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Investigating a Place: North Carolina

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Geography
What defines a place? This teacher's guide uses stamps, photographs, paintings, objects, videos, and music to explore the history and culture of North Carolina. In the classroom, these resources can be used by students to investigate two essential questions: How do you define North Carolina as a place? What does it mean to be from North Carolina?

Further questions include:
How do these objects relate to each other? What objects/people/places are missing that you think are important in defining North Carolina as a place? What sub-themes can you identify within this collection of resources? How do you define North Carolina in terms of its environmental characteristics? What are its unique set of physical and cultural conditions? Has the definition of being from North Carolina changed over time?

Activity Idea:
Ask students to investigate collection in small groups to answer the two essential questions. Use the supporting questions to guide their inquiry into the essential questions - answering these questions will give students a knowledge and evidence base from which to answer the essential questions.

To further the activity, students may choose one resource to investigate in depth and either write an essay or create a collection of their own around it. Students may choose two or more resources to compare in their exploration of how one defines North Carolina.

Ask students individually or in small groups to create a collection in Learning Lab to represent the physical and cultural characteristics of another place. Using these collections, ask students to write summary statements describing the unique human and physical characteristics of places researched. In class discuss student collections and what makes each place unique.

20c North Carolina single

National Postal Museum

North Carolina, from the United States Series

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Path to Chapel, Pinehurst, North Carolina

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Dawn, Bryson City, North Carolina, (painting)

Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums

Pin, Lapel, North Carolina

National Air and Space Museum

Medal, First Flight at Kitty Hawk 1903

National Air and Space Museum

25c Cape Hatteras single

National Postal Museum

Outer Banks Memory

National Museum of American History

Tobacco Farmer Cutting Hair, N.C.

Smithsonian American Art Museum

North Carolina - Tennessee Asheville Sheet

National Anthropological Archives

Plate 79. The Pulpit, Fort Fisher, N.C.

National Museum of American History

Confederate Waist Belt Plate, "North Carolina"

National Museum of American History

Lunch counter stool from Greensboro, North Carolina sit-ins

National Museum of African American History and Culture

July 4 March through Chapel Hill

National Museum of African American History and Culture

Mars Hill College, N.C.

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Black Mountain College bulletin

Archives of American Art

Thomas Wolfe

National Portrait Gallery

44c 'Asheville' single

National Postal Museum

Map for National Parks Service: Blue Ridge Parkway

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Walter Sir Raleigh

National Portrait Gallery

Sir Walter Raleigh

National Portrait Gallery

James Buchanan Duke

National Portrait Gallery

The Biltmore Estate

Smithsonian Channel

Richard Petty

National Portrait Gallery

Charlotte, N. C.

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Young Moravian Girl

Smithsonian American Art Museum

A Krispy Kreme Dream Machine

Smithsonian Channel

Pepsi-Cola Bottle

National Museum of American History

Thelonious Monk, that's the Way I Feel Now

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Billy "Sweet Pea" Strayhorn

National Portrait Gallery

James Taylor

National Portrait Gallery