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

Important Announcement about Online Courses and LEARN NC.

Important Message about LEARN NC

LEARN NC is evaluating its role in the current online education environment as it relates directly to the mission of UNC-Chapel Hill School of Education (UNC-CH SOE). We plan to look at our ability to facilitate the transmission of the best research coming out of UNC-CH SOE and other campus partners to support classroom teachers across North Carolina. We will begin by evaluating our existing faculty and student involvement with various NC public schools to determine what might be useful to share with you.

Don’t worry! The lesson plans, articles, and textbooks you use and love aren’t going away. They are simply being moved into the new LEARN NC Digital Archive. While we are moving away from a focus on publishing, we know it’s important that educators have access to these kinds of resources. These resources will be preserved on our website for the foreseeable future. That said, we’re directing our resources into our newest efforts, so we won’t be adding to the archive or updating its contents. This means that as the North Carolina Standard Course of Study changes in the future, we won’t be re-aligning resources. Our full-text and tag searches should make it possible for you to find exactly what you need, regardless of standards alignment.

Critical thinking in science
This unit of inquiry-based lessons teaches eighth-grade students to utilize and develop critical thinking skills. Students will create testable questions; design and perform experiments; collect, organize, and analyze data; and use these results to decide on the next step in the scientific process.
Format: lesson plan (multiple pages)
Tobacco bag stringing: Educator's guide
Elementary lesson plans Elementary lesson plans based upon Tobacco Bag Stringing: Life and Labor in the Depression will help students understand what tobacco bag stringing was, study primary source documents and visuals,...
Format: lesson plan
Educator's guide: The arrival of Swiss immigrants
Teaching suggestions to help your students synthesize the information in the article "The Arrival of Swiss Immigrants."
Format: lesson plan (grade 8 Social Studies)
By Pauline S. Johnson.
Critical thinking and art with The Snowy Day
This lesson will focus on the illustrations from The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats. The students will describe what makes illustrations worthy of a Caldecott Award. In addition, the students will complete an art project that will allow for creative critical thinking to compliment the illustrations in the book.
Format: lesson plan (grade 1 Visual Arts Education and Information Skills)
By Caryn Levy.
Primary source letters lesson plan
In Tobacco bag stringing: Secondary activity two, page 1
This is one of a series of activities that will help educators use the Tobacco Bag Stringing project materials in their classrooms. Throughout the series students will learn about tobacco stringing, study primary source...
Format: lesson plan
By Pauline S. Johnson.
Introduction to experimental design
In Critical thinking in science, page 2
Students will take the Pepsi-Coke Challenge and, at the same time, learn about the scientific method. While practicing their critical-thinking skills in an inquiry-based experiment, students will define and apply experimental design vocabulary . This lesson is written using the 5E learning model.
Format: lesson plan (grade 8 English Language Arts and Science)
By Daniell DiFrancesca.
Tobacco bag stringing: Elementary activity three
In this activity for grades 3–6, students will read and evaluate primary source letters from the Tobacco Bag Stringing collection. This should be done after Activity one, which is the introductory activity about tobacco bag stringing.
Format: lesson plan (grade 3–5 Social Studies)
By Pauline S. Johnson.
North Carolina's physical and cultural geography
In Two worlds: Educator's guide, page 1.3
In this lesson students will make assumptions about the influence of geography on various aspects of historical human and cultural geography.
Format: lesson plan (grade 8 Social Studies)
By Pauline S. Johnson.
Ecosystem problem solving
Students will apply their knowledge of ecosystems and the interdependence of plants and animals to creatively solve problems.
Format: lesson plan (grade 5 Science)
By Kelley Turner.
Goals, goals, goals
Students will be introduced to the benefits of goal-setting and the steps in the goal setting process. A group activity with a ball will give students practice in all steps of the process and an opportunity to see the benefits of setting goals.
Format: lesson plan (grade K–8 Guidance)
By Pat Nystrom.
What in the world does this have to do with maps and globes?
This lesson focuses on the similarities and differences between a globe and a flat world map. It introduces critical vocabulary relating to cardinal directions and longitude and latitude.
Format: lesson plan (grade 3 English Language Development and Social Studies)
By Phebe Watson and Sylvia Easterling.
Teen job search
In CareerStart lessons: Grade eight, page 1.3
In this lesson plan, students research three jobs and draft a written response explaining how their skills and experiences have prepared them for those jobs.
Format: lesson plan (grade 8 English Language Arts and Guidance)
By Andrea Fedon, Gail Frank, and Cindy Neininger.
A mathematical model to describe fluid behavior
Middle school students will learn how to use math to model and predict natural phenomena. Through hands-on labs, students will explore the behavior and effects of fluid in and around objects and organisms. Students will investigate and create fluid transport systems and gather data to calculate natural frequencies. Using scale models to gain a better understanding, they will use data to predict real-life effects on trees and other structures.
Format: lesson plan (multiple pages)
Tobacco bag stringing: Elementary activity one
This activity for grades 3–6 will help students understand what tobacco bag stringing was and why it was important to communities in North Carolina and Virginia. Students will read and analyze an adapted introductory article about tobacco bag stringing.
Format: lesson plan (grade 3–5 Social Studies)
By Pauline S. Johnson.
Creature creation: An elaboration writing activity
This lesson will focus on the writing element of elaboration. It will also tap into higher order thinking skills with the creation of a Coastal Plain imaginary animal and a creative story about the creature. This lesson could be linked to 4th grade Science and Social Studies objectives. For more in-depth knowledge in those other subjects, go to the lesson entitled Researching the Coastal Plain
Format: lesson plan (grade 3–4 English Language Arts and English Language Development)
By Ana Sanders and Heather Ennis.
Water quality
In Critical thinking in science, page 5
Students will experiment with water quality and several common pollutants. They will focus on their local water source and determine the effects of their actions on the quality of their water source and the organisms that rely on it. Students will design a water-monitoring plan to evaluate the health of the water source.
Format: lesson plan (grade 8 English Language Arts and Science)
By Daniell DiFrancesca.
The story of pi
In Critical thinking in science, page 3
In this lesson, students design an experiment to test the importance of decimal places by rounding the value of pi. The collected data is used to answer questions and write a short editorial.
Format: lesson plan (grade 7–8 English Language Arts, Mathematics, and Science)
By Daniell DiFrancesca.
Change over time
In Critical thinking in science, page 6
Students will use satellite images, population data, and local city data to study human impact on the environment.
Format: lesson plan (grade 8 English Language Arts, Science, and Social Studies)
By Daniell DiFrancesca.
Experimenting with pH
In Critical thinking in science, page 4
This lesson introduces pH, and the effect of concentration and volume on pH. Students will use common foods for the experiment, helping them to make connections between pH, real-life things, and even the relationship between pH and taste. Students design their own experiment, which strengthens their inquiry skills.
Format: lesson plan (grade 8–10 English Language Arts and Science)
By Daniell DiFrancesca.
"The present state of North Carolina": Making decisions
In this lesson, students read an excerpt from John Lawson's 1709 book A New Voyage to Carolina and use a graphic organizer to decide whether they would have emigrated to Carolina as a result of reading Lawson's book.
Format: lesson plan (grade 8 Social Studies)
By Pauline S. Johnson.