The main purpose of this unit is to introduce students to Historical Thinking, those habits of mind that form the basis of every other Social Studies unit. Students must understand the differences between primary and secondary sources, and be able to analyze both primary and secondary sources. Historical thinking skills are needed to construct history, ask questions about history, analyze historical sources, support historical arguments, and make historical judgments to promote the types of critical thinking that will help our students be successful long after graduation. It is this skill set that promotes thoughtful citizenship and sets Social Studies apart from other disciplines. This is also a skill set that does not come naturally and must be taught.
In addition, this unit introduces students to Pre-Colombian America, including how Natives got here, Native periods, and the construction of a unique Native culture in North Carolina. These concepts are essential to understanding the significance (and subsequent impact) of European Colonization and the Colombian Exchange.