Tours and Activities

For Elementary Schools

Thomas Wolfe and Progress, Progress, Progress

This program for will explore life in the Old Kentucky Home during the years covered by Thomas Wolfe’s first book, Look Homeward, Angel. The guided program contains three 20 minute components, including; touring the first floor of the Old Kentucky Home, an exhibit hall scavenger hunt, and a group of hands-on mini-activities to demonstrate household tools and chores used in the boarding house.

At the conclusion of this program, students should be able to:

  • Name Thomas Wolfe as a famous author from Asheville who wrote Look Homeward, Angel.
  • Identify a “memorial” as an object or structure, established to honor an individual or group, or preserve memory of an event.
  • Recognize Wolfe used his real life to create fiction.
  • Identify a boarding house as a house in which lodgers rent rooms for one or more nights.
  • List 3 chores done in a boarding house.
  • Describe what tourists found appealing about Asheville.
  • Explain how household technology changed everyday life in Asheville.

This program was designed to complement the following sections of the Common Core and NC Essential Standards:
3.H.1.1, 3.H.1.2 , 3.G.1.4, 3.G.1.5, 3.E.1.1, 3.E.2.1
4.H.1.3, 4.H.2.1, 4.G.1.1, 4.G.1.4, 4.E.1.1, 4.E.2.2
5.G.1.3, 5.G.1.4, 5.C.1.3

For Middle and High Schools

Thomas Wolfe’s Family, Friends, and Folklore

This program will discuss life in the Old Kentucky. Home during the years covered by Look Homeward, Angel. There are two main sections; a viewing of our new film “Thomas Wolfe & Asheville” with short discussion of the topics presented in the film, and a 25 minute tour of the Old Kentucky Home.

At the conclusion of this program, students should be able to:

  • Name Thomas Wolfe as a famous author from Asheville who wrote Look Homeward, Angel.
  • Recognize Wolfe used his real life to create fiction.
  • Describe the relationship between Ben and Tom.
  • Identify Tom’s favorite study spot and describe Tom’s time at the Orange Street School and North State Fitting School.
  • Describe W.O.’s drinking problem and the impact it had on the family.
  • Explain Julia’s focus on the boarding house and the detriment this had on Tom.
  • Describe the differences between hotels/motels and boardinghouses.
  • Explain the many chores required to run a boardinghouse.
  • Identify one of Tom’s first romantic pursuits.

This program was designed to complement the following sections of the Common Core and NC Essential Standards:
6.H.1, 7.H.1, 8.H.2.1, 8.H.3.3, 8.H.3.4, 8.E.1.3
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.6-8.1
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.6-8.6
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.6-8.9

Thomas Wolfe Goes to School

A Historical Interpreter from the Thomas Wolfe Memorial will come to your classroom and give a short presentation about Thomas Wolfe and Asheville in the early 20th century. The presentation includes an interactive PowerPoint, hands-on activities, and plenty of time for experiential learning and questions. This is a program offered to area schools only. If you are interested in setting up an in-class presentation, please contact Education Specialist David Rayburn at david.rayburn@ncdcr.gov or (828) 253-8304.