressman before the Jim Crow Era, as well as the reasons for the decline in African American representation in Congress during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Through examination of Congressional data from the time period, viewing a documentary, analyzing speech excerpts, class discussion, and more, students will gain a comprehensive understanding of the political, cultural and racial realities of the Jim Crow Era. The lesson culminates with an assignment where students are tasked with creating a reelection campaign for White.

Durham’s Hayti Community  Urban Renewal or Urban Removal?

In this lesson, students will learn about Durham’s Hayti community, which was once one of the most unique and successful black communities in America. Through reading, class discussion, and examination of the UNC-Chapel Hill Digital Innovation Lab’s digital history project “Recoverying Hayti” (, students will learn how Hayti flourished from the 1880s to the 1940s and became known as the “The Black Capitol of the South.” Students will then place themselves in the year 1958, when the Durham Redevelopment Commission was formed and proposed a plan to “renew” Hayti, which had fallen into disrepair by the 1950s. Students will participate in a mock public hearing in which they grapple with the pros and cons of the urban renewal proposal and ultimately, they will decide whether or not to implement the plan. Afterwards, students will explore the actual decision made to implement the renewal plan, as well as the impact urban renewal had on Hayti.

 The Journey of Reconciliation in 1947Accompanying PPT

In 1947, long before the more familiar civil rights events of the 1960s, the movement had already been set in motion with the “Journey of Reconciliation.”  In this lesson, students will discuss the concept of democracy and through this lens, analyze the unjust Jim Crow laws that dominated the South.  Through discussion, readings and the examination of primary sources, students will gain an understanding of how the period immediately following World War II set the stage for numerous challenges to Jim Crow, one of which was the 1947 Journey of Reconciliation.  Students will culminate this lesson by creating a historical marker that honors the Journey of Reconciliation’s riders and educates the public about this important period of history.

The Freedom Rides of 1961Accompanying PPT

Throughout 1961, more than 400 engaged Americans rode south together on the “Freedom Rides.” Young and old, male and female, interracial, and from all over the nation, these peaceful activists risked their lives to challenge segregation laws that were being illegally enforced in public transportation throughout the South.  In this lesson, students will learn about this critical period of history, studying the 1961 events within the context of the entire Civil Rights Movement.  Through a PowerPoint presentation, deep discussion, examination of primary sources, and watching PBS’s documentary, “The Freedom Riders,” students will gain an understanding of the role of citizens in shaping our nation’s democracy.  In culmination, students will work on teams to design a Youth Summit that teaches people their age about the Freedom Rides, as well as inspires them to be active, engaged community members today.

Greensboro Sit-Ins: A Counter Revolution in Greensboro, NCAccompanying PPT

Despite hard-fought gains in the fight for racial equality, segregation remained firmly entrenched in 1960 America. Black citizens in the South were still treated as second-class citizens and their calls for justice remained largely unheard by the nation, until events in Greensboro, North Carolina, changed all that.  Through class discussion, a Power Point presentation, image exploration, creative writing, video and reading, students will learn about segregation and how it affected society, with a focus on the brave college students who started a national protest movement in Greensboro, NC against segregation.  Students will explore the events of the Greensboro sit-ins and their effect on winning the battle against segregation.

 African Americans and the Vietnam War

Although African Americans have participated in all American wars, they have sometimes faced bitter hostility from their fellow Americans, even while risking their lives to protect the country.  In this lesson, students will explore the complicated period of the conflict in Vietnam, focusing on the role of African Americans in the war as well as on the discrimination they simultaneously faced at home.  Through class discussion, examination of an anti-war comic book, exploration of political cartoons, and review of a less famous speech by Martin Luther King, Jr., students will study the various African Americans who protested the Vietnam War as well as their reasons for doing so.

News Updates

1) If you could RENAME the NC Civic Education Consortium, what would you call us?
Since 2004, the Civic Education Consortium at UNC-Chapel Hill has dedicated itself to serving North Carolina’s amazing, hard-working, creative, and dedicated teachers. We have tried to bend and stretch and grow to meet the needs of K-12 educators throughout the years and many of our programs and lesson plan ideas are based on requests and ideas provided by YOU! And while we still cover topics related to civic education, our 2012 move from the UNC School of Government to the UNC Program in the Humanities allowed us to further broaden the topics we offer. In the spirit of progress, we are seeking a NEW NAME for the NC Civic Education Consortium, one that makes it clear who our most important partners are (K-12 educators), one that better shows the broad nature of our work, and also a name that reflects our connection to UNC-Chapel Hill. Since you – our users and participants and collaborators and friends – know us better than anyone, we’d love to hear your ideas for our NEW NAME! (And don’t worry, will always remain active and will redirect to whatever our new site name might become.)
Please send your thoughts and ideas for a new name for the NC Civic Education Consortium to Christie Norris at And keep your eyes peeled for the launch of our new name in 2016!

Current Opportunities

1) History Unfiltered: Primary Sources, Critical Thinking & Engagement in the Social Studies Classroom **Registration is Closed**

Saturday, February 6, 2016:  9:30 AM – 4:30 PM
National Humanities Center, RTP
This event is sponsored in part by the Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources Eastern Region Program, coordinated by Waynesburg University.

Primary sources provide a window into the past—unfiltered access to historical events and mindsets produced by people who lived in previous eras. Bringing students into close contact with these unique sources can give them a very real sense of what it was like in years past, leading to personal connections, the development of critical thinking skills, and an interest in history that is sometimes missing in youth.

Join the UNC Civic Education Consortium and the National Humanities Center, in partnership with the Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources Eastern Region Program, for “History Unfiltered: Primary Sources, Critical Thinking, and Engagement in the Social Studies Classroom.” This unique event will focus on various strategies, tools, skills, technologies, and resources for effectively utilizing primary sources in the middle and high school classroom. Created with the practicing history teacher in mind, the agenda will cover multiple historical events, topics and periods, via the unifying lens of how we learn about history through compelling and diverse primary sources. Far beyond documents and photographs, the agenda will also explore music, survivor testimony, recordings, and more: including presentations from scholars, to a gospel singer, to a hidden child of the Holocaust. To review the exciting one-day agenda, click here.

Participants will:

  • Analyze primary sources related to various historical events and periods that can be utilized back in your classroom;
  • Discuss and practice instructional strategies for teaching with primary sources;
  • Learn more about the vast online collections of the Library of Congress and the teacher resources that accompany them;
  • Delve into samples of the National Humanities Center’s resources and comprehensive lesson plans, which include key questions, essential understandings, and primary sources with context, background, and discussion excerpts for classroom teaching;
  • Explore lessons integrating primary sources from the UNC Civic Education Consortium;
  • Receive 1.0 CEUs (with the completion of pre-assignments, provided after your registration is received);
  • Be provided lunch and snacks on Feb. 6.

While this event is designed for middle and high school educators in social studies disciplines, it is open to any educator (including pre-service teachers) with interest in utilizing primary sources in the classroom. Educators from any location throughout North Carolina and the US are invited to attend. Please note there are no travel stipends available for this event. However, teachers making their own hotel reservations can contact Paul Bonnici at for recommendations, if needed. Social studies teachers don’t want to miss this exciting integration of content and pedagogy as related to the inclusion of primary sources in the middle and high school classroom!

 This workshop is sponsored in part by the Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources Eastern Region Program, coordinated by Waynesburg University.

2) Whose ‘More Perfect Union?’ Choices, Conflicts & Controversies in 18th Century America **This workshop is currently full, but applications are still being accepted for the waitlist**
Friday, February 19:  9:30 AM – 5:30 PM
Saturday, February 20:  8:45 AM – 4:30 PM
NC Museum of History, Raleigh
Part of the Hidden Histories: What Your Textbook Left Out series

Made possible by a grant from the William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust

“‘We the people, in order to form a more perfect union…’ And yet words on a parchment would not be enough to deliver slaves from bondage, or provide men and women of every color and creed their full rights and obligations as citizens of the United States. What would be needed were Americans in successive generations who were willing to do their part…to narrow that gap between the promise of our ideals and the reality of their time.” ~President Barack Obama

War, revolution, enslavement, debates over human rights, clashes of political ideologies – 18th Century America was no stranger to conflict and controversy, and many choices and decisions made throughout the 1700s had profound implications for the type of country America was, and would become. Join the NC Museum of History and the UNC Civic Education Consortium, in a special collaboration with George Washington’s Mount Vernon, for a critical examination of issues that confronted not only the framers of the Constitution, but Indigenous People, those enslaved, women, and other equally important voices.

Throughout the agenda, teachers will be provided the opportunity to return to the role of students themselves as they expand their content knowledge in discussions and presentations from visiting scholars, local professors, authors, and other content experts who will cover topics from the French and Indian War, to controversies in the making of the Constitution, to the complicated fight for freedom from slavery.

Participants will receive a copy of Independence Lost: Lives on the Edge of the American Revolution and enjoy a special session with the book’s author, Dr. Kathleen DuVal. “In Independence Lost, [Dr. DuVal] recounts an untold story as rich and significant as that of the Founding Fathers: the history of the Revolutionary Era as experienced by slaves, American Indians, women, and British loyalists living on Florida’s Gulf Coast.” Time will also be provided to make crucial connections to modern society as we focus on Thomas Jefferson’s belief that “Every constitution, then, and every law, naturally expires at the end of nineteen years. If it be enforced longer, it is an act of force, and not of right.”

Teachers will also have practical opportunities to explore interactive strategies and lesson plans from the George Washington Teacher Institute and the Civic Education Consortium, designed to encourage critical thinking and interactive participation among all levels of students.

Whose “More Perfect Union?” will provide attendees a more comprehensive understanding of the issues that challenged diverse individuals as they chose various paths both for their own lives, and for a burgeoning nation as a whole. Middle and high school social studies teachers don’t want miss this newest installment of the acclaimed Hidden Histories series on February 19-20, 2016!


  • 1.2 Renewal Credits
  • Access to historical experts
  • A copy of Independence Lost: Lives on the Edge of the American Revolution
  • Lesson plans, teaching ideas, and pedagogical training
  • Lunch on Feb. 19; breakfast & lunch on Feb. 20
  • Single occupancy hotel accommodations can be requested for Friday night for participants residing more than 90 round-trip miles from the NC Museum of History in Raleigh.  Additionally, participants residing more than 300 round trip miles from the NC Museum of History can request a single-occupancy room for Thursday evening as well.
    • If you do not meet the mileage requirements but have special circumstances for which you would like to request a room, you can inquire by contacting Paul Bonnici at
  • Substitute scholarships are available for teachers whose schools lack substitute funding. To request a substitute, follow the procedure described on the registration form.

To register, download the registration form here.

3. The Syrian Refugee Crisis and U.S. Policy: A Civil Conversation

The United States has been a safe haven for the world’s refugees throughout its history. In recent years, violent and brutal conflicts in the Syrian civil war have driven millions of people from their homes. What should U.S. policy be for these refugees?

CRF’s civil conversation method gets your students engaged in policy-based discussions on crucial controversies of the day. Students are encouraged to engage intellectually with challenging materials, gain insight about their own point of view, and strive for a shared understanding of issues.

Access The Syrian Refugee Crisis and U.S. Policy civil conversation activity and FAQ on the Syrian Civil War today!

4. FREE Conference & K-12 Workshop on “Arab Refugees in the 21st Century”
Date: Friday, January 29, 2016, 8:30am-7pm,
Location: Duke University, Durham, NC

The Syrian refugee crisis, in its scale, intensity and duration, has served as a clarion call regarding the urgency of an ever-growing global refugee population. To foster an atmosphere of conversation and broadened perspective, this interactive conference will explore the way the crisis is being interpreted in the international arena through the lens of international law, domestic U.S. policy and [social] media – as well as its direct impact on its victims.

What’s Included: Sessions with undergraduate and graduate students, professors, activists, journalists, and artists who hail from around the world! Catered lunch! Recommended readings! Guided discussion on classroom applications! Click here for the complete schedule and speakers. TEACHERS, please register HERE rather than the registration prompted on the conference website. You are welcome to attend the Thursday evening session as well for additional PD hours, however it is not required. Teachers will check in at 8:30am at the conference Friday morning unless you make other plans. 11 PD Contact Hours will be granted to participants who attend the entire Friday program and complete a brief program evaluation. Please email Emma Harver at with any questions. Space is limited; sign up today!

Anchor5. World War I and the Transformation of the Middle East
Date: February 19 (6pm-9pm) & February 20, 2016 (8:30am-5:30pm)
Location: UNC-Chapel Hill

The Duke-UNC Consortium for Middle East Studies’ annual conference will also provide professional development for K-12 teachers with an opportunity to earn CEUs! Teachers are invited to attend the conference and explore how to incorporate the material presented in their lessons. Teachers will attend a concert of Ottoman music, participate in sessions with scholars from around the world, and attend a special working lunch to discuss classroom applications. Though the conference and workshop are FREE, REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED and space is limited to 25 teachers. Sign up here:

Contact Emma Harver at with any questions!

 6. “Celebrate Social Responsibility” – Register Now for the 2016 NC Social Studies Conference in Greensboro
Dates: Feburary 25 – 26, 2016
Location: Koury Convention Center, Greensboro

The 2016 North Carolina Council for the Social Studies Annual Conference will feature a series of workshop sessions on topics that reflect on this year’s theme, “Celebrate Social Responsibility”, as well as developments in social studies education from around the state and nation.

To register, visit

7. 2016 Law Week Contests from the NC Bar Association
Dates: May 2 – 6, 2016

The NC Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Division Law Week Committee invites your school to participate in the annual student contests in honor of the 59th annual observation of Law Day. The NCBAYLD sponsors five separate student contests for students from elementary to high school. These contests can provide a wonderful opportunity to learn about our legal system, get creative, and win prizes for both students and your school. This program can be incorporated into a curriculum, offered for extra credit, or just done for fun.

Please see the materials posted below for further information. Contact information is included in the materials below if you have questions about Law Day or any of these contests.

Law Week Student Contests 
Grades 3-5: Poster
Grades 6-8: Photo Essay, Essay
Grades 9-12: Essay, Moot Court

Theme: MIRANDA: more than words
Eligibility: All North Carolina Students, grades 3-12
Entry Deadline: See Contest Packets varies, read each contest packet

Recognition and Awards: Awards will be made in elementary, middle and high school categories. Student winners in each category will receive monetary awards.  The winning students schools receive a prize check (first place $300, second place $150, third place $75).  Winners, their families, and teachers will also be invited to Raleigh to participate in the Law Day Awards Luncheon Ceremony, and will have an opportunity to meet state Supreme Court justices, appellate court judges, attorneys, North Carolina Bar Association leaders, and members of the North Carolina General Assembly.

Perhaps more than any other document in human history, Magna Carta has come to embody a simple but enduring truth: No one, no matter how powerful, is above the law. In the eight centuries that have elapsed since Magna Carta was sealed in 1215, it has taken root as an international symbol of the rule of law and as an inspiration for many basic rights Americans hold dear today, including due process, habeas corpus, trial by jury, and the right to travel. As we mark the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta, join us on Law Day, May 6, 2016, to commemorate this “Great Charter of Liberties,” and rededicate ourselves to advancing the principle of rule of law here and abroad.

History of Law Day

In 1958, President Eisenhower promulgated the first Law Day, U.S.A. as “a day of national dedication to the principles of government under law.” Every year since, the President has officially promulgated Law Day as a celebration of our commitment to the rule of law, “an occasion for rededication to the ideals of equality and justice under the law.” That great commitment is enshrined in the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution, and has been reaffirmed by the words and deeds of great Americans throughout our Nation’s history.

The North Carolina Bar Association and its Young Lawyers Division, through a formal proclamation by the Governor of North Carolina, celebrate Law Day on the first Friday in May.

The Law Week Committee of the North Carolina Bar Association Young Lawyers Division (“NCBA YLD”), is a committee comprised of North Carolina attorneys whose primary objective is to establish and promote programs and activities designed to educate the general public of North Carolina about the law and its processes. The primary target audience of our committee is the young people of our state.

To that end, the NCBA YLD is sponsoring the 2016 North Carolina Law Week Student Contests. These contests are intended to be both a fun experience and a challenge for students. We sincerely hope your students will participate.

Send Questions to NCBA Young Lawyers Division Staff Liaison Jacquelyn Terrell

Contest Link:

8. Free Webinars for Teachers from the National Humanities Center
Looking for engaging webinars from a quality institution? The Consortium’s friends at the National Humanities Center are offering a special offer to you to participate in their live, interactive professional development webinars for FREE! Enter the code HHV15 to waive the webinar fee! The NHC provides teachers with materials and instructional strategies to make them more effective in the classroom and rekindle their enthusiasm for the subjects they teach. Their online lesson plans include key questions, essential understandings, and primary sources with context, background, and discussion excerpts for classroom teaching. Additional resources such as collections of historical documents, literary texts, and works of art thematically organized with notes and discussion questions, annotated and excerpted for classroom use can be found on their site. Check them out, and don’t forget to sign up for our Feb. 6, 2016 collaborative teachers’ seminar with NHC, to be held at their beautiful space in Raleigh, NC, “History Unfiltered: Primary Sources, Critical Thinking and Engagement in the Social Studies Classroom.”

9. ABA Webinar featuring the CEC’s Own Christie Norris!!
Last month, the American Bar Association sponsored a webinar, Civility & Free Expression: Developing a Public Dialogue through the Arts, featuring the CEC’s own, Christie Norris. This webinar was a discussion on how the arts can be used as a starting point for grounding meaningful community conversations.  It focused on the question, “how can the arts be used as a foundation for public dialogue?”Christie and co-panelists, actor/director Mike Wiley and Hallie Gordon, Artistic Director for Steppenwolf for Young Adults, shared their experiences with being involved in community programming that utilized the arts to foster conversations on contemporary and controversial issues.  They will also shared lessons learned and best practices to consider when facilitating a public dialogue through the arts.You can access the archived discussion via the ABA’s website.


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