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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A matter of identity: Writing an extended metaphor poem
Students apply their knowledge of literary devices by reading and analyzing the poem “Identity” by Julio Noboa Polanco. Students then create their own poem incorporating the literary devices studied and analyzed in the above mentioned poem. This lesson includes modifications for a Novice Low Limited English student.
Format: lesson plan (grade 9–10 English Language Arts and English Language Development)
By Susan Brooks and Carrie Mabry.
Introduction to Animal Farm
This lesson introduces students to Orwell's Animal Farm. They will summarize and reflect on reading and connect the novel to life in a meaningful way.
Format: lesson plan (grade 9–10 English Language Arts)
By Mary Lou Faircloth.
Figurative language: Metaphor
This lesson is a part of a unit on poetry and figurative language. It is designed to teach students the characteristics of metaphor within the context of poetry.
Format: lesson plan (grade 6 English Language Arts)
By Nancy Meyers.
Seeing two poems
This lesson will teach students how to actively read a poem and identify poetic devices.
Format: lesson plan (grade 8 English Language Arts)
By Karyn A. Gloden.
Oedipus the King reader's theatre
Students will rewrite the Greek tragedy in a modern context in order to review and analyze the plot. This assignment is designed as a final project in a Greek Theatre unit. It is expected that the literature has already been read and analyzed as a class. I have found that this project is an innovative way to review for a unit test on the play and Greek Theatre.
Format: lesson plan (grade 9–10 English Language Arts)
Just like Brian Wilson did: Using allusion to teach imagery & theme
Beginning ENG I students are introduced to the general concepts of imagery (including symbolism) and theme in short literature in a lesson that features two contemporary pop songs and their lyrics. Serves as a useful attention getting exercise for low-level ENG I students who must become familiar with general literary concepts and terms for the ENG I EOC.
Format: lesson plan (grade 9–10 English Language Arts)
By Jeffrey Weeks.
This compendium of poetry resources from our collections includes many great websites, articles, and lesson plans.
Format: bibliography/help
Figurative language: Similes
Students will define and identify similes as well as evaluate the use of similes in the poem, "The Base Stealer" by Robert Francis.
Format: lesson plan (grade 3–4 English Language Arts)
By Kimberly Conville.
Foreshadowing: Quote identification, discovery lesson, and essay prompt analysis
During the course of this lesson, students identify selected quotes from literary works studied in class. After a brief discussion of what all of the quotes have in common, students will determine that each quote foreshadows an important, upcoming plot development. The class will then examine an essay prompt on foreshadowing, vote on the literary work to be used in planning a response to the prompt, and, as a teacher-led, whole-class activity, come up with a thesis and main point outline for the essay.
Format: lesson plan (grade 10 English Language Arts)
By Martha Owens.
Listen to a poem
Use the poems "I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud" and "Sea Fever" to teach the poetic devices of rhythm, meter and scansion.
Format: lesson plan (grade 12 English Language Arts)
This lesson will help students become more understanding of cultural differences. Students will analyze the theme of escape in two poems. They will recognize and record literary elements found in the poems and connect the poems to life in a meaningful way.
Format: lesson plan (grade 9–10 English Language Arts)
By Mary Lou Faircloth.
The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
Students study the symbolism, setting, and characterization in Kafka's work.
Format: lesson plan (grade 9–10 English Language Arts)
By Laura Rose.
Teaching voice
This lesson helps students to develop an effective voice by selecting words that are clear, concrete, and exact. Exercises are based on model sentences from world literature selections.
Format: lesson plan (grade 9–10 English Language Arts)
By Pamela Beal.
Singing the "Song of Life"
This lesson requires students to use their reading, comprehension, and analysis skills to analyze a poem and respond creatively to the selection.
Format: lesson plan (grade 9–12 English Language Arts)
By Angela Taylor.
Thematic and organizational patterns in McLaurin's "The Rite Time of Night"
Students will learn to identify and color-code thematic and organizational patterns found in the narrative and then use two-column note-taking to highlight how these patterns helped McLaurin give his story focus and organization. As a suggested follow-up activity, students are given ideas for writing their own narratives, using similar techniques as McLaurin.
Format: lesson plan (grade 9–12 English Language Arts)
By Vickie Smith.
Cause and effect
Students will identify and interpret cause and effect as expressed in poetry.
Format: lesson plan (grade 3–4 English Language Arts)
By Rochelle Mullis.
Romeo and Juliet: The Balcony Scene (Act 2, Scene 2)
O Romeo, Romeo! Wherefore art thou Romeo? Lesson will help struggling readers to comprehend figurative language and overall meaning in the famous balcony scene. It will also compare text to two media depictions. This lesson has been created with exceptional children and limited English proficient (novice low) students in mind.
Format: lesson plan (grade 8–10 English Language Arts and English Language Development)
By Elizabeth Mackie and Vicki Moats.
Teaching "style"
This exercise works best as a review at the mid-point or end of a literature course. Paired students describe the style of ten authors ranging from "ornate" to "plain," and then compare the authors' styles through a designated series of metaphors.
Format: lesson plan (grade 11–12 English Language Arts)
By Charlotte Osterman.
"The Talking Eggs" by Robert San Souci is used to introduce and illustrate an author's use of language to paint a picture in the reader's mind. Students will draw a picture to show what this author meant, create similes to describe themselves, and finally use a simile in their next story in Writer's Workshop.
Format: lesson plan (grade 1–2 English Language Arts)
By jennifer lettieri.
Poetry from prose: A different kind of "book report"
Students use a word-processing program to write a poem that summarizes important themes or events central to the plot of a novel. Once the poem is proofread, students type the poem according to specific directions. They then print their work and illustrate over or around the writing for an illustrated "book report." Students incorporate details from the novel in their writing and in their illustrations of their poems. In this way, students focus on the themes or events in the novel that appeal to them most -- the ones they feel are most important to the novel's meaning.
Format: lesson plan (grade 6–8 English Language Arts)
By Sally Watts.