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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Ocracoke Alive is a non-profit organization working for its community. Ocracoke Alive supports many cultural and educational events on the island of Ocracoke, including the annual OcraFolk Festival.

In 2012, Ocracoke Alive received an unusual donation: a skipjack (sailboat) named the Wilma Lee. The Ocracoke Alive Board of Directors wanted the Wilma Lee to serve as an educational opportunity for North Carolina school children, but didn’t have any experience developing educational projects. They contacted LEARN NC for assistance with developing a curriculum to use with the Wilma Lee.

In September 2013, LEARN NC staff, along with a team of teachers from Ocracoke and around the state, spent a few days on the island. We visited historical sites, the beautiful shore, and talked to many people who call Ocracoke home. This book is the result of that experience, created for middle grades teachers to bring the spirit of Ocracoke to their students.

From our conversations on Ocracoke, we brainstormed themes that we felt encompassed the spirit of the island. As summed up by native Ocracoker Alton Ballance, we settled on five themes:

  1. fierce independence and interdependence,
  2. a place called home,
  3. more than a postcard view,
  4. change and adaptability,
  5. and an edge place.

We hope you enjoy exploring these lessons as you get to know a place we love. Whether you complete these lessons in your classroom, on the island of Ocracoke, or even on the Wilma Lee itself, there is something here for everyone.

Download the set of lessons below, in iBook or PDF format:

Please note, to view the iBooks file, you will need to have the iBooks app installed on your device.

  • Common Core State Standards
    • English Language Arts (2010)
      • Language

        • Grade 4
          • 4.L.5 Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings. 4.L.5.1 Explain the meaning of simple similes and metaphors (e.g., as pretty as a picture) in context. 4.L.5.2 Recognize and explain the meaning of common...
        • Grade 5
          • 5.L.5 Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings. 5.L.5.1 Interpret figurative language, including similes and metaphors, in context. 5.L.5.2 Recognize and explain the meaning of common idioms, adages,...
        • Grade 6
          • 6.L.5 Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings. 6.L.5.1 Interpret figures of speech (e.g., personification) in context. 6.L.5.2 Use the relationship between particular words (e.g., cause/effect, part/whole,...
        • Grade 7
          • 7.L.5 Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings. 7.L.5.1 Interpret figures of speech (e.g., literary, biblical, and mythological allusions) in context. 7.L.5.2 Use the relationship between particular...
        • Grade 8
          • 8.L.5 Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings. 8.L.5.1 Interpret figures of speech (e.g. verbal irony, puns) in context. 8.L.5.2 Use the relationship between particular words to better understand each...
      • Reading: Literature

        • Grade 6
          • 6.RL.4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of a specific word choice on meaning and tone.
        • Grade 7
          • 7.RL.4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of rhymes and other repetitions of sounds (e.g., alliteration) on a specific verse or stanza of a poem or section...
        • Grade 8
          • 8.RL.4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone, including analogies or allusions to other texts.
      • Science & Technical Subjects

        • Grades 6-8
          • 6-8.LS.4 Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context relevant to grades 6–8 texts and topics.
          • 6-8.LS.7 Integrate quantitative or technical information expressed in words in a text with a version of that information expressed visually (e.g., in a flowchart, diagram, model, graph, or table).
      • Speaking & Listening

        • Grade 4
          • 4.SL.6 Differentiate between contexts that call for formal English (e.g., presenting ideas) and situations where informal discourse is appropriate (e.g., small-group discussion); use formal English when appropriate to task and situation.
        • Grade 5
          • 5.SL.6 Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and tasks, using formal English when appropriate to task and situation.
        • Grade 6
          • 6.SL.1 Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 6 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly. 6.SL.1.1 Come to discussions...
          • 6.SL.1 Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 6 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly. 6.SL.1.1 Come to discussions...
          • 6.SL.6 Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and tasks, demonstrating command of formal English when indicated or appropriate.
        • Grade 7
          • 7.SL.1 Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 7 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly. 7.SL.1.1 Come to discussions...
          • 7.SL.1 Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 7 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly. 7.SL.1.1 Come to discussions...
        • Grade 8
          • 8.SL.1 Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 8 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly. 8.SL.1.1 Come to discussions...
          • 8.SL.1 Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 8 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly. 8.SL.1.1 Come to discussions...
      • Writing

        • Grade 4
          • 4.W.7 Conduct short research projects that build knowledge through investigation of different aspects of a topic.
        • Grade 5
          • 5.W.7 Conduct short research projects that use several sources to build knowledge through investigation of different aspects of a topic.
        • Grade 6
          • 6.W.2 Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content. 6.W.2.1 Introduce a topic; organize ideas, concepts, and information, using strategies...
          • 6.W.3 Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, relevant descriptive details, and well-structured event sequences. 6.W.3.1 Engage and orient the reader by establishing a context and introducing a narrator...
          • 6.W.7 Conduct short research projects to answer a question, drawing on several sources and refocusing the inquiry when appropriate.
        • Grade 7
          • 7.W.2 Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content. 7.W.2.1 Introduce a topic clearly, previewing what is to follow; organize ideas,...
          • 7.W.3 Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, relevant descriptive details, and well-structured event sequences. 7.W.3.1 Engage and orient the reader by establishing a context and point of view and introducing...
        • Grade 8
          • 8.W.2 Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content. 8.W.2.1 Introduce a topic clearly, previewing what is to follow; organize ideas,...
          • 8.W.3 Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, relevant descriptive details, and well-structured event sequences. 8.W.3.1 Engage and orient the reader by establishing a context and point of view and introducing...

    • Mathematics (2010)
      • Grade 4

        • Measurement & Data
          • 4.MD.2Use the four operations to solve word problems involving distances, intervals of time, liquid volumes, masses of objects, and money, including problems involving simple fractions or decimals, and problems that require expressing measurements given in...
      • Grade 6

        • The Number System
          • 6.NS.6Understand a rational number as a point on the number line. Extend number line diagrams and coordinate axes familiar from previous grades to represent points on the line and in the plane with negative number coordinates. Recognize opposite signs of numbers...

  • North Carolina Essential Standards
    • Science (2010)
      • Biology

        • Bio.2.1 Analyze the interdependence of living organisms within their environments. Bio.2.1.1 Analyze the flow of energy and cycling of matter (water, carbon, nitrogen and oxygen) through ecosystems relating the significance of each to maintaining the health...
        • Bio.2.2 Understand the impact of human activities on the environment (one generation affects the next). Bio.2.2.1 Infer how human activities (including population growth, pollution, global warming, burning of fossil fuels, habitat destruction and introduction...
      • Grade 4

        • 4.P.1 Explain how various forces affect the motion of an object. 4.P.1.1 Explain how magnets interact with all things made of iron and with other magnets to produce motion without touching them. 4.P.1.2 Explain how electrically charged objects push or pull...
      • Grade 5

        • 5.P.1 Understand force, motion and the relationship between them. 5.P.1.1 Explain how factors such as gravity, friction, and change in mass affect the motion of objects. 5.P.1.2 Infer the motion of objects in terms of how far they travel in a certain amount...
      • Grade 6

        • 6.E.2 Understand the structure of the earth and how interactions of constructive and destructive forces have resulted in changes in the surface of the Earth over time and the effects of the lithosphere on humans. 6.E.2.1 Summarize the structure of the earth,...
        • 6.L.2 Understand the flow of energy through ecosystems and the responses of populations to the biotic and abiotic factors in their environment. 6.L.2.1 Summarize how energy derived from the sun is used by plants to produce sugars (photosynthesis) and is transferred...
      • Grade 7

        • 7.L.1 Understand the processes, structures and functions of living organisms that enable them to survive, reproduce and carry out the basic functions of life. 7.L.1.1 Compare the structures and life functions of single-celled organisms that carry out all of...
        • 7.P.1 Understand motion, the effects of forces on motion and the graphical representations of motion. 7.P.1.1 Explain how the motion of an object can be described by its position, direction of motion, and speed with respect to some other object. 7.P.1.2 Explain...
        • 7.P.1 Understand motion, the effects of forces on motion and the graphical representations of motion. 7.P.1.1 Explain how the motion of an object can be described by its position, direction of motion, and speed with respect to some other object. 7.P.1.2 Explain...
      • Grade 8

        • 8.L.3 Understand how organisms interact with and respond to the biotic and abiotic components of their environment. 8.L.3.1 Explain how factors such as food, water, shelter and space affect populations in an ecosystem. 8.L.3.2 Summarize the relationships among...
        • 8.L.4 Understand the evolution of organisms and landforms based on evidence, theories and processes that impact the Earth over time. 8.L.4.1 Summarize the use of evidence drawn from geology, fossils, and comparative anatomy to form the basis for biological...

    • Social Studies (2010)
      • Grade 4

        • 4.C.1 Understand the impact of various cultural groups on North Carolina. 4.C.1.1 Explain how the settlement of people from various cultures affected the development of regions in North Carolina (languages, foods and traditions). 4.C.1.2 Explain how the artistic...
      • Grade 5

        • 5.C.1 Understand how increased diversity resulted from migration, settlement patterns and economic development in the United States. 5.C.1.1 Analyze the change in leadership, cultures and everyday life of American Indian groups before and after European exploration....
        • 5.G.1 Understand how human activity has and continues to shape the United States. 5.G.1.1 Explain the impact of the physical environment on early settlements in the New World. 5.G.1.2 Explain the positive and negative effects of human activity on the physical...
      • Grade 6

        • 6.C.1 Explain how the behaviors and practices of individuals and groups influenced societies, civilizations and regions. 6.C.1.1 Analyze how cultural expressions reflected the values of civilizations, societies and regions (e.g. oral traditions, art, dance,...
        • 6.G.1 Understand geographic factors that influenced the emergence, expansion and decline of civilizations, societies and regions over time (i.e. Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Americas). 6.G.1.1 Explain how the physical features and human characteristics of...
        • 6.H.2 Understand the political, economic and/or social significance of historical events, issues, individuals and cultural groups. 6.H.2.1 Explain how invasions, conquests, and migrations affected various civilizations, societies and regions (e.g. Mongol invasion,...
      • Grade 7

        • 7.C.1 Understand how cultural values influence relationships between individuals, groups and political entities in modern societies and regions. 7.C.1.1 Explain how culture unites and divides modern societies and regions (e.g. enslavement of various peoples,...
        • 7.G.1 Understand how geography, demographic trends, and environmental conditions shape modern societies and regions. 7.G.1.1 Explain how environmental conditions and human response to those conditions influence modern societies and regions (e.g. natural barriers,...
      • Grade 8

        • 8.C.1 Understand how different cultures influenced North Carolina and the United States. 8.C.1.1 Explain how exploration and colonization influenced Africa, Europe and the Americas (e.g. Columbian exchange, slavery and the decline of the American Indian populations)....
        • 8.G.1 Understand the geographic factors that influenced North Carolina and the United States. 8.G.1.1 Explain how location and place have presented opportunities and challenges for the movement of people, goods, and ideas in North Carolina and the United States....