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.

The Kenan Fellows Program of North Carolina State University is designed to:

  • Develop teacher leaders in the classrooms across North Carolina and advance the art of teaching
  • Enrich teachers’ content knowledge in mathematics, science and technology through strategic partnerships with businesses and higher education
  • Develop innovative and inquiry-based relevant curricular tools and resources in partnership with the NC Department of Public Instruction to be disseminated to teachers and students across our state
  • Foster teaching based on inquiry, problem solving, and real-life application
  • Build a cohort of teacher leaders across North Carolina

LEARN NC works with the Kenan Fellows Program to publish resources developed by fellows.

Kenan Fellows instructional plans

Kenan Fellows instructional plans
Alphabetical listing of unit plans and lesson plans provided by the Kenan Fellows Program.

Resources provided by Kenan Fellows Program

AIDS in Africa Symposium
Students will take on roles of those with a unique perspective on the AIDS crisis in Africa. Taking part in a symposium, each character, famous and ordinary, makes a statement and participates in a question-answer period.
Format: lesson plan (grade 9–10 English Language Arts and Social Studies)
By Greg Mitchell.
Alternative energy: Where's the chemistry?
In Why does chemistry matter in my life?, page 8
In this lesson plan, students research an alternative energy source and develop a five-minute presentation to teach the class about that energy source.
Format: lesson plan (grade 9–12 Science)
By Lisa Hibler.
Apprehending plant killers
In CSI Dublin: The Hunt for the Irish Potato Killer, page 5
In this lesson, students research a plant pathogen of their choice and create a wanted poster.
Format: lesson plan (grade 9–12 Science)
By Rebecca Hite.
Are you on a diet?
In I’m on a diet and proud of it: Nutrition through math and science, page 2
In this lesson, students will examine their knowledge, beliefs, and misconceptions about diets. Using word study and discussion, they will understand diet as a multi-faceted concept.
Format: lesson plan (grade 4 English Language Arts, Healthful Living, and Science)
By Karina Colón.
Balancing equations using matrices
In Integrating Chemistry and Algebra II, page 2
This lesson is designed to show students a practical application for matrices within the context of chemistry.
Format: lesson plan (grade 9–12 Mathematics and Science)
By Jennifer Elmo.
Balloon flinkers
In Design technology: Children's engineering, page 4.4
Students will try to determine how much weight a balloon gondola can carry while it “flinks” in the air for 20 seconds. To be a successful balloon “flinker,” no part of the balloon or the gondola can touch either the ceiling or the floor during the 20 seconds.
Format: lesson plan (grade 1 Science)
By Erin Denniston.
Bananas: A modern example of fungus destruction
In Restoring the American chestnut, page 2
Students will read an article about bananas and Panama disease. They will compare this disease with the blight that affects the American chestnut tree.
Format: lesson plan (grade 9–12 Science)
By Shelley Casey.
Biodiversity: The many sounds of insects
In BioMusic, page 1.6
In this lesson, students will explore the sounds of insects and compare them with bird songs. They will create pan flutes and use them for communication.
Format: lesson plan (grade 2–3 Music Education and Science)
By Debra Hall and Crystal Patillo.
Biomanufacturing: An inquiry lesson in growing cells
In this lesson, students are introduced to the biomanufacturing industry. To understand the intricacy of biomanufacturing pharmaceuticals, students will complete a cell growth activity. They will grow yogurt bacteria in milk media to try to produce lactic acid and adjust variables to try to optimize cell growth and the amount of product produced.
Format: lesson plan (grade 8 English Language Arts and Science)
By Cinnamon Frame.
In BioMusic, page 1.8
In this lesson, students will learn about the field of biomusicology. They will investigate current scientific research and understand how researchers often must work in teams to achieve their goals.
Format: lesson plan (grade 2–3 Guidance and Music Education)
By Debra Hall and Crystal Patillo.
Building out
In Design technology: Children's engineering, page 3.2
Students will be using thin spaghetti noodles and tape to construct a cantilever that projects as far as possible out from a table without touching the floor.
Format: lesson plan (grade 4–5 Science)
By Erin Denniston.
Calculating slope of a ramp
In On track learning: Safety through technology and design, page 9
In this lesson, students build a ramp and calculate its slope at different heights. They will also test cars to see how the height of the ramp affects speed.
Format: lesson plan (grade 7–10 English Language Arts, Mathematics, and Science)
By Roxanne Moses.
Car tests
In On track learning: Safety through technology and design, page 11
In this culminating lesson, student will test their car designs for safety and either speed or distance. They will evaluate their success at working as a team and consider what changes they'd make if they did the project all over again.
Format: lesson plan (grade 7–10 Science)
By Roxanne Moses.
In Critical thinking in science, page 7
This lesson introduces students to organelles, cells, and characteristics of the kingdoms. Students will begin their investigation at the organelle level and work up to the kingdom level. Students will use the observations and information they gather to make conclusions.
Format: lesson plan (grade 7–9 English Language Arts 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.
Chestnut blight
In Restoring the American chestnut, page 3
In this lesson, students learn about fungi and Cryphonectria parasitica, the fungus that infects the American chestnut tree. Students will grow common fungi found from spores in the air and show how fungus can affect the function of a tree.
Format: lesson plan (grade 9–12 Science)
By Shelley Casey.
Comparing DNA
In Restoring the American chestnut, page 8
This lesson is designed to simulate a gel electrophoresis and generate a DNA fingerprint. Students will learn that often more than one restriction enzyme is required to achieve a correct analysis of the DNA data. The DNA samples provided are meant to show the gene for chestnut blight resistance in both Chinese chestnut trees and American-Chinese hybrids as a means for locating a possible nucleotide sequence to map in order to create transgenic trees in the future.
Format: lesson plan (grade 9–12 English Language Arts and Science)
By Shelley Casey.
Copy cat
In BioMusic, page 1.7
In this lesson, students will learn many interesting things about mockingbirds. They will explore the difference between a mimic and an echo, then go on a nature walk and record bird observations in their science notebooks.
Format: lesson plan (grade 2–3 Music Education and Science)
By Debra Hall and Crystal Patillo.
Cubic expressions: Application to fluid transport systems through Murray’s law
In A mathematical model to describe fluid behavior, page 2
The students will view a schematic image of a leaf and the veins of the plant that circulate fluid throughout the leaf. Using a simplified version of Murray’s law, the students will be able to mathematically model the fluid transport system of some plants and animals.
Format: lesson plan (grade 6–8 Mathematics)
By Jenny Rucker.
Currents around us
In Design technology: Children's engineering, page 2.3
This lesson included four experiments that will lead students to discover that convection currents are caused when heated fluid becomes less dense and rises, while colder fluids become denser and sink.
Format: lesson plan (grade 6 Science)
By Erin Denniston.