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.

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Learning outcomes

  • The students will collect information about their county and surrounding counties and enter that information in a graphic organizer.
  • The students will become familiar with their county and the surrounding counties.
  • The team of students will create a PowerPoint (or HyperStudio) report about a historic site found in a surrounding county.
  • Students will share their project with other fourth grade students in the school.

Teacher planning

Time required for lesson

10–14 days


  • North Carolina map with counties labeled or blank
  • North Carolina resources from the media center

Technology resources

  • Computers with Kidspiration, internet access, and PowerPoint (or HyperStudio)
  • Computer with LCD projector or other projection device


  1. Using a North Carolina map with counties shown, students will color and label their county. (Attached North Carolina maps: labeled or blank) Students will use a different color to show the counties that touch their county. These counties will also be labeled.
  2. Using the NC ECHO website and other websites, students will have the opportunity to examine photos of their county landmarks.
  3. Students will have prior knowledge and understanding of using the internet.
  4. In preparation for slideshow presentation, students will create an eight to ten slide PowerPoint presentation (or card stack in HyperStudio) with text boxes and buttons for placement of information they gather.


Day 1

A large North Carolina map will be displayed with our county noted. Students will use their small individual map (attached: labeled or blank) to help label counties that touch our county. Each of these counties will be listed along with our home county. Students will have the opportunity to sign up for a county they wish to explore in order to complete this assignment. As a teacher, I would ask if students have a grandparent, cousin, or friend who live in a neighboring county. They may want to explore that county in order to share their knowledge with other family members.

Day 2

Using the LCD projector, the teacher will open the Kidspiration template and as a class, the graphic organizer will be completed on the home county. This is a link to an interactive North Carolina counties map. (Alternatively, you may also use LEARN NC’s interactive county map.) We will use the information found here to begin our study of our home county. A link will also be created to our county webpage in order for students to gain information on county name, county seat, population, schools, and mayor. The NC ECHO website will be used for information about our county.

Day 3

Students will need their own computer to open the graphic organizer created in Kidspiration. Using skills learned from Day 2 joint efforts, students will work on their individual adjoining county. (Links to the surrounding counties have been created and attached to Kidspiration worksheet.) An example of a completed graphic organizer for Lincoln County is attached.

Day 4

Students will use PowerPoint (or HyperStudio) to create eight to ten slides (or cards) to hold information about their county. Each slide will have a text box created and labeled with county name, county seat, population, schools, mayor, and interesting sites in the county.

Day 5

The Kidspiration page will be copied and pasted onto the second card/slide of PowerPoint presentation (or HyperStudio stack). Each heading will become a link for moving to slides about county name, county seat, population, schools, mayor, and sites.

Days 6–9

Students will begin writing paragraphs, one each about county name, county seat, population, schools, mayor, and sites.

Days 10–12

Pictures from county homepages and NC ECHO will be placed in students’ presentations.

Day 13

Surrounding county presentations will be printed and linked with the home county presentation.

Day 14

Share slideshows with other fourth grade students within your school. Sample slideshows can also be placed on the school webpage.


Students will print and turn in graphic organizer from Kidspiration.

Students will print presentation to make a mini-book about the selected county.

Supplemental information

If you do not have access to Kidspiration, you can view the attached images of the counties graphic organizer and the completed Lincoln County example.

The lesson template includes a place for students to write the name of the mayor, however, not every county seat in our state uses a mayoral structure.


I plan to use this activity with my Title I reading students. I see these students for 45 minutes therefore we have a limited amount of time to get things accomplished during one class setting. Throughout the year my students enjoy showing off their technology skills to other students in their classroom. There are additional pictures of landmarks in our county that I feel my students would like to include in our presentation. Using the digital camera, additional pictures, not included on NC Echo site, will be placed on our slides.

  • 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

Computer Technology Skills (2005)

Grade 4

  • Goal 3: The learner will use a variety of technologies to access, analyze, interpret, synthesize, apply, and communicate information.
    • Objective 3.07: Locate, select, organize, and present content area information from the Internet for a specific purpose and audience, citing sources. Strand - Telecommunications/Internet

English Language Arts (2004)

Grade 4

  • Goal 4: The learner will apply strategies and skills to create oral, written, and visual texts.
    • Objective 4.05: Use planning strategies to generate topics and organize ideas (e.g., brainstorming, mapping, webbing, reading, discussion).
    • Objective 4.10: Use technology as a tool to gather, organize, and present information.

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 4.01: Assess and evaluate the importance of regional diversity on the development of economic, social, and political institutions in North Carolina.