For Educators

Vance Birthplace School Programs

"We love coming here!  Ties in beautifully with our Westward Expansion unit!  Lauren and Dennis were were wonderful and completely engaging!"  Maureen Beyt, Second Grade Teacher

Primary School Programs

We have created a brand new program for younger students (Pre-K through 1st Grade), which offers a hands-on introduction to the history of Western North Carolina. During field trips to the Vance Birthplace students will discover the story of Leah Erwin, an enslaved woman who cooked for the Vance family on their plantation.  Using the illustrated children's book, Tea Cakes for Tosh, by Kelly Starling Lyons and the original 1790s hearth where Leah prepared every meal, guides will help students understand how enslavement affected families in the early 1800s.

Elementary School Programs

Come explore life on a mountain plantation in the early 1800s! At the Vance Birthplace, students will learn about the lives of the people, enslaved and free, who lived on the Vance plantation from 1790-1844. How did people work the land? Where did they get their food, clothing, tools? What was it like to be enslaved in Western North Carolina? Students will discover the answers to all of these questions, and more, during a guided tour of the buildings and grounds. During our hands on History Mystery program, students become the historians, using critical thinking skills to discover the purpose of real 1800s artifacts.

Farm life wasn't all work! Add on a craft activity to your program so students can recreate the toys children played with in the early 1800s. Choose between corn husk dolls, button spinners, or cup-and-ball toys.

Middle School Programs

Field trips to the Vance Birthplace allow students to step back in time and about a diverse history that is rooted in place.  We utilize the historic structures and artifacts located at our site to examine life on an early mountain plantation in North Carolina.  Led by a professional guide, students explore historic structures to learn how people, enslaved and free, experienced life on the Vance plantation between 1790 and 1844.  Students will then become the historians, using primary sources and artifacts to discover the history of Venus, an enslaved woman who spent her life raising the Vance children.  

High School Programs

We would love for your high school students to visit the Vance Birthplace!  We adapt our middle school programs for high school field trips.  Please let us know if you have any questions about our program.

Planning Your Trip

Education programs are free! Fees may apply if adding on a craft activity.

All school groups must make reservations in advance.

At most, we can accommodate approximately 100 students at the site.

Students may eat lunch on site at our covered picnic shelter.

Make sure to budget at least 2-3 hours for your visit, although timing can vary based on group size and number of activities.

Call or email with any questions! Vance Birthplace State Historic Site 911 Reems Creek Rd, Weaverville 828-645-6706 vance@ncdcr.gov

Vance Birthplace Field Trips Meet These NC Essential Standards

Kindergarten & First Grade

  • K.H.1 Understand change over time.
  • K.G.2 Understand the interaction between humans and the environment.
  • K.E.1 Understand basic economic concepts.
  • 1.H.1 Understand that history tells a story of how people and events changed society over time.
  • 1.C.1 Understand the diversity of people in the local community.

Third Grade 

  • 3.H.1 Understand how events, individuals and ideas have influenced the history of local and regional communities.
    • 3.H.1.1 Explain key historical events that occurred in the local community and regions over time.
    • 3.H.1.2 Analyze the impact of contributions made by diverse historical figures in local communities and regions over time.
    • 3.H.1.3 Exemplify the ideas that were significant in the development of local communities and regions.
  • 3.H.2 Use historical thinking skills to understand the context of events, people and places.
    • 3.H.2.1 Explain change over time through historical narratives. (events, people and places)
    • 3.H.2.2 Explain how multiple perspectives are portrayed through historical narratives.

Fourth Grade

  • 4.H.1 Analyze the chronology of key historical events in North Carolina history.
    • 4.H.1.3 Explain how people, events and developments brought about changes to communities in various regions of North Carolina.
    • 4.H.1.4 Analyze North Carolina’s role in major conflicts and wars from the Pre-Colonial period through Reconstruction.
  • 4.H.2 Understand how notable structures, symbols and place names are significant to North Carolina.
    • 4.H.2.1 Explain why important buildings, statues, monuments and place names are associated with the state's history.
  • 4.G.1 Understand how human, environmental and technological factors affect the growth and development of North Carolina.
    • 4.G.1.1 Summarize changes that have occurred in North Carolina since statehood (population growth, transportation, communication and land use).
    • 4.G.1.3 Exemplify the interactions of various peoples, places and cultures in terms of adaptation and modification of the environment.
    • 4.G.1.4 Explain the impact of technology (communication, transportation and inventions) on North Carolina’s citizens, past and present

Sixth & Seventh Grade

  • 6.H.1 Use historical thinking to understand the emergence, expansion and decline of civilizations, societies and regions overtime.
    • 6.H.1.2 Summarize the literal meaning of historical documents in order to establish context.
    • 6.H.1.3 Use primary and secondary sources to interpret various historical perspectives.
  • 6.H.2 Understand the political, economic and/or social significance of historical events, issues, individuals and cultural groups.
    • 6.H.2.2 Compare historical and contemporary events and issues to understand continuity and change.
    • 6.H.2.4 Explain the role that key historical figures and cultural groups had in transforming society.
  • 7.H.1 Use historical thinking to analyze various modern societies.
    • 7.H.1.2 Summarize the literal meaning of historical documents in order to establish context.
    • 7.H.1.3 Use primary and secondary sources to interpret various historical perspectives.
  • 7.C.1 Understand how cultural values influence relationships between individuals, groups and political entities in modern societies and regions.
    • 7.C.1.1 Explain how culture unites and divides modern societies and regions (e.g. enslavement of various peoples, caste system, religious conflict and Social Darwinism).

Eighth Grade

  • 8.H.1 Apply historical thinking to understand the creation and development of North Carolina and the United States.
    • 8.H.1.1 Construct charts, graphs, and historical narratives to explain particular events or issues.
    • 8.H.1.2 Summarize the literal meaning of historical documents in order to establish context.
    • 8.H.1.3 Use primary and secondary sources to interpret various historical perspectives.
    • 8.H.1.4 Use historical inquiry to evaluate the validity of sources used to construct historical narratives (e.g. formulate historical questions, gather data from a variety of sources, evaluate and interpret data and support interpretations with historical evidence).
    • 8.H.1.5 Analyze the relationship between historical context and decision-making.
  • 8.H.2 Understand the ways in which conflict, compromise and negotiation have shaped North Carolina and the United States.
    • 8.H.2.1 Explain the impact of economic, political, social, and military conflicts (e.g. war, slavery, states’ rights and citizenship and immigration policies) on the development of North Carolina and the United States.
    • 8.H.2.2 Summarize how leadership and citizen actions (e.g. the founding fathers, the Regulators, the Greensboro Four, and participants of the Wilmington Race Riots, 1898) influenced the outcome of key conflicts in North Carolina and the United States.
    • 8.H.2.3 Summarize the role of debate, compromise, and negotiation during significant periods in the history of North Carolina and the United States.
  • 8.H.3 Understand the factors that contribute to change and continuity in North Carolina and the United States.
    • 8.H.3.1 Explain how migration and immigration contributed to the development of North Carolina and the United States from colonization to contemporary times (e.g. westward movement, African slavery, Trail of Tears, the Great Migration and Ellis and Angel Island).
    • 8.H.3.2 Explain how changes brought about by technology and other innovations affected individuals and groups in North Carolina and the United States (e.g. advancements in transportation, communication networks and business practices).
    • 8.H.3.3 Explain how individuals and groups have influenced economic, political and social change in North Carolina and the United States.
    • 8.H.3.4 Compare historical and contemporary issues to understand continuity and change in the development of North Carolina and the United States.