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


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From the education reference

research cycle
Research method that emphasizes information problem-solving and positions students as information producers (versus information consumers). Students repeatedly revisit stages in the research cycle as they refine data gathering processes.
teacher research
Intentional and systematic inquiry by a teacher or teachers in order to improve classroom practice. Teacher researchers begin with a question about classroom life, design and implement a research plan, collect and analyze data, and adjust practice to better meet the needs of students.
North Carolina thinking skills
Model of thinking skills adopted by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction in 1994. Lists seven levels of thinking skills from simplest to most complex: knowledge, organizing, applying, analyzing, generating, integrating, and evaluating.
basic interpersonal communication skills
Social language first used by English (or foreign) language learners.

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Rethinking Reports
Creative research-based assignments provide alternatives to the President Report, Animal Report, and Famous Person Report that ask students to think about old topics in new ways, work collaboratively, and develop products that support a variety of learning styles.
Format: series (multiple pages)
Introduction: Rethinking reports
A little creativity can make research a rewarding learning experience for students and teachers alike.
By David Walbert and Melissa Thibault.
Alternatives to the animal report
In Rethinking Reports, page 2.1
Year after year, students are assigned an animal report, a factual report on a species of their choice. My son chose the Harpy Eagle for his third-grade animal report — and proceeded to re-submit that report with only slight modifications for years thereafter!...
By Melissa Thibault.
Literature biography project
Students will learn to develop the various processes used in researching and writing a biographical research paper, including brainstorming, note taking, outlining, creating a bibliography, and writing the final draft.
Format: lesson plan (grade 6–8 English Language Arts and Information Skills)
By Sandra Dail.
Beginning biography research
Encyclopedia research skills will be taught using biographies of famous people. This is one lesson in a collaborative unit taught by both the classroom teacher and the library media coordinator.
Format: lesson plan (grade 2–3 English Language Arts and Information Skills)
By Joan Milliken.
Alternatives to the President Report
In Rethinking Reports, page 1.1
The "President Report" is a common assignment in social studies classes from second grade, where biography is first introduced, through high school U.S. History. You know what we mean: students are asked to pick a U.S. president and write a biographical...
By Melissa Thibault and David Walbert.
Election time database
After using various methods of researching information, students will create a database and use it to answer questions about the current election. At the conclusion, students will create a poster or PowerPoint presentation of their findings.
Format: lesson plan (grade 5 Computer/Technology Skills, Information Skills, and Social Studies)
By Lee Yahnker.
Map skills and transportation careers
In CareerStart lessons: Grade six, page 4.1
In this lesson for grades six and seven, students will create maps to assist their understanding of relative and exact location and will conduct research on transportation careers.
Format: lesson plan (grade 6–7 Social Studies)
By Mandy Matlock.
That was then, this is now
Students will explore various career topics and study technological changes over last 30 years.
Format: lesson plan (grade 9–12 Guidance)
By Cary Lane Cockrell.
Animal slide shows!
This project is a culmination of a science unit on animals which integrates computer skills, language arts and art. After a study of animals which includes classification, basic needs of animals, animal adaptations, and animal behaviors, the students will use the computer to complete a slide show of one animal they have studied at length.
Format: lesson plan (grade 4 Science)
By Margie Bartolomucci.
Now what? A President considers a career change
In Rethinking Reports, page 1.2
In this alternative to the dreaded "President Report," students write a resumé for an ex-president.
By Melissa Thibault and David Walbert.
Animal folktales: Legends, superheroes, and pourquoi tales
In Rethinking Reports, page 2.2
By writing a narrative about an animal rather than a traditional report, students can learn about literature, develop writing skills, and still fulfill science and research objectives.
By Melissa Thibault.
Teen job search
In CareerStart lessons: Grade eight, page 1.3
In this lesson plan, students research three jobs and draft a written response explaining how their skills and experiences have prepared them for those jobs.
Format: lesson plan (grade 8 English Language Arts and Guidance)
By Andrea Fedon, Gail Frank, and Cindy Neininger.
Tracing the Titanic tragedy
Students will learn about the Titanic disaster as a historical event by reading informative articles and books and by use of the Internet. They will then produce a database of passengers with information about them and use the database to analyze the information.
Format: lesson plan (grade 6–7 Information Skills and Social Studies)
By Elizabeth Harren.
Tour the United States
Students will combine classroom, library time, and computer lab time to research and construct knowledge about 49 U.S. states. (Students will not research their home state.) Students will use their new research knowledge and the resources provided to construct a presentation on their assigned state using PowerPoint or some other presentation program.
Format: lesson plan (grade 3 Information Skills and Social Studies)
By Karl Schaefer.
Analyzing Statistics S.S. Europe and Russia
Students will gather statistical information on countries in Europe and Russia from almanacs. The information will be recorded in a chart. Students will then take the information and make line or bar graphs. Students will analyze the information by answering higher level thinking questions.
Format: lesson plan (grade 6–7 Information Skills and Social Studies)
By J. Brown.
The Blue Ridge Parkway and North Carolina
In Driving through time: The digital Blue Ridge Parkway, page 2.3
This is the third lesson in the Competing Routes unit. In this lesson, students look more closely at the relationship between North Carolina and the Blue Ridge Parkway and determine areas of interest in this broad topic. The first two lessons were aimed at putting students on equal footing in terms of prior knowledge and primary source analysis skills to start their research. This lesson allows them to pursue areas of their own interest, locate resources independently, and create new knowledge with those resources. Students will continue to use primary sources and practice their historical analysis skills.
Format: lesson plan
By Katy Vance.
English Language Arts Methods: K-5 Model Lessons
In Preservice teacher education resources, page 1.3
Common Core State Standards Click here for more details on these standards. OBJECTIVE 1: Foundational Reading Skills Skills Covered: print concepts, phonological...
Format: article/teacher's guide
Citing sources
A guide for high school students to citing sources from print and the web.
Format: article
By Melissa Thibault.
Geometric measurement for middle grades
In this course you'll familiarize yourself with relevant research in teaching geometric measurement, such as the van Hiele framework. You'll also learn how to analyze student work to inform your instruction.
Format: article/online course