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.

From the education reference

concept map
An organizational strategy or tool that represents knowledge in visual form (such as a graph or diagram). Concept mapping facilitates student understanding of the relationships between keywords or concepts through visual representations.

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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..
Reading comprehension and English language learners
Teaching reading comprehension and helping English language learners are the responsibility of every teacher, but they are also within the abilities of every teacher. These articles provide strategies for building content-area reading comprehension before, during, and after reading that can help English language learners — and all learners.
Format: series (multiple pages)
European and South American agriculture
In CareerStart lessons: Grade six, page 4.3
In this lesson for grades six and seven, students conduct research about agriculture in South America and Europe and organize the information on a compare/contrast map.
Format: lesson plan (grade 6–7 Social Studies)
By Mandy Matlock.Edited by Julie McCann.
Battle over Little Switzerland unit background
In Driving through time: The digital Blue Ridge Parkway, page 3.1
This page contains resources and activities that provide background information for students who are about to begin the Battle Over Little Switzerland unit.
Format: lesson plan
By Katy Vance.
Preparing English language learners for reading comprehension
In Reading comprehension and English language learners, page 1
Use KWL charts, circle maps and brainstorming webs, and concept maps to prepare English language learners, content-area learners, and all students for reading comprehension.
Format: article
By Ellen Douglas.
Making connections between concepts
In The First Year, page 2.3
To help students connect what they're learning, make your expectations clear and ask them what they understand and what isn't working.
Format: article
By Kristi Johnson Smith.Commentary and sidebar notes by Lindy Norman.
What do you see? (post-visit)
In this lesson, students will use observations and reflections made while visiting the Ackland Art Museum to draw conclusions about interpreting artwork (and other works/events), make quality scientific observations, and see how these concepts are related. Students will be reproducing artwork they viewed at the museum, sharing their personal interpretations of various works, and analyzing how the presentation of information (in any situation) can influence our interpretations of a work or event. This lesson is the final lesson in the series of lessons, "What Do YOU See?", which uses the Ackland Art Museum as a resource.
Format: lesson plan (grade 8 Visual Arts Education)
By Reagan West.
Are you on a diet?
In I’m on a diet and proud of it: Nutrition through math and science, page 2
In this lesson, students will examine their knowledge, beliefs, and misconceptions about diets. Using word study and discussion, they will understand diet as a multi-faceted concept.
Format: lesson plan (grade 4 English Language Arts, Healthful Living, and Science)
By Karina Colón.
Greece: Part 1
This lesson is one of three created as an interdisciplinary unit on the connection between the art and artifacts of a culture and the values and beliefs of the members of that culture. This unit begins with a class-wide investigation of Ancient Greece and concludes with a visit to the Ackland Art Museum. During the visit, students will have the opportunity to assess their predictions about the Ancient Greeks. In addition, students will look at works of art from other cultures and compare and contrast the visual information provided about those cultures with visual information provided about Greek culture.
Format: lesson plan (grade 3 Social Studies)
By Winn Wheeler.
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.
Reaching every learner: Differentiating instruction in theory and practice
This series of articles, which balance theory, research, and practice, address a variety of topics within differentiation through text, graphics, and video.
Format: series (multiple pages)
Five senses of the rain forest
In this lesson, students use their five senses to observe rain forests and determine what it might be like to visit a rain forest. Students will better understand rain forests and their importance, as well as record observations in a bubble map.
Format: lesson plan (grade K English Language Arts and Science)
By Natalie Hudson.
Routing Little Switzerland
In Driving through time: The digital Blue Ridge Parkway, page 3.2
This is the first lesson in the Battle Over Little Switzerland unit. In this lesson, students become familiar with the timeline for the case of the North Carolina State Highway Commission vs. the Little Switzerland Company as well as the routing plans for the Blue Ridge Parkway and ownership issues surrounding this area.
Format: lesson plan
By Katy Vance.
Couriers and messengers: Real-world problem solving
In CareerStart lessons: Grade eight, page 3.4
In this lesson plan, students take on the role of couriers and use indirect measurement to plan a delivery.
Format: lesson plan (grade 7–8 Mathematics)
By Valerie Davis, Sonya Rexrode, and Monika Vasili.
Rainy weather
This is the first lesson in a weather unit. This lesson consists of activities that help students understand the concept of rain.
Format: lesson plan (grade K Science)
By Carol McCrary.
North America
Discover Canada, Mexico, and Central America from this selection of great resources.
Format: bibliography/help
Pirates and economics
In this lesson, students will learn the basics of a market economy and how pirates impacted the economic system in colonial times. Students will read one Mini Page about the famous pirate Blackbeard and another about economics. Students will map out the colonial economic system to demonstrate their knowledge of both economics and pirates' interventions. At the end of the lesson, students will imagine they are colonists and write a letter to the governor either in support or in opposition to piracy. This allows students to utilize economic vocabulary in a variety of creative ways.
Format: lesson plan
By Summer Pennell.
Is Mr. Wolf really a bad guy?
This lesson is intended to show children the importance of evaluating information as they read. The author's point of view is limited in that it only truly shows one side of the story. There is always another perspective. How the author views a subject colors everything that he or she writes about.
Format: lesson plan (grade 6–8 English Language Arts)
Bulletin board of story elements
This lesson will introduce young children to the elements of stories starting with characters. Children will be involved with interactive writing as they respond to shared reading lessons. Students will illustrate a caption of a character to be displayed on a bulletin board.
Format: lesson plan (grade K–1 English Language Arts)
Benchmark assessments
This reference article discusses the concept of benchmark assessments, including arguments for and against standardized benchmark testing and best practices in creating teacher-developed benchmark assessments.
Format: article
By Heather Coffey.