Lesson Plans:
Craft School or College?

Subject(s)/Grade(s): Career Development, 8-12
Related Subjects:

Learning Outcomes

  1. Students will become familiar with the Craft Revival website as a resource for historic research and understanding of economic development of western North Carolina.
  2. Students will develop an understanding of the different educational opportunities available to them in western North Carolina.
  3. Students will learn the history of craft schools in western North Carolina.
  4. Students will begin exploring the educational paths of most interest to them.
Basketry Class, Cherokee Boarding School
Lottie Stamper teaches a Basketry Class

Teacher Planning

  • This lesson can be completed in 1-2 class periods.
  • The teacher will need to familiarize him/herself with the Craft Revival website.
  • The students will need some exposure to career and college interest surveys.
  • Students will need to have access to the internet.


  • College and career surveys
  • Computer Lab
  • Printer
  • Internet access to the Craft Revival website


Pre-Activity: Work with your school’s guidance counselor to give students an interest survey prior to the lesson. This may help students identify the major course of study or career they are interested in pursuing after high school.

Access the Craft Revival website and instruct students to do the following:

1. Read “The Story” section of the website to help students gain context for the Craft Revival in western North Carolina.

The main focus of this activity is for students to gain an understanding of the context in which the various craft schools developed and the purpose for their development.

2. Have students read about the folk schools under “The Story” and about people involved in the movement under “The People”.

  • What studies did the folk schools offer?
  • Who attended the folk schools and for what reasons did they come?
  • How long did people study at the folk schools?

3. Have students explore a college offering the major they are interested in pursuing. The best website for this exploration is CFNC (College Foundation of North Carolina).

  • What is the student-body like at the college?
  • How many years of study does the student’s major require?
  • Why is the student interested in attending the college and getting a degree in the chosen major?

4. Extension: Have students request information from both a North Carolina folk school (John C. Campbell or Penland for example) and a public college of their choice and compare the offerings at the various institutions. How could studies at each institution complement one another and help a student get a broader education and/or world view?

5. Extension: Visit a public college and folk school (i.e., UNC Asheville and Penland) to get a feeling for the different campus atmospheres. Talk with faculty and students at each to better understand people’s choices for where and why they study and work. Have students reflect on their experiences at each site.

North Carolina Curriculum Alignment

  • Career Development Objectives 3.00, 7.01, 7.03, 7.05


  1. Students will keep a journal in which they’ll record thoughts and findings;
  2. Students will produce a written statement that addresses these observations and explains how this study has or has not changed their approach to continuing education.

-Submitted by Jennie Ashlock, GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness & Readiness for Undergraduate Programs), Jackson County, NC