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.

Learn more

Related pages

  • Learning to look at art: Strategies for helping students develop visual literacy in looking at paintings and other forms of visual art.
  • ArtSpace: Tour ArtSpace or participate in one of its programs to bring the world of art to your students.
  • Vessels in Greek art: Museum visit: This lesson focuses on the uses, shapes, importance, and historical storytelling on Greek vessels in art.

Related topics


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The purpose of art is to lay bare the questions which have been hidden by the answers.

— James Baldwin

What essential questions may be considered when you learn to look at art? Build critical thinking skills while you build visual literacy with these art-related activities.


Art Access encourages the examination of objects for style and in historical context. Objects are classified in the following categories: Ancient Indian Art of the Americas, African American Art, Impressionism and Post-Impressionism, Modern and Contemporary Art, American Art to 1900, and Art of India, Himalayas & Southeast Asia. Articles describe the work in context, linking throughout to a subject-specific glossary with audio pronunciation of all terms, like this glossary for the African American Art collection. Also available are arts-integrated lesson plans: Ancient American Art and Geometry (Grades 7-8 Math), Ancient Gold Working (Grades 3-5 Social Science), and Sport as Social Ritual (Grades 4-6 Social Science).

The Artist’s Toolkit: visual elements and principles

Explore the tools that artists use, such as line, color, shape, and balance, to build works of art. Experience each visual element or principle by watching an animated demonstration, finding examples of the concept in works of art from museums, and creating your own composition. Don’t miss the Artist’s Toolkit Encyclopedia.

In Print

Visit the library and look for Eye Spy: An Alphabet in Art or I Spy Two Eyes: Numbers in Art by Lucy Micklethwait. Examine the works of art to discover an object beginning with that letter of the alphabet or count your way through great works of art. Either way, the youngest students are exposed to a variety of fine art while building visual skills and working with numbers and letters!

I am an Artist by Pat Lowery Collins celebrates the world we see and encourages children to see beauty in the natural world around them. This title is also available for preview in electronic format from Google Books.


Visual thinking strategies can be assessed and taught. Research in this area is based upon a theory of aesthetic development by Abigail Housen. Ms. Housen has identified five distinct patterns of thinking about art which she described as aesthetic stages. Where are you (or your students) in your aesthetic development? For more information see Visual Thinking Strategies and Thoughts on Visual Literacy (in PDF format) by Philip Yenawine.