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

critical literacy
The ability to read texts in an active, reflective manner in order to better understand power, inequality, and injustice in human relationships.

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Map skills and higher-order thinking
This series of articles looks at map skills as a kind of visual literacy, considering what maps are, how they're made, and the higher-order thinking skills students need to move from simply decoding maps to fully comprehending them.
Format: series (multiple pages)
Reading images: an introduction to visual literacy
Images are all around us, and the ability to interpret them meaningfully is a vital skill for students to learn.
Format: article
By Melissa Thibault and David Walbert.
Map skills
In Map skills and higher-order thinking, page 1
It used to be a lot of work to make a map. Before computers, maps had to be meticulously drawn by hand, their grids and outlines relying on complicated pencil-and-paper calculations. Now, you can download map data from the U.S. Geologic Survey or the Census...
Format: article/best practice
By David Walbert.
Resources for looking at art
A guide to some of the best websites, activities, and print resources for building visual literacy through the study of art.
Format: article
By Melissa Thibault.
Reading maps: A process guide
In Map skills and higher-order thinking, page 15
In Educator's Guides: North Carolina Digital History, page 2.2
Maps, even contemporary ones, are basically primary sources that have to be analyzed and evaluated. This process guide for reading maps is based on Kathryn Walbert's model for approaching primary sources. I. Identification...
Format: worksheet/learner's guide
By David Walbert.
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)
Reading picture books
Two strategies for helping children understand a story through illustrations.
Format: article
By Melissa Thibault.
Believe it or not! Reporting on amazing animals
In Rethinking Reports, page 2.3
A visual and oral presentation of an "animal report" can engage students' interest and develop their artistic and visual literacy skills.
By Melissa Thibault.
A picture is worth a thousand words
An example of how a single image can provoke discussions at all levels of Bloom's Taxonomy.
By Bobby Hobgood, Ed.D. and David Walbert.
Photo comparison: Focus on geography
A worksheet for students to use when comparing photographs, focusing on information about the population of the region in which they were taken.
Format: worksheet
By Eric Eaton.
Deafness, language, and literacy
Through expert interviews and classroom footage, this video discusses the role deafness plays in a student’s development of language, and how this affects the way a deaf student may write and speak. Includes an explanation of visual phonics -- a tool that...
Format: video/video
Resources for teaching with photographs
Websites, activities, books, and image collections for classroom use.
Format: article
By Melissa Thibault.
Educator's Guides: North Carolina Digital History
Best practices, process guides, worksheets, and other resources for teaching with LEARN NC's digital textbook of North Carolina history.
Format: (multiple pages)
Photo analysis: Focus on carpet weaving
A worksheet for students to use when analyzing photographs of carpet weaving.
Format: worksheet
By Eric Eaton.
Deafness, language, and literacy
Through expert interviews and classroom footage, this video discusses the role deafness plays in a student’s development of language, and how this affects the way a deaf student may write and speak. Includes an explanation of visual phonics -- a tool that...
Format: video
Deafness, language, and literacy
Through expert interviews and classroom footage, this video discusses the role deafness plays in a student’s development of language, and how this affects the way a deaf student may write and speak. Includes an explanation of visual phonics -- a tool that...
Format: video
Photo analysis: Focus on world pottery traditions
A worksheet for students to use when analyzing photographs of pottery-making.
Format: worksheet
By Eric Eaton.
“ottos mops” by Ernst Jandl
This lesson is designed for students to enjoy a short amusing poem, as well as refine their knowledge of short “o” and long “o” sounds, and use higher order thinking skills to analyze who or what otto and mops are.
Format: lesson plan (grade 9–12 Second Languages)
By Helga Fasciano.
Photo analysis: Focus on climate
A worksheet for students to use when analyzing photographs for information about the climate of the region in which they were taken.
Format: worksheet
By Eric Eaton.
Photo analysis: Focus on population
A worksheet for students to use when analyzing photographs, focusing on information about the population of the region in which they were taken.
Format: worksheet
By Eric Eaton.