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

inquiry
Active approach to learning in which students investigate a problem based on a model of scientific inquiry. Students or teachers pose a problem, form hypotheses, collect and analyze data, and compare findings with initial hypotheses.
site-based management
Organizational structure that decentralizes authority and increases the autonomy of individual schools. Responsibility and accountability are at the school level, and the decision-making process includes teachers, administrators, parents, and community members.
problem-based assessment
Based on a problem-solving or problem-posing educational model, problem-based assessment involves the presentation of a problem the student must solve.
site-based management
Organizational structure that decentralizes authority and increases the autonomy of individual schools. Responsibility and accountability are at the school level, and the decision-making process includes teachers, administrators, parents, and community members.
project-based learning
Teaching approach that engages students in sustained, collaborative real-world investigations. Projects are organized around a driving question, and students participate in a variety of tasks that seek to meaningfully address this question.
perspective-based assignments
Lessons in which students approach a topic from the perspective of a real-world professional. This approach offers students a constant reminder of the relevance of curriculum objectives.
problem-based learning
Model of instruction in which the teacher poses an authentic problem for student resolution. PBL may be one among many strategies in a classroom or an entire curricular and instructional approach. In the course of problem-solving, students work cooperatively in groups to learn content and skills related to real world problems. The teacher acts as a facilitator to learning.
digital game-based learning
Instructional method that incorporates educational content or learning principles into video games with the goal of engaging learners. Applications of digital game-based learning draw upon the constructivist theory of education.

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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)
A Time for Science Nature and Learning Center
The activities and programs of this nature and science center are tailored to groups learning about ecology, conservation, environmental stewardship, STEM subjects.
Format: article/field trip opportunity
A perspective on inquiry
In this interview, Norman Budnitz, cofounder of the Center for Inquiry Based Learning, talks about inquiry and how to teach with it in a K–12 classroom.
Format: article/best practice
By Waverly Harrell.
Topics in Science Education
In Preservice teacher education resources, page 3.2
Resources Specific to Science Inquiry Letting Students Ask the Questions — And Answer Them A look at an inquiry-based earth and environmental...
Format: article/teacher's guide
Letting students ask the questions — and answer them
For this high school science teacher, learning science means doing science. A look at an inquiry-based earth and environmental science classroom.
Format: article/best practice
By Amy Anderson.
Science Methods: 9-12 Model Lessons
In Preservice teacher education resources, page 3.5
North Carolina Essential Standards Click here for more details on these standards. Biology Structure and Functions of Living Organisms
Format: article/teacher's guide
Focus on Planet Earth
LEARN NC has developed a resource guide of interactive websites, integrated lesson plans, idea-generating articles, and inspiring field trips to help you incorporate environmental themes in your classroom, school, and community.
Format: bibliography/help
Kenan Fellows instructional plans
An alphabetical listing of unit plans and lesson plans provided by the Kenan Fellows Program.
Format: lesson plan
Hurricanes
A guide to teaching about hurricanes, including virtual field trips, lesson plans, and interactive websites.
Format: bibliography/help
Citizen science: Real-world applications for science students
Citizen science projects enlist everyday citizens to collect or analyze data for real-world research studies. This article suggests that bringing citizen science projects into the classroom can help students understand the relevance of curriculum objectives. Several projects are suggested, for elementary, middle, and high school.
Format: article/best practice
By Rebeccah Haines.
Coastal weather issues: Planning for a hurricane
The unit is designed for seventh grade students who have been studying Earth and its atmosphere. In this sequence, students are faced with the realistic issue of personal and social decision-making when planning for hurricane strikes, which includes classification, tracking, and monitoring hurricanes, as well as planning for evacuations. The inquiry-based approach involves a WebQuest in which the learner will assume the role of an emergency management team member who must create a preparation plan for the community.
Format: lesson plan (grade 7 Computer/Technology Skills, Information Skills, and Science)
By Karen Greene.
Isolating a potato killer
In CSI Dublin: The Hunt for the Irish Potato Killer, page 2
In this lesson, students use Koch's postulates to demonstrate the causal relationship between microbe and disease by transmitting Phytophthora infestans from an infected potato tuber to a healthy potato specimen.
Format: lesson plan (grade 9–12 English Language Arts and Science)
By Rebecca Hite.

Resources on the web

The Center for Science Education
A great place to find resources, activities, lesson plans, and more related to space science, the solar system and the universe. (Learn more)
Format: website/lesson plan
Provided by: University of California at Berkeley Spcae Science Laboratory
Exploring Magnetism Lesson Series
A series of six lessons on general magnetism, solar wind, solar flares, space weather, electromagnetism, and earth's magnetism. Each lesson includes objectives, background information, activities, worksheets, rubrics, and further resources. Some materials... (Learn more)
Format: website/lesson plan
Provided by: Regents of the University of California
Beyond Penguins and Polar Bears
Beyond Penguins and Polar Bears, is an exciting online professional development magazine for elementary teachers which features content-rich web sites, interactive videos, animations, articles written specifically for K-2 and 3-5 students that... (Learn more)
Format: website/lesson plan
Provided by: The Ohio State University
Biodiversity Counts
Biodiversity Counts is a project created by the American Museum of Natural History in conjunction with educators and curriculum specialists from across the country. The creators of the project believe that students learn science best by engaging in authentic... (Learn more)
Format: website/lesson plan
Provided by: American Museum of Natural History
NASA eClips
Looking for videos that address STEM topics for the classroom but you don't want them to take up too much class time? NASA has created short videos or eClips for K-12 students that answer that need. Just look for the appropriate grade level... (Learn more)
Format: website
Provided by: NASA