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 about research cycle

Alternatives to the animal report
In Rethinking Reports, page 2.1
Year after year, students are assigned an animal report, a factual report on a species of their choice. My son chose the Harpy Eagle for his third-grade animal report — and proceeded to re-submit that report with only slight modifications for years thereafter!...
By Melissa Thibault.
Water and Weather
From just looking at cloud formations to building a weather station, this sampling of resources help students learn all about climate, weather, and the water cycle.
Format: bibliography/help
Plant and Animal Interdependence
Plants and animals depend upon each other for survival. These model resources explain the importance of this delicate chain of life.
Format: bibliography/help
Plants and Trees
This selection of resources helps teach students about the importance of plants and trees to animals and humans. They also explain how how they grow, their structure and the elements they need to flourish.
Format: bibliography/help
More than just a rainy day: The water cycle
Students will identify water sources in the school environment in order to understand the origins of our water and to gain perspective about the students' place in the water cycle. Students will learn about the water cycle using a variety of resources and discover connections between the water cycle and the water that they use every day.
Format: lesson plan (grade 5 English Language Development and Science)
By Kelly This and Leigh Thrower.

Find all 42 resources in our collection.

Research method that emphasizes information problem-solving and positions students as information producers (versus information consumers). Students repeatedly revisit stages in the research cycle as they refine data gathering processes.

See also Big6, I-search, scientific method.

Additional information

The research cycle was developed by Jamie McKenzie in 1995. Emphasis is given to the initial development of questions to clarify and establish subsequent steps in the research process.

The research cycle is composed of seven stages:

  • Questioning: student clarifies information needed and leads to elaborating questions
  • Planning: student identifies likely sources of information
  • Gathering: student collects pertinent information for consideration
  • Sorting & sifting: student sorts and sifts in search of information that contributes to understanding
  • Synthesizing: student arranges and rearranges information in search of patterns and/or a clearer picture
  • Evaluating: student determines what information might be missing and repeats earlier stages of the research cycle in search of better, clearer information
  • Reporting: student reports findings or recommendations.

Examples and resources

The research cycle is elaborated by its developer at The Question Mark.