Lesson Plans

Below are descriptions of lesson plans created by schools, educators, museums, state and federal parks, and other educational organizations.

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  • The Case of the Missing Freedman College

    This lesson addresses the problematic existence of one Freedman college in South Carolina established during the reconstruction era. Students pose as history detectives trying to unlock the clues behind the mystery of The Missing Freedman College.

  • The Circle of Life - Discovering the food web of the maritime forest

    This field trip focuses on the maritime forest at Edisto Beach State Park located on Edisto Island, SC. The maritime forest is bordered by salt marsh and contains plant species typically found in most local maritime forest ecosystem. The field trip is structured so that it can be teacher-led and focuses on the food web and nutrient recycling in the maritime forest. To help illustrate this point, students will view the maritime forest through the eyes of early settlers. A set of field guides will be available at Edisto Beach State Park's Nature Center for the teacher to use.

  • The Cowpens Landscape Today: Native, Exotic, and Invasive Species

    GOAL: To demonstrate to students how exotic and invasive species are changing the Cowpens National Battlefield landscape in the context of comparative changes nationwide.

  • The Economic and Social History of Tobacco Production in South Carolina

    Developed in conjunction with the Pee Dee Heritage Center, this package focuses on the Native American use of tobacco, colonial and antebellum cultivation of tobacco, and the development of the bright leaf tobacco industry in the Pee Dee region after the Civil War. 

  • The Educator's Guide to Marine Debris

    Compilation of facts, short stories, and activities from 5 southeastern states bordering the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico that focuses on the growing problem marine debris. Learn more on types, sources, and solutions for marine debris. 

  • The Energy Factbook: A Resource for South Carolina

    Covers energy production, distribution and consumption in South Carolina, and is targeted to middle and high school students.

  • The Ever-Changing Beach

    This is a set of activities about the beach for middle school teachers and their students. 

  • The first victim: the attack on the USS Housatonic

    The recent discovery and raising of the lost submarine, the CSS Hunley, has answered many historical questions. The subsequent opening of the boat and examination of the artifacts within has answered more. Many questions still remain unanswered and new puzzles beg to be analyzed. How do we determine if questions are accurately answered with facts or if the answers are merely interpretations of events, physical evidence, or artifacts. 

  • The Great Stock Market Crash of 1929


    • Students will be able to explain the basic principles of the stock market.
    • Students will be able to describe the effects of the stock market crash on America.
    • Students will be able to create a mural, portraying the life of workers in Clifton Mills after the stock market crash.


  • The HBCU - Past, Present, & Future

    Students will act as historians researching, analyzing and evaluating the eight historically black colleges and universities (HBCU)'s in South Carolina. The focus of this lesson will be a historical investigation to determine the type of educational opportunities available to a young African-American student living in the 1900s. Also, evidence will be gathered to evaluate the present status of these institutions and their future. 


  • The Hunley in Charleston

    This lesson looks at the activities of the Hunley in Charleston, South Carolina and the impact the Hunley had on the Civil War. Make it Three: The Story of the CSS H.L. Hunley Civil War Submarine, a book authored by Margie Willis Clary, and the TNT movie The Hunley will be utilized throughout the lesson. 

  • The Hunley: Interactive Geography

    These nine lesson plans are designed for students to understand the story of the Hunley, from its beginnings in New Orleans to the fateful night of the sinking of the Housatonic.

  • The Life of a World War II Soldier

    • Students will be able to identify several military bases in and around South Carolina, which trained soldiers for World War II.
    • Students will be able to discuss the daily lives of World War II soldiers in training and at war.
    • Students will be able to describe the reactions of soldiers to war.
    • Students will have the opportunity to read firsthand accounts of soldiers' experiences in WWII and examine actual photographs from the war.
  • The Middle Passage according to Olaudah Equiano

    Olaudah Equiano is perhaps one of the most well-known abolitionist writers and former slaves to live in America. His narrative has been digitized as a part of the Documenting the American South North American Slave Narratives collection. His vivid retelling of his trip onboard a slave ship bound for the New World illustrates the horrific and dehumanizing experience.

  • The Musket and Rifle

    GOAL: To help students understand the importance of the musket and rifle to the early settlers, and identify the difference between the two weapons.

  • The Palmetto Trail

    Students will be given the opportunity to become familiar with the landform regions of South Carolina through their exploration of the Palmetto Trail. They will map the trail and produce a booklet designed to help those who use the trail. 

  • The Penn School and Center: Contributions and Recollections of Ron Daise and of the Gullah Geechee Culture and Music

    Property: Penn School / Penn Center Historic District, 16 Penn Center Circle W., St. Helena Island, SC 29920 

    Historic Content 

  • The Perseverance of African Americans, Women and Native Americans during the Building of a New Nation

    The purpose of this lesson is for the student to understand that that the original writers of the United States Constitution did not necessarily encompass everyone when including the statement, “All Men are Created Equal.” Despite this, each group of people, African Americans, Native Americans, and women, persevered through adversity and continued to fight for these same rights as the men who created this exceptional document for our country.

  • The Price in Blood! & It wasn't a bullet!

    At the end of the activity, students will be able to:

    • Interpret why poor medical practices killed many soldiers.
    • Demonstrate and describe how care was given to wounded soldiers in Civil War hospitals.
  • The Recruitment and Training of the Final Hunley Crew

    This lesson is designed to give students a better understanding of the recruitment of the final Hunley crew and the training the men underwent. Students will use information compiled from primary sources to create a recruitment advertisement and pictures of training on a paper plate.