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.

Bridging Spanish language barriers in Southern schools
These articles provide background on Latino immigrants in North Carolina, administrative challenges in binational education, and strategies through which teachers can build on what Latino students bring to their classrooms to create a learning environment that meets the needs of all students.
Format: series (multiple pages)
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)
Science Family Fun Night
One night a month Vivian Smith opens her classroom to families where they work together to solve logic problems and conduct experiments. Learn how this science teacher increases family involvement in her students' education and find ideas for science experiments, webquests, projects, and construction contests.
By Waverly Harrell.
Tips for parent conferences
Basic suggestions and points to keep in mind when meeting with parents.
By Mitch Katz.
Communicating with parents
To communicate successfully with parents, be caring, professional, open, and organized.
By Kathleen Casson.
Problem-solving careers
In CareerStart lessons: Grade seven, page 1.7
In this lesson for grade seven, students analyze information about various careers to determine how people in those occupations use problem-solving skills.
Format: lesson plan (grade 6–8 English Language Arts and Guidance)
By Jen Presley.Adapted by Kenyatta Bennett and Sonya Rexrode.
This lesson plan in designed to be one part of a fourth grade social studies unit on the Appalachian Mountains. It is based on the mountain custom of quilt making. This plan uses the book The Quiltmakers Gift by Jeff Brumbeau. It also uses the book internet site and other related sites. Enrichments of this lesson would be to display quilts, have a real quilt maker visit, have the class create their own paper quilt, etc.
Format: lesson plan (grade 3–4 English Language Arts and Social Studies)
By Barbara Waters.
Letters back home: A soldier's perspective on World War I
World War I traumatized many of the soldiers that participated in the war. It had a lasting effect on the political, economic, social, and cultural lives of Americans during the 1920's. By reading letters that one soldier wrote to his family back home. Students can gain insight into the reasons why the “Great War” had such a profound impact on the United States in years following the war.
Format: lesson plan (grade 9–12 English Language Arts and Social Studies)
By George Gray Jr..
Using a classroom webpage to communicate with parents
Kathleen Eveleigh keeps her parents involved in her first-grade classroom by integrating a classroom webpage with her daily instruction.
Format: article
By Sydney Brown.
Deficit thinking
Teachers frequently attribute the academic struggles of English language learners to the students' inability or unwillingness to learn English, but this "deficit thinking" can better be replaced by a focus on what immigrant students bring to the classroom.
Format: article
By Buck Cooper.
If he's in danger of failing, at least three people need to know it
In The First Year, page 4.1
Get in touch with parents to prevent students' failure, not just to report on it.
Format: article
By Kristi Johnson Smith.Commentary and sidebar notes by Lindy Norman.
Helping parents understand
In Math for multiple intelligences, page 5
The more ongoing, positive communication you have with parents, the more they'll be willing to work with you.
Format: article
By Gretchen Buher.
The murder of "Chicken" Stephens
In North Carolina in the Civil War and Reconstruction, page 10.6
Contemporary newspaper account of the murder of State Senator John. W. "Chicken" Stephens of Caswell County, by members of the Ku Klux Klan. Includes historical commentary.
Format: newspaper/primary source
Helping students from rural Mexico feel comfortable in your classroom
In Bridging Spanish language barriers in Southern schools, page 2.2
Most students from rural Mexico have experiences, family backgrounds, and expectations that conflict with the expectations of the American classroom environment. By understanding the expectations of these students and their parents, teachers can help them to succeed.
Format: article
Communicating with parents at the beginning of the year
In The First Year, page 1.3
Start communicating with parents at the beginning of the year, to establish a relationship before you have anything negative to say.
Format: article/best practice
By Kristi Johnson Smith.Commentary and sidebar notes by Lindy Norman.
The problems of flood relief
In Recent North Carolina, page 5.11
Excerpt from an oral history interview with a Duplin County couple who weathered Hurricane Floyd.
Format: interview/primary source
Commentary and sidebar notes by L. Maren Wood.
Halong Bay tour: Inside hospital cave
Cat Ba island is the largest island in Halong Bay, in northern Vietnam. With its famous beautiful limestone outcroppings and sapphire blue waters, Halong Bay is a popular destination for tourists. It is also a point of pride for the Vietnamese. They tell a...
Format: audio
The Binational Migrant Education Program
In Bridging Spanish language barriers in Southern schools, page 3.1
The Binational Migrant Education Program helps students, teachers, school administration, and parents manage the education of students who move between the United States and Mexico.
By Jennifer Whytock.
The Singing on the Mountain
In Postwar North Carolina, page 2.11
"The Singing on the Mountain" gospel convention has been held at the base of Grandfather Mountain on the fourth Sunday in June every year since 1925.
Format: essay
By Dave Haney and Lisa Baldwin.
Hysteria in Wilmington
In North Carolina in the New Nation, page 9.8
Excerpt from the diary of Moses Ashley Curtis, a Wilmington tutor. Curtis describes the response of Wilmington residents to the threat of a slave insurrection in September, 1831, after Nat Turner's Rebellion. Includes historical commentary.
Format: diary/primary source