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.

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This activity could serve as an anticipation guide before more in-depth lessons about North Carolina, or it could be a review at the end of a unit.

Learning outcomes

Students will:

  • identify North Carolina state symbols, places, and historical figures.
  • use strategies to find information efficiently in a text.
  • work in a group to create and perform a skit demonstrating an in-depth knowledge of a chosen North Carolina symbol, place, and historical figure.

Teacher planning

Time required

Two one-hour class periods for preparation, longer to present the skit after part two

Materials needed

Technology resources

  • Computer lab or individual student computers (if students will be accessing the Mini Page editions online)
  • Interactive whiteboard or computer with internet connected to a multimedia projector


North Carolina scavenger hunt
Students complete this handout while reviewing several Mini Page editions in order to learn more about North Carolina’s history and state symbols.
Open as PDF (243 KB, 3 pages)
Mash-up skit instructions
Students use these directions to guide them in creating their mash-up skit.
Open as PDF (200 KB, 2 pages)
Mash-up skit rubric
This rubric can be used to assess students’ mash-up skits.
Open as PDF (183 KB, 1 page)

Classroom setup

Five stations should be set up in the classroom before the lesson begins. For the first part, all students will be using the North Carolina from A to Z Mini Page. Then each station will be set up to allow viewing of a different Mini Page and the corresponding question(s). If using computers, web browsers should be open to the North Carolina from A to Z Mini Page and one additional page from the list:

If not using computers, copies of each of the Mini Pages can be used, with students receiving the second page after they are done with the questions that accompany the “North Carolina from A to Z” Mini page. If having the students move around is undesirable, you can have printed copies in separate folders and have students pass the folders between groups.


Part one: Scavenger hunt

  1. Tell students that they will be learning about or reviewing interesting North Carolina symbols, places, and people by using the Mini Page to go on a scavenger hunt. If students are not familiar with the Mini Page, explain that it is a newspaper for children their age started in Raleigh, North Carolina.
  2. Project the North Carolina from A to Z Mini Page for students to see. If students will be using computers, show them that they can navigate between the pages by clicking on the smaller page icons on the right side of the screen. Explain that they will use this Mini Page for part of their scavenger hunt.
  3. Pass out the North Carolina Scavenger Hunt handout. Have a student read the first question aloud. Ask students how they will search for the information needed. Students will likely suggest looking at the pictures and/or the words in bold. Model using these methods to answer the first question.
  4. Look over pages one and four of the North Carolina from A to Z Mini Page to find the answers “furniture” and “textiles.” If students struggle with identifying “textiles” as the correct answer, tell them that the picture is of rolled up fabric. Instruct students to write those on their handout.
  5. Explain to students how to access the Mini Page on their computers or hand out copies of these pages. Tell students that they only need to answer the questions in part one. Instruct students to begin working, walking around to monitor.
  6. When students are finished, briefly go over the questions in part one of the handout, answering any questions.
  7. Tell students that for the next part, they will go on a scavenger hunt using multiple issues of the Mini Page. Project the Mini Page Scavenger Hunt Edition List for students to see, and tell them that throughout the activity they will have the chance to look at all of these pages. Point out that there are two things they will need to draw during this portion of the activity, so they should be looking for something to draw for question ten as they work.
  8. Remind students that they should first read the questions, then decide which Mini Page to use to look for the answers. If students are sitting in stations, they can scan and discuss the questions together. You may wish to model this process. For example, you could say: “Look at the first question ‘What is the state reptile?’ Now look at the list of Mini Page editions. Where do you think you will find the answer?” If students do not say “Other State Symbols,” guide them to this answer.
  9. Instruct students to begin looking through the questions with their group, giving them a few minutes to plan their search strategy, as demonstrated in the previous step. When everyone appears to be finished, hand out the first set of Mini Pages or instruct them to access it on the computer. Walk around to monitor and answer any questions. After students are finished, switch groups, and repeat until students have looked at each Mini Page.
  10. Wrap up the activity by having students volunteer their answers and show their drawings. Tell students that they will use this information in the next activity, and collect their papers. These should be graded and returned before part two.

Part two: North Carolina mash-up skit

Before beginning, students should be sitting with their groups from the previous activity, and they will need access to their handouts from part one. One or two computers or a North Carolina social studies textbook are needed for each group. Suggested websites for North Carolina symbols have been provided in the Websites section below. You may choose to provide these for the students or have the students practice their research skills to find the information. Gather some scrap paper, cardboard, string, etc. for making props.

  1. Explain to students that they will now use their knowledge of North Carolina to create a skit with their group.
  2. Project the Mash-Up Skit Instructions sheet and go over the first part with the students, answering any questions. Stress that the skit should show the importance of their chosen symbol, place, and historical figure to North Carolina. Be sure students understand they are to pick one thing from each list of possibilities. Explain that each group will get a copy of this sheet, and they should write their names at the top, and circle their choice from each list.
  3. Move on to the next step, explaining the various roles in more detail. The roles are set up so that everyone is working on the project, but not everyone has to speak in front of the class. They can choose which role best uses their own strengths. Make sure that students understand that everyone can act if they wish, but this means some people will have more than one role. The main actor should not be the writer, director, or researcher.
  4. Point out that students should write down the names of the students and their role in the appropriate space. Tell students that while they are rehearsing, you will check this sheet to make sure everyone is on task. If you provide websites for students, specify how they can access them:
    1. NCpedia
    2. North Carolina Secretary of State: North Carolina State Symbols
  5. Explain to students that they are allowed to make props; however they must be completed during this lesson, so these props should not be complicated to make. Show them where they can get their materials and review any classroom procedures about using such materials.
  6. Next, go over the steps with the students and make sure they understand that everyone should help with the initial brainstorming before working on their separate tasks.
  7. Lastly, project the rubric and go over it with the students. You may wish to leave it projected while students are working so they can refer to it, or hand out copies to each group.
  8. Tell them your time limit for finishing, and instruct students to begin. Walk around to monitor and answer any questions. Remind students periodically of the time remaining.
  9. If skits will be performed on the same day, give students a final five-minute warning to wrap everything up. If they will be performed later, make sure students gather their materials and put them in a safe place.
  10. Have the students perform their skits, giving you their sheet beforehand so you know the role of each student, and their chosen symbols. After the performances, facilitate a discussion where students offer their opinions on their classmates’ work.

Possible extension

Students could write short research papers on one of the symbols, places, or historical figures discussed in the lesson to learn more information.


The main assessment is the skit, which you can assess using the rubric provided. You may also wish to check that students’ handouts are completed accurately.

Supplemental information


  • North Carolina Essential Standards
    • Information and Technology Skills (2010)
      • Grade 4

        • 4.IN.1 Apply appropriate strategies when reading for enjoyment and for information. 4.IN.1.1 Implement appropriate reading strategies when reading for information. 4.IN.1.2 Explain the importance of relevant characteristics in various genres.
      • Social Studies (2010)
        • 4.H.1 Analyze the chronology of key historical events in North Carolina history. 4.H.1.1 Summarize the change in cultures, everyday life and status of indigenous American Indian groups in North Carolina before and after European exploration. 4.H.1.2 Explain...
        • 4.H.2 Understand how notable structures, symbols and place names are significant to North Carolina. 4.H.2.1 Explain why important buildings, statues, monuments and place names are associated with the state's history. 4.H.2.2 Explain the historical significance...