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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Birds of a feather, an interdisciplinary unit: Language Arts wing
This lesson, which features Mark Twain's “Jim Baker's Blue-jay Yarn,” is part of an interdisciplinary unit on birds that contains math/science and language arts components. In the language arts wing, students will explore dialects and personification through this very entertaining tall tale full of the antics of talking blue-jays.
Format: lesson plan (grade 7 English Language Arts and English Language Development)
By Janet Fore.
Language change in North Carolina's cities
In this activity, students view a video about the changing dialects of North Carolina's urban areas and then respond to a series of questions.
Format: lesson plan (grade 8 Social Studies)
By Hannah Askin.
Outer Banks English
In this lesson plan, students view a video about the dialect of North Carolina's Outer Banks and develop an understanding of linguistic patterns.
Format: lesson plan (grade 8 Social Studies)
By Hannah Askin.
African American English
In this activity, students learn about the history of African American English and the meaning of dialect and linguistic patterns. Students watch a video about African American English and analyze the dialect's linguistic patterns.
Format: lesson plan (grade 8 Social Studies)
By Hannah Askin.
Code-switching
Code-switching is the practice of moving between variations of languages in different contexts. This article explains the history of code-switching, explores important literature on the subject, and discusses approaches to language response in the classroom.
Format: article
By Heather Coffey.
Language families
In Intrigue of the Past, page 4.7
Students will identify and locate the three language families of contact period North Carolina and calculate the physical area covered by each language family.
Format: lesson plan (grade 4 and 7–8 Mathematics and Social Studies)
Teaching about North Carolina American Indians
This web edition is drawn from a teachers institute curriculum enrichment project on North Carolina American Indian Studies conducted by the North Carolina Humanities Council. Resources include best practices for teaching about American Indians, suggestions for curriculum integration, webliographies, and lesson plans about North Carolina American Indians.
Format: book (multiple pages)
Dynamic dialect: Horace Kephart and Our Southern Highlanders
Students will read an excerpt from Horace Kephart's Our Southern Highlanders and explore how language and dialect have changed over the years.
Format: lesson plan (grade 8–10 English Language Arts)
By Billie Clemens.
Lumbee English 2
Second of two sets of excerpts about Lumbee English and Lumbee identity from the documentary film Indian by Birth: The Lumbee Dialect, produced by Neal Hutcheson and the North Carolina Language and Life Project. For more excerpts from Indian...
Format: video/video
The Official Lumbee Vocabulary Test or How to Tell a Lum from a Foreigner
In Teaching about North Carolina American Indians, page 2.3
Try this Lumbee vocabulary quiz and see how well you know Lumbee English.
Format: article
By Clare J. Dannenberg, Hayes A. Locklear, Natalie Schilling-Estes, and Dr. Walt Wolfram.
A Dialect Dictionary of Lumbee English
In Teaching about North Carolina American Indians, page 2.2
Originally published as a booklet by the North Carolina Language and Life Project at NC State University, this page provides a brief explanation of Lumbee English as well as a dictionary of terms and definitions from the Lumbee English dialect.
Format: article
By Clare J. Dannenberg, Hayes A. Locklear, Natalie Schilling-Estes, and Dr. Walt Wolfram.
Life in a fishing village
This was recorded on an island called Koh Sukorn, off the southeastern coast of Thailand. At first you hear the sound of me walking and the ocean. The fisherman here operate individually with their own motorboats and nets. You can hear one fisherman calling...
Format: audio
Spanish and Hispanic English in North Carolina
In this lesson, students will listen to audio recordings and view a video clip in order to gain an understanding of the Hispanic English dialect.
Format: lesson plan (grade 8 Social Studies)
By Hannah Askin.
Bubba: A Cinderella story
This lesson focuses on the whimsical interpretation of the Cinderella story. Students explore the story Bubba, the Cowboy Prince, through rich text and interpretations of the story.
Format: lesson plan (grade 4 English Language Arts and English Language Development)
By Jennifer Fessler and Karen Wright.
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.
Mountain dialect: Reading between the spoken lines
This lesson plan uses Chapter 13 of Our Southern Highlanders as a jumping-off point to help students achieve social studies and English language arts objectives while developing an appreciation of the uniqueness of regional speech patterns, the complexities of ethnographic encounter, and the need to interrogate primary sources carefully to identify potential biases and misinformation in them. Historical content includes American slavery, the turn of the century, and the Great Depression.
Format: lesson plan (grade 8 English Language Arts and Social Studies)
By Kathryn Walbert.
The Cherokee language
Excerpt about the Cherokee language from the documentary Voices of North Carolina, produced by Neal Hutcheson and the North Carolina Language and Life Project. This video is one in a series that also includes: African...
Format: video/video
African American English
Excerpt about African American English from the documentary Voices of North Carolina, produced by Neal Hutcheson and the North Carolina Language and Life Project. This video is one in a series that also includes: The...
Format: video/video
"The difference is about our land": Cherokees and Catawbas
In Revolutionary North Carolina, page 4.1
During the American Revolution, American Indians living in North Carolina had to choose whether to support England or the colonists. While different groups of Indians made different decisions, most made their choices based on how they thought they could best protect their lands.
Format: article
By Jim L. Sumner.
Peoples of the Coastal Plain
In Prehistory, contact, and the Lost Colony, page 2.6
When Europeans arrived in the late 1500s, North Carolina’s northern Coastal Plain was home to two different cultures. Speakers of Algonkian languages lived closest to the Atlantic edge, in the Outer Coastal Plain or Tidewater. Iroquoian speakers lived more inland, on the Inner Coastal Plain. Based on the distinctive items each group left, archaeologists call the Algonkian speakers Colington and the Iroquoian speakers Cashie.
Format: article