It’s Back to School, North Carolina! Teacher Resources Curated by the State Library of North Carolina

Monday, September 2, 2019

It’s back to school time in North Carolina for both traditional and year-round schools!

The Government & Heritage Library (GHL) at the State Library of North Carolina has content, resources, and tools to support classroom activities. These include educational content from state agencies across many subjects, including STEM; tools to help find and use primary sources; lesson plans and learning activities; and research guides and other teacher support materials. 

Content and Curriculum Resources from North Carolina State Agencies

Screen shot: North Carolina research guide from the Government & Heritage Library (link: North Carolina state agencies have developed and present content and educational resources specifically for K-12 education. Content covers a broad range of topics from arts, music, and history to science and the natural environment.  For a comprehensive list, visit the #EverythingNC research guide from the Government & Heritage Library and check out some highlights in the STEAM Education section below. 

History and Social Studies Education

North Carolina Content from NCpedia, the state’s online encyclopedia, coordinated by the Government & Heritage Library:

NCpedia includes more than 8,300 articles and 9,100 images covering a range of North Carolina topics from state symbols and government to county history, biography, natural heritage, and more. More than 100 lesson plans, generally for 8th-grade social studies education, have been integrated into its articles, along with links to primary The NCpedia home page (link: sources. 


New! NCpedia Educator Resources Page: Just in time for school, NCpedia has expanded and updated its Educator Resources page. The page includes links to teaching and research guides, primary source sets and collections, North Carolina state agency curriculum resources, North Carolina history blogs from the NC Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, and a new North Carolina social studies and NCpedia curriculum crosswalk tool.

The Teach with NCpedia curriculum tool is a resource built with Google Sheets that provides a crosswalk between historical topics related to North Carolina history, a curated set of NCpedia articles, relevant lesson plans from Carolina K-12 and relevant North Carolina public school essential social studies standards.  For each topic, the tool includes keywords associated with "unpacking" the North Carolina standards, links to primary source collections, educational sites, and North Carolina school districts that have made content maps available on the internet. The tool can be filtered, searched, downloaded and freely shared.  Note: this tool is in beta-release mode and continual development – teachers, please give us your feedback to let us know how we can improve and enhance this tool!

ANCHOR, a North Carolina History Online Resource:  

ANCHOR, part of the NCpedia platform, is a digital textbook for history education with a focus on North Carolina history and primary sources, within a national context.  Originally developed by the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Education as the LEARN NC Digital Textbook and targeted toward an 8th-grade audience, it is now in NCpedia as ANCHOR.  The Government & Heritage Library is currently working with educational partners and content experts to enhance and update content. Updates made to the resource so far include expanded contextual materials, newly integrated primary sources, artifacts, links to supplementary resources, and lesson plans. Sample ANCHOR page, “The Aftermath of Martin Luther King’s Assassination” (link:

STEAM Education

Check out these STEAM-focused curriculum resources from North Carolina state agencies:

•    Climate Change in the Cape Fear Region, from the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher: includes content, resources, film and curriculum activities.

•    Sea Turtle Exploration, from the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher: includes content and resources for teachers to teach with and about sea turtles.

•    It’s Our Water, Carolina High School Water Quality Curriculum, from the NC Attorney Generals’ Environmental Enhancement Grant Program: includes full, 5-module curriculum and resources. 

•    Interdisciplinary lesson plans for math and visual arts, from the North Carolina Museum of History. 

•    K-12 Air Quality Education, from the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality: includes educational resources and lesson plans for elementary, middle and high school curriculum. 

Visit the #EverythingNC research guide to find even more curriculum resources!

Do you or your students need live research help for finding and using North Carolina information? Check out our ASK a Librarian service:

Government & Heritage Library “Chat With a Librarian” chat box (link: live research help for all of your North Carolina-related research questions, Monday through Friday 9 a.m.-5 p.m.  Our live, online chat reference is staffed by real librarians working at the NC Government & Heritage Library.  You can access chat reference on all NCpedia and ANCHOR pages as well as on the Government & Heritage Library website.

Finally, teachers, we need your input! 

We are conducting research on the information needs of North Carolina educators. This survey, open through September 9, 2019, will help us make improvements to the information, resources, and outreach we provide to educators.  Please take the survey at Your input is valuable and appreciated!



Kelly Agan, Digital Projects Librarian