K-12 Teaching and Learning From the UNC School of Education


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Representing historic women figures in North Carolina
In Commemorative landscapes, page 2.4
This lesson, developed using the Commemorative Landscapes collection, examines North Carolina’s commemoration of the contributions made by women and asks students to think about how the commemoration of women might affect our collective understanding of women’s contributions to North Carolina.
Format: lesson plan (grade 8–12 Social Studies)
By Kate Allman.
Fairy tales: Another point of view
This lesson is on comparing and contrasting (alike and different) two different versions of The Three Little Pigs. Students will use the original fairy tale The Three Little Pigs previously learned in the lesson Fairy Tales and compare it to the story The True Story of the Three Little Pigs. This story gives the wolf's point of view.
Format: lesson plan (grade 1 Visual Arts Education, English Language Arts, English Language Development, and Theater Arts Education)
By Audra Penrod and Vivian Lages.
Inside and outside: Paradox of the box
This lesson serves to introduce students to symbolism (the box), to the literary element paradox, and to the abstract notion of ambiguity (freedom vs. confinement). It is designed for 2nd and 3rd graders, but may be adapted for use with upper elementary or early middle school grades.
Format: lesson plan (grade 2–6 English Language Arts)
By Edie McDowell.
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)
Car mania: The legacy of the Industrial Revolution
In CareerStart lessons: Grade six, page 4.8
In this lesson, students participate in an assembly-line activity and gain an understanding of the role of the assembly line in the Industrial Revolution.
Format: lesson plan (grade 7 Social Studies)
By Shea Calloway and Julie McCann.
Slavery and bias in historic West Africa: A case of he said, he said
In this lesson, students will examine three primary source documents concerning West African history, and will work to discover the similarities and differences between the documents. Students will discover the biases revealed by the authors of the documents.
Format: lesson plan (grade 8 Social Studies)
By Shane Freeman.
Generating electricity: Evaluating the sustainability of today's and tomorrow's energy sources
Students will learn about the energy sources used by their local utility provider to generate electricity and will work in small groups to evaluate the sustainability of either a renewable or non-renewable energy source used to generate electricity.
Format: lesson plan (grade 9–12 )
By Dana Haine.
N.C.- The Rip Van Winkle State
This lesson introduces students to Washington Irving's short story "Rip Van Winkle" and correlates it with the history of North Carolina. In the 1800s North Carolina was nicknamed "The Rip Van Winkle State."
Format: lesson plan (grade 6–8 English Language Arts and Social Studies)
By Kay D. Lopossay.
An integrated lesson comparing the butterfly and frog life cycles
Students will build on their prior knowledge about the butterfly life cycle to compare and contrast the life cycles of butterflies and frogs. Students will locate butterflies on the school grounds and create pictographs and models of fractions to explain their findings mathematically. Students will also use a variety of resources to read about and study the food, space and air needed by butterflies and frogs to grow. They will create visual and written products to demonstrate their findings.
Format: lesson plan (grade 2 Mathematics and Science)
By Martha Dobson and Margaret Monds.
Concept maps: an introduction
Using concept maps can help students make connections among subject areas. This article explains how teachers can use concept maps effectively and provides links to tools for creating them online.
Format: article
By Bobby Hobgood, Ed.D..
Solving problems using simple machines
This lesson uses the familiar story of the three pigs and the big bad wolf to explore how the wolf could have used simple machines to catch the three pigs. By reading, analyzing, and evaluating the wolf's use of simple machines in The 3 Pigs and the Scientific Wolf by Mary Fetzer, the students will design and justify their own machine to help the wolf catch those pigs!
Format: lesson plan (grade 5 English Language Arts, English Language Development, and Science)
By Allison Buckner and Maria Tanner.
Immigrants' experiences in colonial North Carolina
In this lesson plan, students read two primary-source documents describing the experiences of new arrivals to North Carolina during the colonial period: One is a summary of a report written by a young Moravian settler from Pennsylvania; the other is a letter from a German immigrant. Students compare and contrast the journeys and settlement of the two groups.
Format: lesson plan (grade 8 Social Studies)
By Pauline S. Johnson.
Connecting folktales and culture in North Carolina and beyond
Students will explore connections to North Carolina culture as they engage in reading and analyzing three folktales of North Carolina Literary Festival author, William Hooks. After comparing these stories to other versions of the traditional tales, students will become authors and storytellers themselves as they rewrite a tale from a new cultural point of view. Opportunities are also included to extend this study to world cultures and folktales.
Format: lesson plan (grade 3–5 English Language Arts and Social Studies)
By Jeanne Munoz.
Learning literary elements through African and African American folktales
In this eighth grade lesson, students will apply their knowledge of literary elements (plot structure and archetypal characters) to the analysis and creation of African and African American folktales. Students will work in groups to read several picture book versions of African and African American folktales. Each group then creates a plot map for a story and highlights other literary elements identified within the text. Students then compare the folktales with fairy tales from other cultures and explain what they learned about African and African American culture from reading the folktales. Finally, students work independently to write their own modern-day folktale.
Format: lesson plan (grade 8–9 English Language Arts)
By Hardin Engelhardt.
How can we view and distinguish sounds?
In BioMusic, page 2.4
In this engaging lesson, students will listen to recordings of various animals sounds and compare them with their visual representations on sound spectrograms. They will explore topics such as pitch, frequency, timbre, and vibration through animal vocalization, human voice, and instrumental composition.
Format: lesson plan (grade 4–5 Music Education)
By Debra Hall and Crystal Patillo.
Getting down & dirty with soils
In this lesson, we will explore different kinds of soil (humus, sand, clay). The students will plant seeds in the different soils as part of further exploration.
Format: lesson plan (grade 1 English Language Arts and Science)
By Amy Rhyne, Paulette Keys, and Sarah Carson.
It's a zoo out there!
In Proto-ZOO-ology: A problem-based protist inquiry unit, page 3
This lesson is part of the unit "Proto-ZOO-ology: A problem-based protist inquiry unit." In this lesson, students learn about the diversity of protists.
Format: lesson plan (grade 7–8 Science)
By Cate Colangelo.
Learning about the earth through remote sensing
In CareerStart lessons: Grade eight, page 5.6
In this lesson, students will learn about remote sensing and satellite images, and will gain an understanding of how various professions use information gathered via these methods.
Format: lesson plan (grade 7–8 Science and Social Studies)
By Tammy Johnson and Martha Tedrow.
Individual and family comparisons
Through a series of six activities, this lesson plan will help first-grade students to explore similarities and differences between individuals and families.
Format: lesson plan (grade 1 Social Studies)
By Julia R. Foote.
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.