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

school choice
Legal structure allowing families and children to select a school other than the one assigned by their district. Schools of choice may be established by private firms or organized groups of families or educators; these groups receive public funding on a per-pupil basis.
word wall
An organized collection of words displayed on a classroom wall for easy student reference. Word walls help develop student vocabulary and support reading and writing.

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Synonym word bags
The purpose of Word Bags is to give students a resource for finding synonyms for overused words that they use in their writing on a daily basis. Students will fill Word Bags with synonyms for frequently used words.
Format: lesson plan (grade 3–4 English Language Arts)
By DPI Writing Strategies.
Diction in Maya Angelou's poem "Remembering"
The class will annotate and discuss Angelou's poem. Then they will select specific words and complete a webbing that asks them to explore the connotations of the word as well as consider the author's purpose in using it.
Format: lesson plan (grade 9–10 English Language Arts)
By Vickie Smith.
Digging in the dictionary
In this activity, students will learn to use an age-appropriate dictionary to find a word, write its definition, write a sentence using that word, and report their results to their classmates.
Format: lesson plan (grade 1 Information Skills)
By Mary Waldrup.
Here comes the circus
Boys and girls of all ages love the Circus. This is a lesson from an integrated unit. In this lesson, students will be introduced to the Kindergarten level words from the Dolch Word List.
Format: lesson plan (grade K English Language Arts)
By Penny Stafford.
Understanding vocabulary in their own terms
This lesson focuses on vocabulary development. Students will work together in small groups to identify at least three to four unknown vocabulary words in a given passage. Vocabulary meanings will be learned through contextual means, previous knowledge and dictionary use. Students will then find a relevant way to illustrate the meaning of the word so that others can understand easily.
Format: lesson plan (grade 4–5 English Language Arts)
By Christa Schneider.
Rest in peace, dead words!
“Dead words,” by my definition, are words students “use to death” in their writing samples. As Language Arts teachers, we can generate a list of such words a mile long. Examples would include: pretty, nice, bad, a lot, and good. This cooperative learning activity is designed to eliminate those repetitious words by providing students with a word bank/wall they can refer to when given a writing assignment.
Format: lesson plan (grade 7 English Language Arts)
By Cynthia Cook.
Lesson plans for teaching style
A collection of LEARN NC's lesson plans for teaching style, the fourth of the five features of effective writing.
Format: bibliography/help
Cross-checking: An early reading strategy
Beginning readers need to learn how to bring together two sources of information simultaneously. They have to think about what would make sense and think about letters/sounds; cross-checking. Most children prefer to do one or the other, but not both. Therefore, some children guess something that is sensible but ignore the visual (letter/sound) and others guess something which is close to the visual but makes no sense in the sentence. This activity will demonstrate how to cross check.
Format: lesson plan (grade 1 English Language Arts)
By Jane Kate Blackmon.
Spring cinquain poems
Students will review parts of speech by learning what a cinquain poem is and then writing and typing a Spring cinquain.
Format: lesson plan (grade 3 Computer/Technology Skills and English Language Arts)
By Jennifer Williams.
Discovering just the right word
Precise word choice helps show the reader a story and not just tell a story. The purpose of this series of lessons is to help students improve their writing style by strengthening word choice at the word and sentence level by adding adverbs, precise verbs, and specific nouns.
Format: lesson plan (grade 4 English Language Arts)
By DPI Writing Strategies.
Creating found poetry from picture books
Students select and read a picture book and afterwards create “found poetry” based on the picture book.
Format: lesson plan (grade 7 English Language Arts)
By Barbara Groome and Jo Peterson Gibbs.
Meanwhile...: Transition words that connect ideas
Students will identify transition words in picturebooks that they can use in their own writing. Transition words are the glue that holds sentences and paragraphs together. They signal that this is a new part of the story.
Format: lesson plan (grade 3–5 English Language Arts)
By DPI Writing Strategies.
Search for synonyms: A thesaurus lesson
Students will expand their vocabulary and learn the advantages of using a thesaurus. Students will edit and enrich personal writing samples using both print and online thesauri.
Format: lesson plan (grade 3–4 English Language Arts)
By Erin Bradfeldt and Joan Milliken.
"We the People"
Students will gain a better understanding of the U.S. Constitution by exploring the language of the Constitution.
Format: lesson plan (grade 8 English Language Arts and Social Studies)
By Karen Creech, Terri Hodges, Megan Lawson, and Mary Ostwalt.
Cause and effect
Students will identify and interpret cause and effect as expressed in poetry.
Format: lesson plan (grade 3–4 English Language Arts)
By Rochelle Mullis.
Be the sentence: An interactive language arts activity
Students take on the roles of different words and punctuation and work collaboratively to create a complete sentence using correct parts of speech, word order, and punctuation. Students progress from simple sentences to more complex sentences.
Format: lesson plan (grade 3–4 English Language Arts)
By DPI Writing Strategies.
Maya Angelou: Study and response to "Still I Rise"
Students read biographical information on Maya Angelou and her poem, "Still I Rise." Students identify support and elaboration in poem, then respond by either writing a letter to the author or his/her own poem in response.
Format: lesson plan (grade 7–8 English Language Arts)
By Barbara Groome and Jo Peterson Gibbs.
More vivid word choices: Said is dead
The students will expand their vocabulary and learn synonyms for overused words. By using the story Chicken Little by Stephen Kellogg, students will see how an acclaimed author uses many different words for "said."
Format: lesson plan (grade 2–4 English Language Arts)
By Linda Justice.
Collecting and organizing data
In this lesson students will learn to collect data and organize the data into a chart using computer technology.
Format: lesson plan (grade 3 Computer/Technology Skills, Information Skills, and Mathematics)
By Rochelle Mullis.
Let's become chefs!
The following is designed to teach students the characteristics of a recipe. The characteristics to be taught about this genre are: the step-by-step directions, ingredient words and numerical measures.
Format: lesson plan (grade 3–4 English Language Arts)
By Sarah Ann Parker.