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.

A writing process
This edition presents a writing process through discussion, examples, and suggested resources to help teachers guide students through writing assignments.
Format: series (multiple pages)
The five features of effective writing
The five Features of Effective Writing — focus, organization, support and elaboration, style, and conventions — are a valuable tool for understanding good writing and organizing your writing instruction. By teaching these features, you can help your students become more effective writers in any genre, at any level, and make your writing instruction easier to manage at the same time. This series of articles, written with the support of the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, will show you how.
Format: series (multiple pages)
Writing for the Web
How teachers can more effectively communicate information and ideas via the World Wide Web, to students, parents, colleagues, administrators, and the world.
Format: series (multiple pages)
Writing for the web
In Writing for the Web, page 1
Why teachers need to think about how they communicate on the web.
By David Walbert.
Writing exemplars (high school)
Samples of varying levels of performance on different types of writing assignments by high school students, with comments based on the five Features of Effective Writing: focus, organization, support and elaboration, style, and conventions.
Format: tutorial
Teaching writing in the elementary classroom
In this course, participants will explore how to teach their students about the traits of good writing through mini-lessons and writing workshops, and how to use established criteria to evaluate writing.
Format: article/online course
Arts of persuasion
Strategies for teaching middle school students to think critically, analyze persuasive arguments, and use speaking and writing to persuade others.
Format: series (multiple pages)
Getting hooked: Introduction for a narrative
Students will be able to identify techniques for writing an introduction for a narrative and use them effectively.
Format: lesson plan (grade 2–4 English Language Arts)
By Leann Kelley.
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)
Word closet
Word Closets give students an additional classroom resource for “researching” the correct spelling of words to use in their daily writing. Word Closets are particularly focused toward concept words, season words, and favorite words that students like to use in their writing but may need help with spelling.
Format: lesson plan (grade 2–4 English Language Arts)
By DPI Writing Strategies.
Mumbling together
"Mumbling together" is a strategy students can use to edit their own writing and develop an ear for correct language. Students learn to proofread by reading their first drafts aloud to identify left-out words and other errors.
Format: lesson plan (grade 1–4 English Language Arts)
By DPI Writing Strategies.
Web Publishing & Collaboration Guide
LEARN NC works collaboratively with educators and other individuals from a variety of backgrounds to develop web-based resources for teachers and students. This manual guides educators through the process of developing content for publication on the web, including writing, design, technical guidelines, and copyright.
Format: book (multiple pages)
Habitat happenings
During this lesson students will demonstrate their understanding of what a habitat is through a creative writing assignment. The students will choose an animal to be and will describe themselves and their living environment.
Format: lesson plan (grade 1 English Language Arts)
By Kelly Stewart.
Grammar and editing
In CareerStart lessons: Grade six, page 1.4
In this lesson for grade six, students will learn about the conventions of grammar and will learn how to write and edit a business letter.
Format: lesson plan (grade 6 English Language Arts)
By Jennifer Brookshire and Julie McCann.
Identifying RAFT elements in writing prompts and assignments
Student will read writing prompts and practice identifying RAFT elements: role of writer, audience, writing format, and topic. This is the first lesson in a series of three based upon LEARN NC's 9th grade writing exemplars.
Format: lesson plan (grade 9 English Language Arts)
By Kim Bowen.
Solving problems, writing solutions
In CareerStart lessons: Grade six, page 1.5
In this lesson for grade 6, students consider problems in the workplace and follow writing prompts to craft solutions.
Format: lesson plan (grade 6–8 English Language Arts and Guidance)
By Jennifer Brookshire and Julie McCann.
Pre-writing planning guide
A graphic organizer to help students plan narrative writing. Includes space for author, audience, purpose, title, genre, time and place, narrator, point of view, plot, an illustrating image, comments, and questions.
Format: document/worksheet
Ongoing assessment strategies for writing
Making final assessment easier by helping students improve the quality of their writing along the way.
By Sherri Phillips Merrit.
Instructional writing
In Web Publishing & Collaboration Guide, page 1.5
Writing a lesson plan for other teachers to use isn't like writing one for yourself. When you write for the web, you're practicing instructional writing.
Format: article/help
Read it backwards
One editing technique that writers can use to help them catch their own spelling errors is "Read It Backwards." In this lesson, students will learn a procedure for identifying and correcting the spelling of misspelled words.
Format: lesson plan (grade 2–4 English Language Arts)
By DPI Writing Strategies.