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.

Narrow your search

Resources tagged with writing are also tagged with these keywords. Select one to narrow your search or to find interdisciplinary resources.

Alternatives to the famous person report
In Rethinking Reports, page 3.1
This "rethinking reports" series of articles provides alternative research assignments that challenge students to think critically about historical actors.
By David Walbert and Melissa Thibault.
Animal folktales: Legends, superheroes, and pourquoi tales
In Rethinking Reports, page 2.2
By writing a narrative about an animal rather than a traditional report, students can learn about literature, develop writing skills, and still fulfill science and research objectives.
By Melissa Thibault.
Arts of persuasion
Strategies for teaching middle school students to think critically, analyze persuasive arguments, and use speaking and writing to persuade others.
Format: series (multiple pages)
CareerStart lessons: Grade eight
This collection of lessons aligns the eighth grade curriculum in math, science, English language arts, and social studies with potential career opportunities.
Format: (multiple pages)
CareerStart lessons: Grade seven
This collection of lessons aligns the seventh grade curriculum in math, science, English language arts, and social studies with potential career opportunities.
Format: (multiple pages)
CareerStart lessons: Grade six
This collection of lessons aligns the sixth grade curriculum in math, science, English language arts, and social studies with potential career opportunities.
Format: (multiple pages)
Caucusing in the middle school classroom
In Arts of persuasion, page 1
Caucusing enables students to practice the elements of responsible citizenship, including persuasive writing and speaking.
By Pamela Myrick and Sharon Pearson.
Conventions
In The five features of effective writing, page 6
Conventions — grammar, spelling, and the like — are important to good writing, but should be taught only after the other Features of Effective Writing.
By Kathleen Cali.
Evaluating multimedia presentations
A PowerPoint presentation is just another form of communication, and the same rules apply to multimedia that apply to writing or verbal communication. This article offers guidelines for using and assigning multimedia presentations in the classroom and includes a rubric based on the Five Features of Effective Writing.
Format: article
By David Walbert.
Finding your audience: a primer
In Writing for the Web, page 3
Before you sit down to write something, ask yourself some questions about the people who will read it.
Format: article
By David Walbert.
The five features of effective writing
The five Features of Effective Writing — focus, organization, support and elaboration, style, and conventions — are a valuable tool for understanding good writing and organizing your writing instruction. By teaching these features, you can help your students become more effective writers in any genre, at any level, and make your writing instruction easier to manage at the same time. This series of articles, written with the support of the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, will show you how.
Format: series (multiple pages)
Focus
In The five features of effective writing, page 2
Focus, the first Feature of Effective Writing, is the "so what?" in a piece of writing. This article will help you teach students to stay on topic.
Format: article
By Kathleen Cali.
Holding a poetry slam
Introducing students to “the competitive art of performance poetry” builds enthusiasm for literature among even reluctant readers. This article explains how a high school in Cleveland County, North Carolina, held its first poetry slam.
Format: article
By Nancy Blalock.
Intrigue of the Past
Lesson plans and essays for teachers and students explore North Carolina's past before European contact. Designed for grades four through eight, the web edition of this book covers fundamental concepts, processes, and issues of archaeology, and describes the peoples and cultures of the Paleoindian, Archaic, Woodland, and Mississippian periods.
Format: book (multiple pages)
Just beyond the walls: Teachers as writers in virtual space
This article addresses the notion of teachers as writers — providing reasons why a personal writing practice can improve instructional practice, offering a variety of online networks and other sites to help teacher-writers connect with peers, and suggesting ways to bring this idea into the classroom.
Format: article/best practice
By Kevin Hodgson.
Keep it short (but not too short)
In Writing for the Web, page 4
Shorter paragraphs and pages will help make your writing easier to read on the web, but you don't have to sacrifice important content.
Format: article
By David Walbert.
Organization
In The five features of effective writing, page 3
Organization, the second Feature of Effective Writing, should be addressed after a writer has established a focus and will help strengthen that focus.
By Kathleen Cali.
Persuasive writing: A classroom model
In Arts of persuasion, page 4
A plan for modeling persuasive writing with middle school students, using homework as the topic.
By Pamela Myrick and Sharon Pearson.
Rethinking Reports
Creative research-based assignments provide alternatives to the President Report, Animal Report, and Famous Person Report that ask students to think about old topics in new ways, work collaboratively, and develop products that support a variety of learning styles.
Format: series (multiple pages)
A room for students
A learning environment where students feel that they belong is the key to success for this eighth-grade language arts teacher. A classroom profile.
Format: article
By Kathleen Casson.Commentary and sidebar notes by Lindy Norman.