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.

Coastal processes and conflicts: North Carolina's Outer Banks
The lessons in this unit allow students to explore the processes affecting North Carolina's Outer Banks and the impact these processes have on daily life there.
Format: lesson plan (multiple pages)
Science News
Science doesn't happen in textbooks! This selection of websites give you a look at what's going on in the world of science right now, and how it's changing our world.
Format: bibliography/help
Two units of biomusicology instruction for grades 2–3 and 4–5. Your students will be fascinated by these lessons that cover the miracles of animal communication, the mechanics of sound, and their connections to the field of music.
Format: lesson plan (multiple pages)
Why inquiry?
The rationale for using discovery learning methods in teaching science.
Invention convention
In this integrated unit, students will draw upon language arts, science, and math while inventing a magnetic or electric product. The lessons in this unit provide accommodations for English Language Learners at a variety of developmental levels.
Format: lesson plan (multiple pages)
Science Fun for Everyone
No need to go anywhere, Science Fun for Everyone will come to your classroom with hands-on, science-related experiments that make learning fun!
Format: article/field trip opportunity
On track learning: Safety through technology and design
This unit is an eighth grade curriculum that integrates 4-H topics with science and math. Using the theme of safety and NASCAR racing, the overall objective is for students to design a car that will protect its passenger from injury.
Format: lesson plan (multiple pages)
Bringing current science into the classroom
Activities for middle and high school on groundwater, water quality, and environmental stewardship have students exploring current environmental research without leaving the classroom.
Format: series (multiple pages)
Tackling misconceptions in physical science for middle grades
Tackling Misconceptions in Grades 6-8 Physical Science is designed to provide physical science content information and resources for the practicing middle school teacher while also focusing on recommended national and state curriculum objectives.
Format: article/online course
Integrating Chemistry and Algebra II
This unit links chemistry concepts to algebra II skills. Students will use systems of equations to solve problems and matrices to balance chemical reactions.
Format: lesson plan (multiple pages)
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)
Critical thinking in science
This unit of inquiry-based lessons teaches eighth-grade students to utilize and develop critical thinking skills. Students will create testable questions; design and perform experiments; collect, organize, and analyze data; and use these results to decide on the next step in the scientific process.
Format: lesson plan (multiple pages)
DESTINY Traveling Science Learning Program
The DESTINY (Delivering Edge-Cutting Science Technology and Internet Across North Carolina for Years to Come) Traveling Science Learning Program is Morehead Planetarium and Science Center’s formal science education initiative serving pre-college teachers and students across North Carolina.
Format: article/field trip opportunity
Why does chemistry matter in my life?
This series of high school chemistry lesson plans addresses questions about the relevance of chemistry in everyday life.
Format: lesson plan (multiple pages)
Work, power, and machines
In this unit for high school physics and physical science, students explore simple machines, and the concepts of work, power, and mechanical advantage.
Format: lesson plan (multiple pages)
The Earth and Sun: Investigations for the third grade
In this set of lessons for a third-grade curriculum unit on the Earth and Sun, students progress from observing the Sun's path through the daytime sky to understanding that the Sun's apparent motion is actually a result of Earth's rotation about an axis.
Format: lesson plan (multiple pages)
Design technology: Children's engineering
This unit includes design technology projects linked to major themes in engineering. All the lessons and activities support national and state standards. They include materials lists, procedures, student data sheets, and assessment strategies. The lessons vary in grade level and can be modified up or down.
Format: lesson plan (multiple pages)
Sea Grant North Carolina
With a variety of research and outreach programs, this organization provides several educational opportunities for marine science educators including workshops, marine science and environmental education curriculum development, research opportunities and grants, and field trips.
Format: article/field trip opportunity
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
Restoring the American chestnut
A blight devastated American chestnut trees in the early 1900s. In this unit students will study how biotechnology is being used to develop a blight-resistant tree. They will engage in hands-on activities to apply their knowledge of DNA and genetics to simulate the steps needed to find the genes for resistance and insert them into an American chestnut tree. Lessons are designed to be used for any level of biology and do not require high-tech equipment.
Format: lesson plan (multiple pages)