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Moravians in North Carolina

In this lesson students will explore groups that moved to North Carolina from other colonies. Time will be spent discussing the influence the Moravians had on colonial North Carolina. Students will also research the buildings that were a part of an early Moravian town.

Grade Level 4th grade

Learning outcomes

Students will:

Teacher Planning

45 minutes


NC Colonial Records
This document provides a history of Moravians in North Carolina as well as a detailed description of the town of Salem

Discuss with the students why some of the first colonists came to North America. Some colonists arrived in the new land and then decided to move for different reasons. The Moravians were a religious group that finally settled in North Carolina but first went to Georgia and Pennsylvania. The Moravians left Georgia because the British and Native Americans were fighting and they were going to be forced to fight too. They then established a city in Pennsylvania. Once in Pennsylvania the Moravians were asked to come and settle part of North Carolina. They were offered land by a proprietor named Granville. (You could connect the proprietor Granville to Granville County.) The tract of land they were offered was called Wachovia. (You could connect this to the bank Wachovia). The first two cities the Moravians established were Bethabara and Bethania. The last and largest city established was Salem.

In the colonial records there are detailed descriptions of different buildings in Salem. Divide the children into small groups for a total of eight groups. Give each group an index card with the name of a building on it, the description of the buildings, and a large sheet of construction paper. The students need to read the description and create a poster with information about their building. If possible students could access the internet and find out more information as well as seeing a picture. The Old Salem website listed in supplemental information provides a virtual tour of the different buildings. The students could include a picture on their poster. After the students have finished researching their assigned building they can share with the rest of the class. During sharing it would be a good idea to have each student take notes about each of the other groups buildings. Then after each group presented they would have a complete set of notes about all of the main buildings found in Salem. After students completed sharing discuss with the students what aspects of Salem are still a part of our cities today. If time permits you could create a Venn diagram comparing Salem with the city you live in today.

Students could complete the Venn diagram independently as an assessment activity. The students could also have a matching quiz with each of the building and a short description of each.

Supplemental Information
Historic Salem North Carolina website:
This site allows you to explore the museum located in historic Salem. If you click planning a tour the students can take a virtual tour of the different building highlighted in the colonial records.

November 1753 -- Moravians Come To Bethabara

NC curriculum alignment
NCSCOS 4th grade

Social Studies

2.02 Trace the growth and development of immigration to North Carolina, over time from Europe, Asia, and Latin America.

2.03 Describe the similarities and differences among people of North Carolina, past and present.

2.04 Describe how different ethnic groups have influenced culture, customs and history of North Carolina.

3.01 Assess changes in ways of living over time and determine whether the changes are primarily political, economic, or social.

3.02 Identify people, symbols, events, and documents associated with North Carolina's history.

3.05 Describe the political and social history of colonial North Carolina and analyze its influence on the state today.

4.02 Identify religious groups that have influenced life in North Carolina and assess the impact of their beliefs.

Lesson plan created by Lara Willox