About This Lesson
This lesson is based on the National Register of Historic Places registration files "Georgetown County Rice Culture, c. 1750-c. 1910" and "Chicora Wood Plantation" as well as other source materials on the rice culture of Georgetown County. The lesson was written by Fay Metcalf, education consultant, and edited by the Teaching with Historic Places staff. TwHP is sponsored, in part, by the Cultural Resources Training Initiative and Parks as Classrooms programs of the National Park Service. This lesson is one in a series that brings the important stories of historic places into the classrooms across the country.
Where it fits into the curriculum
Topics: This lesson could be used in units on the antebellum South. Textbooks tend to examine this period in connection with the rise of cotton culture. It is important, however, for students to understand that before "cotton was king," the plantation system had already been producing crops such as rice, indigo, and tobacco.
Time period: 1750s - 1860s
Relevant United States History Standards for Grades 5-12
Relevant Curriculum Standards for Social Studies
Find your state's social studies and history standards for grades Pre-K-12
Objectives for students
1) To describe the complexity of large-scale, slave-worked agricultural enterprises.
2) To examine the origins of rice production and the role it played in the economy of the antebellum South.
3) To explain the steps involved in rice cultivation.
4) To analyze historic plantation sites for what they tell us about daily life in a particular era.
5) To discover the relationship of the economic and cultural origins of their own community.
Materials for students
The materials listed below either can be used directly on the computer or can be printed out, photocopied and distributed to students. The maps, photographs, and drawing appear twice: in a low-resolution version with associated questions and alone in a larger, high-resolution version.
1) two maps of the region;
2) two readings about rice cultivation and life on an antebellum rice plantation;
3) four photos of Chicora Wood Plantation;
4) a drawing indicating the layout of a typical plantation complex.
Visiting the Site
Chicora Wood, Keithfield, and Mansfield plantations are private residences and are not open to the public. Contact the Rice Museum in Georgetown for more information on the history of rice production.