Pre-Visit Activities

  1. 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 Vance Birthplace 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.
  2. Students should read the chapters of The North Carolina Civil War Experience on The Road to Secession which offers details on slavery in North Carolina, and Wartime North Carolina which will give vital background information on the Vance administration.
  3. Students should read the Site Narratives provided in this unit which tell the story of Zeb Vance's political and military career.
  4. Teachers may request loan of the Civil War Traveling Trunk which includes a reproduction Civil War era uniform, other items a Confederate or Union soldier might carry or use, and copies of primary source documents from the 26th North Carolina regiment and the 24th Michigan regiment which fought against each other at the Battle of Gettysburg. Other items included are information on Zeb Vance's administration and life on the home front in western North Carolina. The Civil War Traveling Trunk will be available in the fall of 2011.
  5. Teachers may use the Supplemental Lesson Plan: Primary Source Investigation: Examining Letters of Zebulon B. Vance, North Carolina's Civil War Governor 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.