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

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Pond pine woodland
In Wetlands of the coastal plains, page 7
Figure 6 shows that the same plants found in pocosins are also found under pond pines as well as in poorly drained peat filled depressions of all sorts. Here we can see these plants growing on peat around and under a stand of pond pines. We will now move away...
By Dirk Frankenberg.
The savanna
In Forests and fires: The longleaf pine savanna, page 3
Figures 1 and 2 are general views of longleaf pine savannas in Camp Lejeune. You can see why Captain John Smith said of these habitats, “Of thicks [thickets] there were none” when he crossed these savannas in his seventeenth-century explorations...
By Dirk Frankenberg.
Whose habitat is that?
This lesson is designed to help students explore the surroundings animals find in a variety of habitats. This plan is written for the desert habitat but the same plan should be used for the exploration of a variety of habitat settings.
Format: lesson plan (grade 1 English Language Arts and Information Skills)
By Kelly Stewart.
Sandhill scrub
In Wetlands of the coastal plains, page 5
The field trip continues with a visit to one of the few permanently dry habitats on the coastal plain. The home of the desert-like sandhill scrub community shown in Figure 4. These communities are found on the crest of old shoreline ridges. To reach them we...
By Dirk Frankenberg.
The bottom of the falls
In Jocassee Gorges: Temperate rain forests of the Blue Ridge, page 16
As one moves further back from the falls, the spray community becomes even more diverse as grasses and broad-leafed plants find suitable habitats among the boulders and downed trees at the bottom of the waterfalls.
By Dirk Frankenberg and Stephanie Walters.
Inquiry-based exploration of human impacts on stream ecosystems: The Mud Creek case study
This unit plan for high school earth and environmental science explores the impact of human activity on the health of streams in urban and non-urban settings. Students mimic current scientific research by measuring physical, chemical, and biological indicators of stream health.
Format: (multiple pages)
Halyburton Park
Students in grades pre-K through five will learn about animals and their habitats, soil and water conservation, and much more at Halyburton Park in Wilmington.
Format: article/field trip opportunity
Habitat photo album
Students will use digital cameras and explore the outdoors searching ecosystems for opportunities to take pictures of different habitats and the components that go into them.
Format: lesson plan (grade 4–5 Information Skills and Science)
By Colleen Buchauer and Lesley Brooks.
Tidal freshwater marsh
In Wetlands of the coastal plains, page 9
Figure 8 shows a tidal freshwater marsh. The dominant plant here is sawgrass, the same species that occurs abundantly in the Everglades. Here it is growing along a blackwater river in front of a swamp forest. The area illustrated here is close enough to the...
By Dirk Frankenberg.
Spruce-fir forest
In Elevations and forest types along the Blue Ridge Parkway, page 13
The spruce-fir forest of the high Blue Ridge is not continuous as are the northern examples of this forest type. As is seen in Figure 11 and again in Figure 12, there are places where the conifers dominate, but in slightly different habitats nearby, the northern...
By Dirk Frankenberg.
Rhododendron shrub bald
In Elevations and forest types along the Blue Ridge Parkway, page 10
Figure 9 shows the interior of a rhododendron shrub bald at about 5500 feet. Note the close spacing of the rhododendrons and the herb layer of ferns and wildflowers. These thicket habitats are attractive both from a distance and up close when the flowers are...
By Dirk Frankenberg.
Coastal plain bottomland forest
In Wetlands of the coastal plains, page 8
Figure 6 illustrates a fine river to tour: the Northwest Cape Fear, as it appears in Pender County. The wetland type we see on the far bank is a coastal plain bottomland hardwood community. These communities develop on irregularly flooded habitats along rivers....
By Dirk Frankenberg.
African animals in habitats
This is an inquiry-based animal study for early childhood students centered around a visit to the African Continent of the North Carolina Zoo.
Format: lesson plan (grade K–1 Science)
By Sue McCullah.
From grassy bald to forest
In Elevations and forest types along the Blue Ridge Parkway, page 11
Figure 10 shows an early stage in the succession from grassy bald to forest at 5300 feet. Note the grasses growing thickly under the thickening stand of small maples and mountain ash. These trees appear to be saplings, but age determinations of this size trees...
By Dirk Frankenberg.
Animal Adaptations
Beaks to pry open food, spots to blend in with their habitat, and feathers that shed water are some examples of animal adaptations. We have compiled this sample of instructional resources on animal adaptations that can be found on LEARN NC.
Format: bibliography/help
Turtles are terrific
This lesson will engage the students in the study of turtle attributes and their habitats. The lesson will integrate science, math, language arts and computer/technology curriculums.
Format: lesson plan (grade K–1 Science)
The spray zone
In Jocassee Gorges: Temperate rain forests of the Blue Ridge, page 13
One of the unique features of the Jocassee Gorges region is the plant community that flourishes in the spray zone around the base of the waterfalls. Figure 10 shows visible evidence of the spray that sustains these unusual communities. If you look closely...
By Dirk Frankenberg and Stephanie Walters.
Tidal creek
In Cape Fear estuaries: From river to sea, page 9
This photo shows conditions just a few yards away from the shoreline. As you can see from the banks of this tidal creek, the tidal range is at least a foot, and the tide is out. Cord grass dominates the central, depressed, area of this photo, and in the background...
By Steve Keith.
Pee Dee National Wildlife Refuge
Located in Anson and Richmond counties of North Carolina, the diversity of habitats and management programs supports a broad range of wildlife species, including over 168 birds, 49 amphibians and reptiles, 28 mammals, and 20 fish species.
Format: article/field trip opportunity
Great Smoky Mountains
Environmental educational programs instructed by National Park Rangers and classroom teachers for students in grades K-8.
Format: article/field trip opportunity