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.

agricultural economy n.
A system of production, distribution, and consumption that is based primarily on the business of cultivating soil, producing crops, and raising livestock or farming.
ceramic n.
Any of various hard, brittle, heat-resistant and corrosion-resistant materials made by shaping and then firing a nonmetallic mineral, such as clay, at a high temperature; an object, such as earthenware, porcelain, or tile, made of ceramic.
chemical composition n.
The chemical elements that a substance is made or composed of; for example, salt has a chemical composition (or is composed) of sodium and chlorine.
clay n.
A sedimentary material with grains smaller than 0.004 millimeters in diameter.
commercial adj.
Of or relating to the buying and selling of goods, especially on a large scale, as between cities or nations.
deposition n.
The natural process of laying down a deposit of something.
earthenware n.
Pottery made from a porous clay that is fired at relatively low temperatures.
environment n.
The area in which something exists or lives.
erode v.
To wear (something) away by or as if by abrasion, for example, waves eroded the shore; to make or form by wearing away, for example, the river eroded a deep valley.
erosion n.
Natural processes, including weathering, dissolution, abrasion, corrosion, and transportation, by which material is worn away from the earth's surface.
excavation n.
A site that has been dug, exposed, or uncovered by digging; the act of digging.
fuse v.
To mix or blend together.
homogeneous adj.
Of the same or similar nature or kind; uniform in structure or composition throughout.
impurity n.
Something that makes a substance impure, contaminated, or polluted. Impurities can be found in solids, liquids, or gases.
kiln n.
Any of various ovens for hardening, burning, or drying substances such as grain, meal, or clay, especially a brick-lined oven used to bake or fire ceramics.
macroscopic adj.
Large enough to be seen, perceived, or examined by the unaided eye.
mercantilism n.
Economic theory holding that the prosperity of a nation depends upon its supply of capital (money). [more]
microscopic adj.
Too small to be seen by the unaided eye but large enough to be studied under a microscope.
mineral n.
A naturally occurring, homogeneous inorganic solid substance having a definite chemical composition and characteristic crystalline structure, color, and hardness. [more]
nonporous adj.
Not permitting the passage of gas or liquid through pores (small openings).
oxide n.
A chemical compound containing oxygen and one other chemical element; for example, water is the oxide of hydrogen because it is composed of the elements hydrogen and oxygen.
plasticity n.
The property of being physically malleable; the property of something that can be worked or hammered or shaped under pressure without breaking.
primary clay n.
Any clay formed in place by the chemical and physical weathering of rock.
pulverize v.
To pound, crush, or grind to a powder or dust.
pyrometric cone n.
A cone used to measure heat during the firing of ceramic materials in a kiln. The cones, often used in sets of three, are positioned in a kiln with the items to be fired and provide a visual indication of when the items have reached a required state of maturity, a combination of time and temperature.
reconstitute v.
To bring (a liquid in concentrated or powder form) to normal strength by adding water.
recrystallize v.
To crystallize, or cause to form crystals or assume a crystalline structure, again or repeatedly.
remnant n.
Something left over; a remainder.
secondary clay n.
Any clay deposited in secondary locations, usually by erosion or the flow of streams, away from where it was formed.
sediment n.
Solid fragments of inorganic or organic material that come from the weathering of rock and are carried and deposited by wind, water, or ice. Sediments may also be formed from chemical, biochemical, or biological materials. [more]
sedimentary adj.
Of or relating to rocks formed by the deposition of sediment. [more]
stoneware n.
A heavy, nonporous, nontranslucent pottery that is fired at a high temperature; hard pottery.
supplemental income n.
Income that is added to complete or make up a deficiency. For example, if you had a full-time job, but also sold items at a flea market on the weekend to make more money, this money would be your supplemental income.
translucent adj.
Almost transparent; allowing light to pass through diffusely.
unaker n.
Clay (sometimes called china clay) that has translucent properties, is strongly resistant to fire, is extremely white, and contains mica.
urn n.
A vase of varying size and shape, usually having a footed base or pedestal.
utilitarian adj.
Serving or capable of serving a useful purpose; functional, handy, practical, useful.
ware n.
A specific type of pottery or other manufactured good; more generally, any product that is bought and sold.
wetland n.
Land located between terrestrial (land-based) and aquatic environments that have saturated or nearly saturated soils most of the year; also called bogs, ponds, estuaries, and marshes. [more]