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.

a large pitcher plant in a botancial garden

Hyde County courthouse.

Learn more

Related pages

  • Learn about your county: This activity will allow fourth grade students in North Carolina to learn more about the counties that surround their home county. Using online images, students will create a multimedia presentation to share with others.
  • Teaching suggestions: Governing the Piedmont: This set of teaching suggestions was designed to help students understand an article about the colonial government of the Piedmont.
  • Change in a democratic society (Lesson 1 of 3): This lesson will demonstrate how art can imitate society. Students will learn about democracy in America through an examination of and a Paideia seminar on "The Sword of Damocles," an oil painting by British painter Richard Westall. This lesson should be used after a study of colonial times in America and through the American Revolution.

Related topics

Help

Please read our disclaimer for lesson plans.

Legal

The text of this page is copyright ©2008. See terms of use. Images and other media may be licensed separately; see captions for more information and read the fine print.

Learning outcomes

Students will:

  • name at least three functions of county government
  • name at least three ways that county government helps people utilize resources to answer questions about county government
  • write dialogue to tell about an aspect of county government

Teacher planning

Time required for lesson

8 hours

Materials/resources

  • one two-pocket folder for each cooperative learning group
  • activity cards for each group folder
  • lined paper
  • pencils
  • crayons
  • index cards
  • markers
  • drawing paper
  • access to internet
  • North Carolina textbook
  • access to Media Center for North Carolina reference books

Technology resources

computer with access to the internet

Pre-activities

Prior knowledge

  1. Discuss the structure of local, county, and state government.
  2. Introduce the students to the concept of cooperative group activities and how to use the cooperative group activity cards and pocket folders.
  3. Select one student in each cooperative group to be the Technology Expert. Teach them how to use bookmarks.

Launch Activity

  1. Present the following speech to the whole class, and have the class attempt to determine who is speaking: “This year all of our schools will be year-round. I hope that all of our school principals will embrace this idea with enthusiasm. Please go back to your schools and hold a meeting with your faculty and discuss the new plan. Then compose a letter to parents telling them about the changes so they can discuss it at the next PTA meeting.”
  2. Students will then make guesses as to whose point of view that speech was given. Record their responses on a chart or white board.
  3. Lead a discussion on how the decision in the dialogue might have been made. Who gave the Board of Education the power to make decisions? Review basic concepts and comparison of local, county, and state government.

Activities

Activity 1

Objective(s): Student cooperative groups will name at least three ways they think county government helps them. Student cooperative groups will utilize classroom or Media Center resources to locate at least three different functions of county government.

Description of Student Activity: Student cooperative groups will select activity card from activity pocket. Student Reader will read Brainstorm Challenge activity to group. “How can county government help you?” Students will discuss possible ways. Student Recorder will record groups’ final answers. They must have at least three but can have more than three. Student Recorder will put group response in answer pocket. Student Referee will make sure that each student is given a chance to participate. Student Reader will read the next activity from the activity pocket. Student cooperative groups will rotate to utilize the Media Center. When they are not in the Media Center, they will use classroom resources and their North Carolina History textbook to locate at least three functions of county government. Student Recorder will write the three functions and will put group response in pocket.

Activity 2

Objective(s): Given access to Internet, student cooperative groups will use the bookmark function to access information about Hyde County Government. Student cooperative groups will list at least three functions of Hyde County Government.

Description of Student Activity: Student Reader will read activity to group. Student Technology Expert will teach students how to utilize bookmark to locate information about Hyde County Government. This is a link to the Hyde County government website. Students will discuss the functions of Hyde County Government and will list at least three. Student Recorder will record the group list and put the response in the answer pocket.

Activity 3

Objective(s): Student cooperative groups will choose one function of Hyde County Government to write a conversation about. Student cooperative groups will use character, setting, and problem to write dialogue. Student cooperative groups will use correct rules for capitalization and punctuation.

Description of Student Activity: Student Reader will read activity to group. Student Recorder will take list of functions of Hyde County Government out of answer pocket to use as a reference. Student cooperative groups will select one function of Hyde County Government to write a conversation about. For example, they could select “sheriff” (character) and write a conversation about what the sheriff of Hyde County (setting) might say in the course of his job (problem). Student cooperative groups must list the characters, setting, and problem. Student cooperative groups must also remember to use the correct rules for capitalization and punctuation in their dialogue. Student Recorder will record their responses and deposit their dialogue in the answer pocket.

Activity 4

Objective(s): Student cooperative groups will illustrate a cartoon depicting their dialogue.

Description of Student Activity: Student Reader will read activity to group. Student Recorder will take dialogue out of answer pocket to use as a reference. Cooperative groups will illustrate and color the cartoon. Students will write in the dialogue using correct capitalization and punctuation.

Assessment

The activities in this lesson will be evaluated on the basis of student participation individually and within their cooperative groups. Cooperative group folders contain the directions for completing each activity. The responses in the answer pocket will be graded. Each cooperative group will be encouraged as they proceed through the activities. Each student will receive a daily participation grade of 100 if they participate with their group appropriately.

Completion of the four activities will count as a test grade and will be evaluated as follows:

Activity 1: The cooperative group answer to the Brainstorm Challenge activity must include at least three ways they think county government helps them. If they have three reasonable answers, (i.e. the school board helps schools decide the school calendar, the health department provides shots for babies, the sheriff transports prisoners), each group member would receive 15 points. If cooperative group researched at least three functions of county government, each group member would receive 15 points. A perfect score for Activity 1 would be 30 points.

Activity 2: If the cooperative group, utilizing the Internet bookmark, generated a list of at least three functions of Hyde County Government, each group member would receive 15 points.

Activity 3: The cooperative group dialogue will be graded as follows:

  • depicts a realistic character from Hyde County Government. (5)
  • contains a realistic conversation that person might have. (5)
  • contains a realistic setting for Hyde County (coastal region). (5)
  • utilizes correct capitalization. (5)
  • utilizes correct punctuation. (5)

A perfect score for Activity 3 would be 25 points.

Activity 4: The cooperative group cartoon is worth 30 points. A perfect score on each of the four activities would yield a test grade of 100.

Supplemental information

This lesson plan can be used for the county in which you teach. Websites for county governments can be found here.

Comments

This lesson plan should be completed over a two-week time span. It is a plan from the collection of the Tried ‘n True lesson plans from the Department of Public Instruction.

  • North Carolina Essential Standards
    • Social Studies (2010)
      • Grade 4

        • 4.C&G.1 Understand the development, structure and function of North Carolina's government. 4.C&G.1.1 Summarize the key principles and revisions of the North Carolina Constitution. 4.C&G.1.2 Compare the roles and responsibilities of state elected...

North Carolina curriculum alignment

Social Studies (2003)

Grade 4

  • Goal 4: The learner will analyze social and political institutions in North Carolina such as government, education, religion, and family and how they structure society, influence behavior, and respond to human needs.
    • Objective 4.04: Examine ways North Carolinians govern themselves and identify major government authorities at the local and state level.