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.

From the education reference

scientific method
Research method using experiments and physical evidence to answer questions about the natural world.

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The learning cycle
A three-part model of scientific inquiry that encourages students to develop their own understanding of a scientific concept, explore and deepen that understanding, and then apply the concept to new situations.
Format: article/best practice
By David Walbert.
Why inquiry?
The rationale for using discovery learning methods in teaching science.
Philosophy 101 for educators
In Philosophy resources for educators, page 1.2
This page provides a basic introduction to key philosophical concepts.
Format: bibliography
Earthquakes: Causes and effects
This is a lesson plan designed to stimulate student interest in the forces of nature. The lessons culminate in a hands-on learning experience about earthquakes.
Format: lesson plan (grade 6 Science)
By Tom Weakland.
What do you see? (pre-visit)
This lesson introduces students to the importance of making accurate, detailed scientific observations, and the value of learning about others' views and perspectives regarding a specific topic or event. It also serves as an activity to prepare students for a visit to the Ackland Art Museum in Chapel Hill, NC (or any museum, real or virtual). This lesson is the first of three lessons that build upon each other, using the Ackland Art Museum as the focus.
Format: lesson plan (grade 8 Visual Arts Education)
By Reagan West.
Zone of proximal development
This article explores the history and theory of the concept of the zone of proximal development and discusses its application in the classroom.
Format: article
By Heather Coffey.
Bringing current science into the classroom
In Bringing current science into the classroom, page 1
How your students can experience current environmental research without leaving the classroom.
Format: article/best practice
By Michele Kloda and Dana Haine.
Mother Goose in use: Rhymes that teach
This collection of kindergarten lesson plans uses classic nursery rhymes to teach curriculum objectives in math, English language arts, science, and healthful living.
Format: (multiple pages)
Suggestions for teachers
This curriculum contains a great deal of information about North Carolina processes that are at work throughout the state and beyond. For that reason, the specific context of the Outer Banks is a setting through which you may facilitate conceptual understandings...
Format: article/teacher's guide
By Stanley R. Riggs, Dorothea Ames, and Karen Dawkins.
Investigative science for middle school teachers
The online course "Investigative Science for Middle School Teachers" requires participants to think about the scientific process and how it applies to teaching science in the middle school classroom.
Format: article/online course
Letting students ask the questions — and answer them
For this high school science teacher, learning science means doing science. A look at an inquiry-based earth and environmental science classroom.
Format: article/best practice
By Amy Anderson.
It's in the garbage
In Intrigue of the Past, page 1.9
In studying archaeological concepts, students will analyze garbage from different places demonstrate competence in applying the concepts of culture, context, classification, observation and inference, chronology and scientific inquiry.
Format: lesson plan (grade 3–5 English Language Arts and Social Studies)
LEARN NC lesson plans
In Philosophy resources for educators, page 3.4
This page provides links to LEARN NC middle school lesson plans that may be altered to include philosophical elements.
Format: bibliography
Energy: Concepts and careers
In CareerStart lessons: Grade six, page 3.9
In this lesson for grade 6, students will analyze the law of conservation of energy and will apply energy concepts to skateboarding. Students will also explore careers related to energy.
Format: lesson plan (grade 7 Science)
By April Galloway and Christine Scott.
What do you see? (post-visit)
In this lesson, students will use observations and reflections made while visiting the Ackland Art Museum to draw conclusions about interpreting artwork (and other works/events), make quality scientific observations, and see how these concepts are related. Students will be reproducing artwork they viewed at the museum, sharing their personal interpretations of various works, and analyzing how the presentation of information (in any situation) can influence our interpretations of a work or event. This lesson is the final lesson in the series of lessons, "What Do YOU See?", which uses the Ackland Art Museum as a resource.
Format: lesson plan (grade 8 Visual Arts Education)
By Reagan West.
What is heat? — Heat vs. temperature
In Why does chemistry matter in my life?, page 5
In this lesson plan, students engage in hands-on activities to gain an understanding ofthe difference between heat and temperature, as well as the specific heat of different substances.
Format: lesson plan (grade 9–12 English Language Arts and Science)
By Lisa Hibler.
Albert Einstein
In The Walking Classroom, page 7
In this lesson for fifth grade language arts and science, students listen to a podcast about Albert Einstein and discuss his life and contributions to science.
Format: lesson plan
Stone Mountain State Park
This park not only allows enjoying the beauty of the area but also provides instruction in basic geologic concepts.
Format: article/field trip opportunity
Intrigue of the Past
Lesson plans and essays for teachers and students explore North Carolina's past before European contact. Designed for grades four through eight, the web edition of this book covers fundamental concepts, processes, and issues of archaeology, and describes the peoples and cultures of the Paleoindian, Archaic, Woodland, and Mississippian periods.
Format: book (multiple pages)
Discovery learning
This reference article explains the theory of discovery learning and discusses its history and its use in the classroom.
Format: article
By Heather Coffey.