K-12 Teaching and Learning From the UNC School of Education

LEARN NC was a program of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Education from 1997 – 2013. It provided lesson plans, professional development, and innovative web resources to support teachers, build community, and improve K-12 education in North Carolina. Learn NC is no longer supported by the School of Education – this is a historical archive of their website.

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“J'adore la pizza” by Karen Kransky: Finding rhyming words in a French poem
This lesson is designed to increase students' awareness of some French letter-sound combinations that rhyme, in spite of being spelled differently using the poem, "J'adore la pizza" by Karen Kransky.
Format: lesson plan (grade 3–5 Second Languages)
By Laura Hemphill.
Dear Peter Rabbit
Students will identify formal language and sentence structures in friendly letters. They will use similar formal language and style to create friendly letters to other story book characters.
Format: lesson plan (grade 3–4 English Language Arts and Information Skills)
By Caroline Annas, Elizabeth Gibson, and Stephanie Johnson.
Love Letters: Using imagery to convey feelings
After listening to Arnold Adoff's Love Letters, students will write and share their own love letters. This lesson is especially fun around Valentine's Day.
Format: lesson plan (grade 2–4 English Language Arts)
By Jennifer Reid.
Molly's Pilgrim Activity
Using the book by Barbara Cohen, students will respond to the social and historical significance of this portrayal of the Thanksgiving holiday. Students will also participate in constructing a Venn diagram and completing a cloze activity.
Format: lesson plan (grade 3–4 English Language Arts and Social Studies)
By Susan Milholland, Kathy Vaden, and Rita Wilson.
Mr. Griggs' Work
The students will learn about the importance of responsibility, dependability, punctuality, honesty, and effort in the workplace through the reading of the book Mr. Griggs' Work. The students will have the opportunity to explore these character traits in their own work setting.
Format: lesson plan (grade K–5 Guidance)
By William Hodge.
Night of the Twisters
Reading strategies are used to introduce a literary work.
Format: lesson plan (grade 4–5 English Language Arts)
By Authurice Mitchell.
The Birchbark House
This study guide was created by a group of third grade enrichment students. They were planning to read this book but could find no published guide to go with it. They decided to create their own as they read.
Format: lesson plan (grade 3–4 English Language Arts)
By Carolyn Ridgway.
The Great Gilly Hopkins: Characterization and prediction
In the final chapters of the novel, Gilly's grandmother learns she has a granddaughter and decides to take Gilly out of foster care. Many of my classroom readers are often dismayed by this unexpected conflict and its outcome. In this lesson, the classroom becomes a courtroom where students predict the outcome of this conflict.

This activity can be used at the end of the novel, but I like to use it after reading chapters 10 and 11 so students can compare the courtroom decision to the end of the novel.
Format: lesson plan (grade 4–6 English Language Arts)
By Emily Vann.
The Wish Giver: Cause and effect
Through a discussion of the characters in the novel The Wish Giver, by Bill Brittain, the teacher will teach the students to identify and analyze the cause/effect relationship and its importance in reading comprehension.
Format: lesson plan (grade 4–5 English Language Arts)
By Becky Ellzey.
Action chains
Students learn to elaborate on an event in a narrative by expanding their sentences into action chains. Expanding single actions into an action chain provides the reader with a more detailed picture of an event in a narrative.
Format: lesson plan (grade 3–5 English Language Arts)
By DPI Writing Strategies.
Adding emotions to your story
One way to make stories even better is to show emotions and not just tell them. In this lesson, students will use actions, gestures, and facial expressions to act out emotions.
Format: lesson plan (grade 3–5 English Language Arts)
By DPI Writing Strategies.
Algebra for the real world
Students will solve real world and mathematical problem situations using simple algebraic concepts including variables and open sentences.
Format: lesson plan (grade 4–5 Mathematics)
Along the Trail of Tears
A part of history is often forgotten when teaching younger students. This is the relocation of the Cherokee Indians when the white settlers wanted their property. The US Government moved whole groups of Indians under harsh conditions. This trip became known as the Trail of Tears. Using this as a background students will explore and experiment with persuasive writing as they try to express the position of Cherokee leaders.
Format: lesson plan (grade 4–5 English Language Arts and Social Studies)
By Glenda Bullard.
Alphabet hunt
Students will find images in our environment which contain letters of the alphabet (either man made or natural) and photograph them so that they appear as the focal point.
Format: lesson plan (grade 3–5 Visual Arts Education)
By Lee Anne Kitzmiller.
Am I a square?
Students should discover how their height is related to their arm span. They will learn how to do spatial and visual estimation, use measuring tools, recognize factional parts of an inch, gather data, and organize and create a graph based on their findings.
Format: lesson plan (grade 4–5 Mathematics)
By Priscilla Hege.
Amazing liquid conductor
Students will mix a variety of liquid solutions together to see if they will light a light bulb in a electrical circuit. They will be able to identify liquid electrical conductors and nonconductors. Also they will be able to identify that liquid solutions that contain a noticeable amount of acid or salt are good conductors of electricity. Each group of students will make a closed circuit to test their solutions.
Format: lesson plan (grade 4 and 6 Science)
By Martha Martin.
Angry words: What goes around comes around
This is a simple, concrete lesson to illustrate the power of anger to travel from one person to another and to linger in the environment even after the immediate emotion is gone. Strategies for coping with angry feelings are shared.
Format: lesson plan (grade K–5 Guidance)
By Judy Lavore.
Animal adaptation
This lesson focuses on the adaptations, body structures, and behavior of animals. The students will explore animal growth and adaptations of animals. This lesson is designed to be taught during the reading of Stone Fox.
Format: lesson plan (grade 4 English Language Development and Science)
By Jennifer Fessler and Karen Wright.
Animal environments: Day one
Students will group animals using common characteristics. Students will develop an understanding of animal adaptations. This lesson was designed to be used with the lesson "Diamante Poetry Using Environments: Day two."
Format: lesson plan (grade 4 Science)
By Cheri Cole.
Animal friends
This lesson helps students explore personal beliefs and feelings toward others. Students will examine stereotypes and how they influence interactions. The lesson emphasizes peer relationships, awareness of feelings, understanding/accepting differences and self-knowledge.
Format: lesson plan (grade K–5 Guidance)
By Beth Lindsey.