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.


It is recommended but not absolutely necessary that students have background knowledge of:

  • The digestive system and basic processes of the body
  • Types of living organisms
  • The sun as the primary energy source
  • Food chains
  • Differences between wants and needs
  • The scientific process
  • Basic computation, algebra, data, and graphing skills
  • Basics of density

Unit preparation

Commercial food chemistry and testing kits can be integrated with the lessons in this unit. Lessons may be used in sequence, stand-alone, or in whatever manner is most effective for the students in a particular classroom.

Write essential questions on chart paper. Keep charts visible during the unit so that students may add ideas as they arise.

Each student should have a science notebook or journal. Notes and other materials from each activity will be kept sequentially in the notebook. I have found that a binder works well because pages can be easily inserted and removed. Students can make title pages for the unit section in their notebook or journal. An interactive table of contents can be placed directly behind the title page. As activities are completed and content is added to the notebook, students can log these on this page.

Each day, students can set up their notebooks like the example including their names, the date, and the question of the day. QOD is an acronym for Question of the Day. The QOD for each lesson is also the title of the lesson.

science notebook entry