For Teachers

The Project

Have you ever been so tired of doing something that you refused to do it? Or wanted to do something so badly that you didn't quit asking until you got what you wanted? Over 230 years ago, people in this country had to obey the law of England. And there were British soldiers and officials in this country to enforce that law. People paid taxes, had to obey laws, and were punished if they broke the law, similar to what they do today.

With one exception. The people in this country had no say in how much tax they paid, what laws were formed, or what punishment should be. As the king of England increased the taxes and made punishment more severe, people in the colonies became very angry. In response, a group of men dressed as Indians went to the Boston Harbor and jumped on the ships that had docked to deliver tea to the colonists. For several hours, they threw the large, heavy boxes of tea into the water until they were all gone. This made the British get angry.

The American Revolution began as the colonists worked together to get rid of the British rule and become the independent country that we are today. Often, however, because we haven't had to fight for our freedom, we take that freedom for granted. The Voices of Freedom Project is a way to help you think about what freedom means to you and what kinds of examples of freedom you can find in your community. This site is dedicated to teaching you about North Carolina's role in the War for Independence and sharing what other kids in North Carolina think freedom really means.

As you read through their stories, think about what freedom means to you, in your community, in this century.

What does freedom mean to you?

Student Activities

Student Activity: Learning About North Carolina's Role in the American Revolution
The American Revolution had many ramifications on life today: our political system, our rights and our identity as a nation. North Carolina had its own role to play and even drafted its own declaration of independence. The war impacted North Carolina greatly, especially since it was an agricultural state. But NC citizens thought that the right to elect their own government was worth the cost.

As students learn about North Carolina's role in the War for Independence, they will also consider how that role has influenced life in the state today.

Objectives

  • To learn about the importance of different regions of North Carolina to the war, how they differed from each other, and how the war impacted them.
  • To discuss what North Carolinians risked to fight for independence.
  • To learn how the war influenced the development of different NC regions.

Estimated Time
In addition to out of class reading, students should prepare to devote at least 2 class periods to this discussion.

Teaching Strategy

  • Give the class a short history of the American Revolution.
  • Have the class divide into 3 groups: Mountains, Piedmont, Coast. Ask each group to go to the library (or to local landmarks if they are in the region they're representing) and find out what happened in that particular area during the war. Ask them to gather information on these topics: Battles that were fought in that region, Economic conditions before and after the war, If that region was key to the war, and if so, why, Other ways the region contributed to the war (e.g., signing Declaration of Independence, drawing up individual declaration, material contributions, etc.), Ways in which the war affected the region (economically, loss of men, property damage, etc.)
  • Take one or two class periods and have the groups share what they learned. As the groups talk about their findings, discuss what about the regions may have made their contributions different.
  • Did any of the regions lose something of great value? For instance, did they suffer financially, did many women lose their husbands, did anyone lose property? Ask the students if they think the colonists were aware of what the war might cost them and why they joined the war anyway.
  • Talk about ways in which the students can see, in their community, how the American Revolution affected North Carolina life or legislative policies.


Relevant NC Curriculum Standards

NC History Standards

  • Competency Goal 11: Assess changes over time
  • Competency Goal 12: Trace developments in NC history and how they impact life today

Economics

  • Competency Goal 9: Evaluate how North Carolinians use state resources

Political Science

  • Competency Goal 8: Examine ways North Carolinians govern themselves