An Overview of Our Educational Programming

The Hezekiah Alexander Home Site is a culturally significant and powerful setting for educational programs and brings to life important themes in our national history. Here students, residents, and visitors can explore the three cultures that settled the Carolina Backcountry: the Catawba Indian Tribe, European Immigrants, and African Americans, as well as the ideas and events that led to the American Revolution and the influential Southern Campaign of the Revolutionary War.

Hezekiah Alexander played a leadership role in Charlotte and Mecklenburg County during the years North Carolina was a British colony. He was elected by his peers to lead during the critical years of 1774 to 1776 when Committees of Safety served as the de facto government following the end of royal government. He was then elected to serve as a member of the North Carolina Fifth Provincial Congress that wrote North Carolina’s first constitution and bill of rights.

The Home Site includes the original Alexander house, ca. 1774, a renovated log kitchen, and a reconstructed springhouse.

Our educational programs bring history to life.  Our visitors range from local students and adults, to regional visitors, along with national and international guests.  Our programs and services contribute to the quality of life for residents of the Charlotte and Mecklenburg area and generate economic benefits as a strong component of the heritage tourism industry.

Our programs take place in both the museum building and at the Hezekiah Alexander home site.

Specialized School Tours:

When Charlotte Was Young Like Me! – Charlotte Museum of History’s Kindergarten Field Trip program, When Charlotte Was Young Like Me! is an interactive two-hour session that engages students in the three cultures of the Carolina Backcountry while exploring food, music, pottery, and housing.

Third Grade Tours– The Charlotte Museum of History offers a 90-minute program at the Hezekiah Alexander Home Site designed to introduce students to the Colonial Era, the Alexanders, and the Revolutionary War. In the third grade program, emphasis is also placed on daily life, resource use, and trade in the Colonial-Era Backcountry. They learn about environment and resource use by the three cultures of the Carolina Backcountry. Students are asked to draw connections between Colonial and modern life as they tour the home site and see Colonial tools, furnishing, garments, and structures. Concepts of geographic location, trade, and migration are incorporated in the program through a bartering game.

Fourth Grade Tours – The Charlotte Museum of History offers a program for fourth grade students that explores North Carolina’s journey from the land of the Catawba, to colony, to American state through a thirty minute program, followed by a tour of the Hezekiah Alexander home site. The group will learn about Hezekiah Alexander’s role in the founding of North Carolina as a magistrate and justice of the peace, later as a member of the safety committees, and finally, his role in shaping the structure of the state government. The first state constitution is discussed, with students learning about the rights and responsibilities of citizenship as laid out in this document. The various symbols of the state are also examined, as students learn the historical significance behind each choice.

The Southern Campaign of the American Revolution – Our fifth grade program, The Southern Campaign of the American Revolution exposes students to the important events of the Revolutionary War that took place in our region. The Battle of Charlotte and other conflicts in the southern colonies set the stage for General Cornwallis’ surrender at the Siege of Yorktown. Students are asked to consider cause and effect for this battle and other local events, and how the events impacted the outcome of the Revolutionary War. Students learn about the Catawba Indian Nation in the war, Hezekiah Alexander’s role in North Carolina’s provisional government, the Patriot-French alliance, and responses from enslaved African-Americans in the Revolution.

Eighth Grade Program: North Carolina History and Civics – For eighth grade students, the Charlotte Museum of History offers a 30-minute program, followed by a tour of the Hezekiah Alexander home site that interprets Mecklenburg County through the lens of the Revolutionary Patriots. This program explores how Colonial leaders and citizens of the region influenced the events that created the state of North Carolina. Students analyze primary source documents to understand the democratic ideals that were important to North Carolina’s founders, ideas which form the backbone of our government today. Students will hear and analyze excerpts from the 1775 Mecklenburg Resolves, and will participate in a group Bill of Rights activity.

Magna Carta and The Founding Principles of Liberty– A high school program that discusses the ideas and events that led to the American Revolution and the founding of our nation. The program explores the important documents that began the process of limiting the authority of a tyrannical government.

Passport to World Cultures Geography Day – Students age 6-9 combine technology, knowledge, and creativity to explore the geographic regions, landforms, environments and cultures of different countries.

Revolutionary Charlotte – This program, geared towards 6-12 year olds, will explore the events in Charlotte related to the American Revolution through living history and stations that use hands-on activities.

Backcountry Explorers – An educational program that utilizes a series of stations that explore eighteenth-century lifeways. The stations have hands on activities that focus on herbs and medicine, cooking, barter and trade, and the environment.

Backcountry Housewife- Daily Life in the 18th Century — This presentation delves into the daily life of women in the 18th-century Carolina Backcountry. Presented from the perspective of a Colonial housewife, this living history program explains the use of herbs during the period, which were an essential staple of the Colonial household used for cooking and folk medicine. Other topics covered in the program include the seasonal nature of life in the Backcountry, spinning and textile creation, and the manufacture of tools and provisions needed for everyday life.