I am a Christian. I was an 8th-grade American History teacher. I am currently a freelance writer, public speaker, & homeschooling mom of 9.
Ready for great children's books, YouTube video clips, and free worksheets and lapbooks for teaching and/or learning about North Carolina? Here you will find my favorite picks we used while studying the individual fifty states of America. Whether you're planning a trip to North Carolina, learning or teaching about the state, or on the lookout for a way to "visit" North Carolina without paying for the plane ticket, look no further! This is part of a series of pages I have created highlighting our favorite resources for studying each individual state. Find links to all of the pages at 50 States Lesson Plans .
What Makes This State Unique: Biltmore Estates
At 178,926 square feet with 8,000 acres of land, Biltmore Estates is the largest privately owned house in the US. It is located in Asheville, and is one of the top tourist attractions of the state. It was built by George Washington Vanderbilt II in the late 1800's and is still owned by the Vanderbilt family.
What Makes This State Unique: America's First English Settlement
Established in 1585, Roanoke Island was the first English settlement in America. It was nicknamed "The Lost Colony" because the settlers mysteriously disappeared. Most historians believe they were captured by the local Native Americans and either killed or "adopted" into the tribe. It continues to remain a mystery. The site is also where the first English child was born in America. Her name was Virginia Dare. During the American Civil War the island included three Confederate forts, and it was also used as part of the Underground Railway. In addition, Roanoke Island contains the home and burial place of the TV legend Andy Griffith. Today the historical site includes an outdoor theater and monuments, which share the island with a number of other tourist attractions including the North Carolina Aquarium.
What Makes This State Unique: The Appalachian Mountains
North Carolina is known for its beautiful mountain scenery. The Blue Ridge Parkway and Great Smoky Mountains National Park receive over 25 million visitors each year, making them one of the most popular national parks in America.
What Makes This State Unique: Sweet Potatoes
North Carolina grows more sweet potatoes than any other state. They provide almost 40% of the sweet potatoes sold in America each year.
What Makes This State Unique: Furniture and Textile Manufacturing
North Carolina leads the nation in furniture and textile (cotton, wool, nylon, & rayon) manufacturing. The state has been deemed the "Furniture Capital of the World" and hosts a bi-annual furniture exhibition at High Point Market, during which furniture manufactures from around the world select the newest tends in quality furniture.
What Makes This State Unique: Pepsi and Krispy Kreme
Pepsi and Krispy Kreme were both founded in North Carolina. Pepsi was first developed in the late 1800's at drugstore in New Bern, NC. It was concocted to taste good, boost energy, and aid in digestion. You can visit the Birthplace of Pepsi-Cola Store to view vintage Pepsi memorabilia and learn more about the popular beverage. Krispy Kreme was a business venture started in Winston-Salem, NC after the Great Depression. Vernon Rudolph, the founder of Krispy Kreme, purchased a secret recipe for yeast-raised doughnuts from a chef in New Orleans, and the same recipe can still be enjoyed today.
What Makes This State Unique: The Wright Brother's Testing Location
The Wright Brothers chose Kill Devil Hill (near Kitty Hawk) in NC as the location to test out their aircraft models and finally succeed in flying the world's first airplane. North Carolina proudly claims their state was the first in flight, which is also claimed by Ohio (where the Wright Brothers lived). If you visit the site today, you can see a 60 foot tall monument and the Wright Brothers National Memorial and Visitor Center which tell of the remarkable first flight in 1903.
North Carolina's State Flag and Quarter
North Carolina's State Flag includes the dates of two independence documents. The Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence (May 20, 1775) is a disputed document created by citizens of Mecklenburg County in NC and signed in Charlotte, NC by citizens declaring their independence from Great Britain. This was reportedly done a year before the official Declaration of Independence was signed in Philadelphia, though the document was not printed until 44 years after it was supposedly written. The Halifax Resolves (April 12, 1776), authored by the congress of North Carolina, was the first official action in the American Colonies calling for independence from Great Britain during the American War for Independence.
North Carolina's state quarter features an image of the Wright Brother's first flight in 1903 near Kitty Hawk.
More Good Picture Book Options
Wright Numbers: A North Carolina Number Book (America by the Numbers) by Carol Crane is similar to the above book but it uses numbers rather than the alphabet as the theme that takes your through the sites and history of North Carolina.
Hungry Plants (Step-into-Reading, Step 4) by Mary Batten is an excellent picture book about insectivore plants including the Venus Fly-Trap, which is native to Hampstead, NC.
Blackbeard's Last Fight by Eric A. Kimmel tells the true story of how Blackbeard was killed off the coast of North Carolina. If you have children who are sensitive to fighting and death, this might not be the best book choice. My boys loved that they got to read a pirate story!
North Carolina's Sights and Symbols (Kid's Guide to Drawing America) by J. Katlin is part of a wonderful series that combines state geography with art. Even my 6 year old could follow the drawing directions and my 9 year old created some impressive drawings while learning more about North Carolina.
The Brown Mountain Lights, A North Carolina Legend by Carol Crane is about a family of immigrants who move to the Blue Ridge Mountains on North Carolina and marvel at the mystical lights that surround the mountain where they live.
Freedom on the Menu: The Greensboro Sit-Ins by Carole Boston Weatherford tells the story of the sit-ins that took place in Greensboro, North Carolina as seen through the eyes of an 8 year old child who only wants to sit at a lunch counter to eat her ice cream with everyone else. Look for the free printable lapbook that goes along with this book in the below section on free worksheets and lapbooks.
Rescue on the Outer Banks (On My Own History) by Candice F. Ransom is the true story of the first all African-American crew at Pea Island Station when they rescued the passengers and crew from a ship in the late 1800's. The story is told by a ten year old passenger who is rescued.
The Twelve Days of Christmas in North Carolina (The Twelve Days of Christmas in America) by Judy Stead includes the story of a girl taking trip through the state and writing home about it. She visits the beaches and mountains of North Carolina, the Wright Kite Festival, takes a hot air balloon ride, eats hush puppies, and more.
Best Books for Preschoolers, Toddlers, and Babies
Good Night North Carolina (Good Night Our World) Board book by Adam Gamble is perfect for the youngest listeners. It has sweet illustrations that cover the main sites and points of interest of the state including the Wright Brothers, lighthouses, the zoo, Grandfather Mountain, the Outer Banks, and more.
Little North Carolina (Little State) Board book by Carol Crane is a board book that uses riddles to show the state flower, tree, bird, animal, and more. The illustrations and rhyming text are perfect for young listeners.
N Is for North Carolina (State Alphabet Books) by E. J. Sullivan uses an alphabet theme and rhymes to introduce the main sites and points of interest in the state.
Santa Is Coming to North Carolina by Steve Smallman shows Santa as he flies over the most popular sites of the state including Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, Chimney Rock, Kitty Hawk, Charlotte Motor Speedway, Biltmore Estate, and more.
Chapter Books Related to North Carolina
More Chapter Books Related to North Carolina
Blue Ridge Billy by Lois Lenski (203 pages) is a historic Smokey Mountain story about a poor boy living in a poor mountain community. His dream is to purchase a banjo and play music. Though his hardworking parents discourage this dream, his equally poor neighbor inspires him.
The Christmas Barn by C. L. Davis (189 pages) takes place during the Depression in the mountains of North Carolina. It is about a poor girl and her family who lose most of what they have one Christmas but realize that it is what you have inside you that matters the most.
Lost on the Road to Nowhere by Scott Fowler (122 pages) is about a family who gets into a bad car wreck just before Christmas. The four siblings, ages 18 months to 11 years, must walk through deserted roads and North Carolina wilderness of the mountains to get help for their hurt parents.
Freedom on the Menu: The Greensboro Sit-Ins Lapbook offers free lapbook pages & activity ideas for Freedom on the Menu by Carole Boston Weatherford. This is a picture book about the sit-ins that took place in Greensboro, NC.
My Great Aunt Arizona Lapbook offers free lapbook pages and activity ideas for My Great Aunt Arizona by Gloria Houston. This is the story of a woman who lives the Blue Ridge Mountains of NC and longs to visit other places.
North Carolina State Facts & Trivia lists numerous points of interest about North Carolina. At the site, you'll also find helpful worksheets, links, & information.
Good Overview of North Carolina
Where is Raleigh, the capital of North Carolina?
© 2012 Shannon