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.

CareerStart is a program that aims to help students make connections between the academic curriculum and future careers, created by a partnership among the Schools of Education and Social Work at UNC - Chapel Hill, the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County school district, and the Piedmont Triad Council of Government.

CareerStart offers collections of lessons in which core subjects (English language arts, math, science, and social studies) are taught using illustrations from real jobs, enabling students to understand how course content is applied outside the classroom. Through a partnership with LEARN NC, CareerStart has made these mini-lessons available via the LEARN NC website.

For an article that more thoroughly describes the program and shares some of the research that illustrates its effectiveness, see “CareerStart: A Proven Approach to Middle-School Success.”

CareerStart lesson plan collections

CareerStart lessons: Grade 6
This collection of lessons aligns the sixth grade curriculum in math, science, English language arts, and social studies with potential career opportunities.
CareerStart lessons: Grade 7
This collection of lessons aligns the seventh grade curriculum in math, science, English language arts, and social studies with potential career opportunities.
CareerStart lessons: Grade 8
This collection of lessons aligns the eighth grade curriculum in math, science, English language arts, and social studies with potential career opportunities.

Resources provided by CareerStart

Africa: Interpreting physical maps
In CareerStart lessons: Grade seven, page 4.1
In this lesson for grade seven, students look at a physical map of Africa and use it to speculate how the geography of a given region might affect human culture in that area.
Format: lesson plan (grade 7 Social Studies)
By Mary B. Taylor.Adapted by Kenyatta Bennett and Sonya Rexrode.
Australia: Careers, collisions, and compromises
In CareerStart lessons: Grade seven, page 4.8
In this lesson for grade seven, students learn about Australia and discuss the compromises that are sometimes necessary between economic development and environmental preservation. Students work through problem-based learning questions using Australia as the background.
Format: lesson plan (grade 7 Social Studies)
By Joann Via.Adapted by Meredith Ebert.
Autobiographical expression
In CareerStart lessons: Grade six, page 1.2
This lesson for grade 6 introduces students to the theory of multiple intelligences. Students consider what their personal strengths are according to this theory.
Format: lesson plan (grade 6–8 English Language Arts and Guidance)
By Ruth Roberts.Adapted by Jennifer Brookshire and Julie McCann.
Biologists: Working with probability
In CareerStart lessons: Grade six, page 2.7
In this lesson for grade six, students will use theoretical probability to predict genetic outcomes, and will understand how mathematical probability is used in biological careers.
Format: lesson plan (grade 6–7 Mathematics and Science)
By Kim Abrams, Mike McDowell, and Barbara Strange.
Bones and muscles
In CareerStart lessons: Grade seven, page 3.4
In this lesson for grade seven, students draw bones inside an outline of a human body, and then conduct experiments exploring how muscles work.
Format: lesson plan (grade 7 Science)
By John Boyd.Adapted by Mitzi Talbert.
Branching out into politics: The structure of federal and state government
In CareerStart lessons: Grade eight, page 6.4
In this lesson plan for grade eight, students learn how the three branches of the U.S. government work together to accomplish their goals at the federal and state level.
Format: lesson plan
By Andrea Stewart, Keisha Gabriel, and Patty Grant.
Breathe in, breathe out
In CareerStart lessons: Grade seven, page 3.3
In this lesson for grade seven, students will discuss lung capacity and brainstorm careers in which it's important to have a good lung capacity. Students will conduct an experiment to measure their lung capacity.
Format: lesson plan (grade 5 and 7 English Language Arts and Science)
By John Boyd.Adapted by Mitzi Talbert.
Building a catapult
In CareerStart lessons: Grade seven, page 3.7
In this lesson for grade seven, students review simple machines and explore how they're used in various careers. Students work in groups to design, construct, and test catapults.
Format: lesson plan (grade 7 Science)
By Emma Couch.Adapted by Mitzi Talbert.
Building a safe house
In CareerStart lessons: Grade seven, page 3.9
In this lesson for grade seven, students will design and build a model of a hurricane-safe house.
Format: lesson plan (grade 5 and 7 Science)
By Emma Couch.Adapted by Mitzi Talbert.
Car mania: The legacy of the Industrial Revolution
In CareerStart lessons: Grade six, page 4.8
In this lesson, students participate in an assembly-line activity and gain an understanding of the role of the assembly line in the Industrial Revolution.
Format: lesson plan (grade 7 Social Studies)
By Shea Calloway and Julie McCann.
Career areas of science: Vocabulary
In CareerStart lessons: Grade eight, page 5.1
In this lesson for grade eight, students discuss different scientific disciplines and gain an understanding of the suffix -ology.
Format: lesson plan
By Tammy Johnson and Martha Tedrow.
Career research and acrostic poetry
In CareerStart lessons: Grade six, page 1.6
In this lesson for grade 6, each student will research a chosen career and will use the information to create an acrostic poem.
Format: lesson plan (grade 6–8 English Language Arts and Guidance)
By Holly Grout, Deborah Smith, and Natalie Summers.Adapted by Jennifer Brookshire and Julie McCann.
Career research and writing
In CareerStart lessons: Grade seven, page 1.2
In this lesson for grade seven, students will learn about a career that interests them and then share what they learned in peer groups. Students will then write a letter to the Better Business Bureau stating why they should be given an internship in their chosen career.
Format: lesson plan (grade 6–8 English Language Arts and Guidance)
By Michelle Kimel.Adapted by Kenyatta Bennett, Anissia Jenkins, and Sonya Rexrode.
Career skill: Writing expressions and equations
In CareerStart lessons: Grade seven, page 2.9
In this lesson for grade seven, students will translate between natural language sentences and mathematical equations. Students will discuss how this skill may be useful in various careers.
Format: lesson plan (grade 7 Mathematics)
By Peggy Dickey and Barbara Turner.Adapted by Sharon Abell.
Career vocabulary
In CareerStart lessons: Grade seven, page 1.1
In this lesson for grade seven, students will become familiar with vocabulary related to careers.
Format: lesson plan (grade 6–8 English Language Arts and Guidance)
By Anissia Jenkins.Adapted by Kenyatta Bennett and Sonya Rexrode.
Careers in banking: Working with exponential growth
In CareerStart lessons: Grade eight, page 2.9
In this lesson, students use exponential growth to solve problems related to careers in banking.
Format: lesson plan (grade 9 Mathematics)
By Debbie Brooks, Peggy Dickey, and Jan Sullivan.
Careers in border security: Working with passports
In CareerStart lessons: Grade six, page 4.2
In this lesson for grade six, students will gain an understanding of careers in transportation and border security and will create their own passports.
Format: lesson plan (grade 6 Social Studies)
By Julie McCann.
Careers in medicine and the ancient Greeks
In CareerStart lessons: Grade six, page 4.4
In this lesson for grade six, students will learn about ancient Greek medicine and the Hippocratic Oath and will research contemporary medical careers.
Format: lesson plan (grade 6 Social Studies)
By Mandy Matlock.
Careers in real estate and customer service: Working with central tendency
In CareerStart lessons: Grade eight, page 3.8
In this lesson plan, students compare the mean and median salaries of two different careers and answer questions analyzing the data.
Format: lesson plan (grade 6–8 Mathematics)
By Valerie Davis, Sonya Rexrode, and Monika Vasili.
Careers in science
In CareerStart lessons: Grade seven, page 3.1
In this lesson for grade seven, students will sort careers into three groups -- mechanical physics, health sciences, and weather. Students will match careers with their descriptions.
Format: lesson plan (grade 7 Guidance and Science)
By John Boyd.Adapted by Mitzi Talbert.