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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Marketing careers: Working with scale drawings
In CareerStart lessons: Grade six, page 2.6
This activity for grade six combines math, art, and writing, as students create a scale drawing of a toy car and reflect on how math can be used in marketing careers.
Format: lesson plan (grade 6–7 Mathematics)
By Kim Abrams, Mike McDowell, and Barbara Strange.
Scale drawings
In CareerStart lessons: Grade seven, page 2.7
In this lesson for grade seven, students will use maps to measure the distances between cities in North Carolina. Students will write equations using the maps' scales to calculate the actual distances in miles.
Format: lesson plan (grade 7 Mathematics)
By Peggy Dickey and Barbara Turner.Adapted by Sharon Abell.
Interior design: Designing my dream room
Students will study interior design as a profession. They will integrate their study with math, writing, vocational education, and computer skills by designing their own dream bedroom.
Format: lesson plan (grade 6–8 Visual Arts Education and Mathematics)
By Paula Hightower.
Graphic designers: Working with scale
In CareerStart lessons: Grade eight, page 3.3
In this lesson, students will create a design on centimeter graph paper and enlarge it by creating a grid on a piece of poster board. Students will learn discuss the use of scale factor in the careers of graphic artists.
Format: lesson plan (grade 7–9 Mathematics)
By Valerie Davis, Sonya Rexrode, and Monika Vasili.
Zoo integrated unit
The unit uses the North Carolina Zoological Park as a teaching tool rather than as a nice place to visit. It can be used by a single teacher or multiple teachers of different subjects, and it is aimed at 7th and 8th graders.
Format: lesson plan (grade 6–8 English Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies)
By Craig Smith.
CareerStart lessons: Grade seven
This collection of lessons aligns the seventh grade curriculum in math, science, English language arts, and social studies with potential career opportunities.
Format: (multiple pages)
CareerStart lessons: Grade eight
This collection of lessons aligns the eighth grade curriculum in math, science, English language arts, and social studies with potential career opportunities.
Format: (multiple pages)
CareerStart lessons: Grade six
This collection of lessons aligns the sixth grade curriculum in math, science, English language arts, and social studies with potential career opportunities.
Format: (multiple pages)
Blue Ridge Parkway Travelogue
Students plan and develop a week-long trip along the Blue Ridge Parkway, from beginning to end. The virtual tour culminates in the creation of a travelogue that will outline the trip.
Format: lesson plan (grade 3–4 Social Studies)
By Rachel Elliott.
The little house out back: The architecture of an outhouse
In this lesson students will practice forming opinions and supporting them with facts by examining pictures of a North Carolina outhouse and an architectural plan of an outhouse. They will use their knowledge of history to draw conclusions about the conveniences available to people of different socio-economic groups in North Carolina.
Format: lesson plan (grade 8 Social Studies)
By Loretta Wilson.
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.
Decomposition in freshwater
This lesson includes hands-on activities to demonstrate the process of decomposition in a freshwater ecosystem. It also focuses on the importance of decomposition and its critical role in the food chain.
Format: lesson plan (grade 6 Science)
By Heather Lanier.
Eli Whitney and the cotton gin
In North Carolina in the New Nation, page 2.4
In 1794, inventor Eli Whitney patented his cotton gin, a machine for removing seeds from cotton. The invention made cotton production -- and with it, slave labor -- far more profitable, and it helped to cement the South's status as an agricultural region and a slave society.
Format: article
Where do the Lumbee live?
In Teaching about North Carolina American Indians, page 2.8
Introduction Knowing the location of a community, city, state or nation is important. More important, however, is understanding of the personality of the location. Robeson County, home of the Lumbee Tribe, is more than a North Carolina county that...
Format: lesson plan (grade 3–4 and 8 English Language Arts and Social Studies)
By Gazelia Carter.
Creating community in the classroom: Part 4 (rewarding improvement)
The fourth lesson in a series on improving classroom learning climate, this lesson provides an opportunity to evaluate student progress and to provide positive reinforcement for improvements in behavior. Using a one to ten continuum, students will subjectively evaluate class progress on the ten adjectives listed as class climate goals. After this process, students will publicly recognize those classmates who have helped the class improve or who have personally improved.
Format: lesson plan (grade K–8 Guidance)
By Pat Nystrom.
Let's get moving!
In this lesson, students explore supply chains through a mystery bag activity. This lesson is the first in a two-lesson unit. The lesson that follows is Turning back the wheel of time.
Format: lesson plan (grade 2–3 Social Studies)
By Diane Ireland.
Motor car and galimoto: An intercultural lesson in pragmatism, creativity, and perseverance
In this lesson for grade three, students read the book Galimoto, about a young boy in Malawi, Africa, and his quest to gather wire in order to make a toy car. Students discuss the literary elements of the book, study the language used, and complete their own quests to gather wire and create their own galimotos.
Format: lesson plan (grade 3–4 Visual Arts Education, English Language Arts, and Social Studies)
By Edie McDowell.

Resources on the web

Creating a two-dimensional blueprint
In this lesson, students draw a two-dimensional blueprint of their clubhouse using graph paper. They consider why architects use scale drawings and reflect on the challenging aspects of creating the floor plan. Illuminations provides detailed instructions... (Learn more)
Format: lesson plan (grade 2–4 Mathematics)
Provided by: Illuminations
Real Estate Tycoon
This year-long project from Illuminations is divided into three parts and reinforces skills that lay a foundation for algebra, such as measurement, fractions, decimals, percents, and proportions. Students design, “build,” and “sell”... (Learn more)
Format: lesson plan (grade 7 Mathematics)
Provided by: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics