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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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.
Student presentations in the problem-centered classroom
In Problem centered math, page 2.2
The video clip below shows students presenting their solutions to a math problem. The students worked on the problem in pairs, and several pairs of students used different methods to reach different results. A discussion results among the students as to the...
By Grayson Wheatley.
Economic planning in West Africa
In CareerStart lessons: Grade seven, page 4.3
In this lesson plan for grade seven, students will research the West African nation Mali and will work in groups to create proposals for improvement projects in Mali. Students will discuss careers that require creating proposals and giving presentations.
Format: lesson plan (grade 7 English Language Arts and Social Studies)
By Mary B. Taylor.Adapted by Kenyatta Bennett and Sonya Rexrode.
Goodbye, Bill Of Rights!
Students will enact a scene demonstrating life without one of the first ten amendments. Students will be put into groups of three or four and assigned a specific amendment to research.
Format: lesson plan (grade 8–10 Social Studies)
By Greg Simmons.
Mandarin Chinese II | 中文课程2
Part two of an online textbook for learning Mandarin Chinese.
Format: book (multiple pages)
World War I political debate
In CareerStart lessons: Grade six, page 4.7
In this lesson for grades six and seven, students will use their knowledge of World War I to debate whether Germany should have paid reparations following the war.
Format: lesson plan (grade 6–7 Social Studies)
By Shea Calloway.
Little and big houses
Using the book Little House on the Prairie and international keypals, students will learn about similarities and differences among children at different times and in different places.
Format: lesson plan (grade 3 English Language Arts, Mathematics, and Social Studies)
By Karen Ester.
Making a video critique of an information source
After finishing their social issues research paper for their English class (or any other type of research paper), students will write and present orally a critique of one information source used in their research papers. Students will work in pairs to videotape each other, and they must also design appropriate backdrops for their oral presentations. Students will watch and evaluate all critiques.

This interdisciplinary assignment combines information skills and language arts skills, and requires collaboration between the media specialist and the English teacher.
Format: lesson plan (grade 9–12 English Language Arts and Information Skills)
By Bonnie Snyder.
Tracing abolitionist movements in North Carolina
In North Carolina maps, page 3.6
In this lesson, students learn about the major areas of the abolitionist movement in the state. Students will express an understanding of the major figures of the movement using presentation software skills.
Format: lesson plan (grade 11–12 Social Studies)
Ecosystem problem solving
Students will apply their knowledge of ecosystems and the interdependence of plants and animals to creatively solve problems.
Format: lesson plan (grade 5 Science)
By Kelley Turner.
Occaneechi School Days
Attend the annual School Days at the Occaneechi Band of the Saponi Nation tribal land and learn about the culture, history, and traditions of this Indian tribe.
Format: article/field trip opportunity
The effects of acid rain on the environment
This is an experiment in which groups of students are given healthy plants to water with different solutions of an acid rain mixture made in class. Students will document and present their findings. This lesson plan has modifications for an Intermediate Low English Language Learner (ESL student).
Format: lesson plan (grade 7–8 English Language Development and Science)
By Helen Beall and Heather Hughes-Buchanan.
The Blue Ridge Parkway in your community: For or against?
In Driving through time: The digital Blue Ridge Parkway, page 2.8
This is the final lesson in the Competing Routes unit. In this lesson, students reflect on the unit as a whole, and synthesize their new knowledge into a sophisticated presentation debating the routing of the Blue Ridge Parkway. In this lesson, students will be grouped into presentation committees based on geographical similarity (the communities closest to one another will work together) to lobby for or against the Blue Ridge Parkway being routed through their communities.
Format: lesson plan
By Katy Vance.
You be the judge: Settling Little Switzerland
In Driving through time: The digital Blue Ridge Parkway, page 3.4
This is the final lesson in the Battle Over Little Switzerland unit. In this lesson, students reflect on the activities of the last two lessons and determine how much landowners should be awarded for their property. They will also make a recommendation as to which route should be selected. They will express their decisions on these matters by writing a letter from the point of view of one of the judges in the case of Little Switzerland vs. the State Highway Commission.
Format: lesson plan
By Katy Vance.
Exploring the church in the southern black community
Students explore the Documenting the American South Collection titled, the “Church in the Southern Black Community.” Beginning with a historian's interpretation of the primary sources that make up the collection, students search the collection for evidence to describe the experiences of African Americans living in the south during the Antebellum through the Reconstruction Period centering on their community churches. The activity culminates in student presentations of a digital scrap book.
Format: lesson plan (grade 8 and 10–12 Social Studies)
By Meghan Mcglinn.
Join them together/Take them away
The teacher will introduce beginning addition concepts of joining two sets together. The teacher will introduce beginning subtraction concepts of taking away from a set.
Format: lesson plan (grade K Mathematics)
By Vickie Hedrick.
Hear it, spell it, see it!
This is an activity to help children develop visual recognition of basic sight word vocabulary at the kindergarten level. The words covered are: I, am, can, like, it, and is. This is a simple, quick activity that adds a new dimension to sight word building with the help of the computer.
Format: lesson plan (grade K–1 English Language Arts)
By Vickie Hedrick.
Around the world in one semester!
This lesson is a semester-long project that focuses on countries that speak the target language. Students will research a chosen country and do an oral presentation for the class. They will then research and present a current event weekly for the remainder of the semester.
Format: lesson plan (grade 9–12 Second Languages)
By Crystal Humphrey and Michelle Chrismon.
Grassroots Science Museums Collaborative
Grassroots museums annually serve millions of citizens through general visitation, teacher training and special programs. Programs include both onsite and offsite presentations and reach students in every North Carolina school district.
Format: article/field trip opportunity
The Trial of Hamlet
In this lesson students have the chance to research courtroom procedure to try Hamlet for the murder of Polonius. Then, with some students in the roles of characters from the play, the class will conduct the trial of Shakespeare's most famous anti-hero.
Format: lesson plan (grade 11–12 English Language Arts)
By Ross White.