Program Goals and Objectives

Program Goals

The story of the Bennett Place is a component for meeting the following NCSCS Goals for 8th Grade Social Studies:

  • 4.03 Assess North Carolina's role in the Civil War and analyze the social and economic impact of the war on the state.
  • 4.04 Evaluate the importance of the roles played by individuals at the state and national levels during the Civil War and Reconstruction Period.

The story of Bennett Place is a component for meeting the following National Standard for the Social Sciences 2: 

  • The course and character of the Civil War and its effects on the American people.
  • 2B: The student understands the social experience of the war on the battlefield and homefront.

Program Objectives

  1. Students should have an understanding of the impact of the war on North Carolina’s civilians and conditions they faced during the war.
  2. Students should understand the negotiated peace terms signed by Maj. General Sherman and General Johnston.

Pre-Visit Activities

  1. Students should read the chapters of The North Carolina Civil War Experience on North Carolina as a Civil War Battlefield which will give vital background information leading to the surrender.
  2. In order to make the most effective use of the time your students have on-site, teachers should make arrangements to have their class view the Dawn of Peace orientation program prior to their arrival. This will not only give your students important historical information ahead of their visit but will also allow time for more hands-on experience at the site. The video is available on the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources YouTube Channel.
  3. Students should read the Site Narratives provided in this unit which describes in greater detail the circumstances of the surrender at Bennett Place.
  4. Teachers may use the Supplemental Lesson Plan: Terms of Surrender as a pre-visit activity or a stand-alone classroom lesson. Classes preparing for a field trip to the site should familiarize themselves with the Site Map and the Glossary of Terms prior to their visit.

On-Site Activities

Every effort will be made to satisfy your requests. However, staff reserves the right to alter planned programming due to inclement weather or unanticipated staff shortages.

  • The Dawn of Peace Orientation Program – Students will view the audio-visual program which explains the events leading up to the surrender at the Bennett farm and the story of the surrender itself. This provides an excellent background for understanding the significance of the events that took place here in April 1865. (17 minutes)
  • Exhibits – Inside the Visitors Center, students will see exhibits about the Bennett family, the home front and the surrender at the Bennett farm. (20 minutes)
  • Bennett Farm Tour – Students will walk the original Hillsborough Road to the Bennett farm following the path that General Johnston took on April 17, 1865. Entering through the homestead gate, groups of 20 will enter James Bennett’s modest home and learn of the events that took place there at the end of the Civil War. They will also see the two outbuildings on this yeoman-class farm, a detached kitchen and the smokehouse. (30 minutes)

Choice of one optional activity: (30 minutes)

  • A Civil War Soldier’s Life – A costumed interpreter will discuss uniforms of Civil War soldiers, both northern and southern, as well as the equipment that each soldier had to carry to survive. Students will form and drill as a company of soldiers. Students will be taught to march, drill and learn the routines of a soldier's life. Students will also learn some of the motivations of both northern and southern soldiers for fighting. This activity culminates with a black powder weapon demonstration if requested.
  • On the Home Front – A 19th century costumed interpreter will introduce students to the way many people lived in the piedmont Carolinas during the Civil War. Hands-on activities include household chores, farming, leisure pursuits, writing letters to sons and fathers off at war, and other facets of the home front.

Walking Trail – (self-guided, optional) A nature trail through the woods adjacent to the farm is available for your enjoyment. (15 minutes)

Post-Visit Activities

  1. A Traveling History Trunk may be rented for $25 (2 week rental with a $100 refundable deposit). This trunk of history is designed to be a mobile, hands-on learning experience for classrooms which do not have the opportunity to visit Bennett Place firsthand or as a post-visit reinforcement activity. Teachers and students will find a variety of 19th century daily items including Civil War soldier equipment, civilian clothing, toys, letters, and, as well as a teacher's manual with a number of suggested activities to be used by classes while they have the trunk. The themes of the trunk are life of the common Civil War soldier along with rural farm life in North Carolina during the Civil War era. Please contact the Bennett Place staff to reserve the History Trunk.
  2. Have students take the Post-Visit Quiz to assess their comprehension of the information shared at the site.