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.

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Asian action I: Character details
Students will use drawing and writing to study characters in Asian art, focusing on the potential stories hinted at by the many details depicted in the art examples. This lesson draws on the richly detailed and expressive human and animal characters depicted in the arts of Asia. Is there a reason why Durga has so many arms? What about Ganesha and that elephant head?
Format: lesson plan (grade 2 Visual Arts Education, Information Skills, and Social Studies)
Beyond the headlines: Kyrgyzstan
In this lesson, students research the recent history of the former Soviet republic of Kyrgyzstan and explore its strategic significance for world powers.
Format: lesson plan (grade 9–12 Social Studies)
By Jacqueline Olich.
Bounce into rubber: Natural latex from Thailand
This lesson for grade nine investigates natural latex rubber sources from Thailand. Students complete research and experiments to determine which plants from Thailand are sources of latex, and explore images and audio recordings of rubber harvesting in Thailand.
Format: lesson plan (grade 7 and 9 Science and Social Studies)
By Robin Bartoletti.
A child's day: Cambodia
In this lesson plan, students listen to audio recordings from Cambodia and discuss what life may be like for the children heard in the recordings. Students discuss topics including school, cross-cultural similarities, and child labor.
Format: lesson plan (grade 7 Social Studies)
By Kristin Post.
A child's day: Vietnam
In this lesson plan, students listen to audio recordings from Vietnam and discuss what life may be like for the children heard in the recordings. Students discuss topics including school, cross-cultural similarities, and child labor.
Format: lesson plan (grade 7 Social Studies)
By Kristin Post.
China's ancient engineers
In CareerStart lessons: Grade seven, page 4.6
In this lesson for grade seven, students will learn about some of the inventions of ancient China, and will discuss the kinds of engineering skills required to produce them.
Format: lesson plan (grade 6–7 Social Studies)
By Meredith Ebert.Adapted by Kenyatta Bennett and Sonya Rexrode.
Describing Japanese screens and scrolls through images
The second part of a larger unit on talking and writing about, as well as creating, Japanese screen and scroll paintings. The purpose of this unit plan is to introduce descriptive aspects of art criticism, while teaching the art and culture of Japan. Students create illustrations of classmates' descriptions of Japanese screens or scrolls.
Format: lesson plan (grade 9–12 Visual Arts Education)
By Michelle Harrell.
Describing Japanese screens and scrolls through words
The first part of a unit on talking and writing about, as well as creating, Japanese screen and scroll paintings. The purpose of this unit plan is to introduce descriptive aspects of art criticism, while teaching appreciation for the art and culture of Japan. Students use observation and descriptive writing to discover richly detailed Japanese screen and scroll paintings so that another student can illustrate it in the next lesson.
Format: lesson plan (grade 9–10 Visual Arts Education and Social Studies)
By Michelle Harrell.
East Asian trading ships
Each student will work with a partner as an owner of an overseas shipping company with one cargo ship in East Asia. Students are given these instructions in the overview: In each Asian country that you travel to you will fill your cargo ship with items that you can buy from the list of exports. You will then try to sell these items when you travel to another country that is willing to import these commodities. The winner of the game is the company with the biggest profits at the end of the pretend 15 day time period. Good Luck!
Format: lesson plan (grade 7 Social Studies)
By Tami Kaiser Polge.
Ecotourism in South Asia
In CareerStart lessons: Grade seven, page 4.4
In this lesson for grade seven, students learn about ecotourism in Nepal and discuss its negative and positive aspects. Students conclude by making connections with tourism in the United States.
Format: lesson plan (grade 7 Social Studies)
By Kenyatta Bennett.Adapted by Sonya Rexrode and Mary B. Taylor.
Government "kooshball" debate
Students will be presented with a situation where they will have to list pros and cons of an Islamic government and a democratic government. The students will be assigned one side of the argument and will write statements that support their side to be used in a debate. This lesson should follow a study of Islamic government and culture.
Format: lesson plan (grade 7 Social Studies)
By Terry Philbeck.
I, the basket: Writing a first-person story as an inanimate object
In this interdisciplinary lesson for grade seven, students explore the first-person point of view through children's literature and images of Nepal. Students exhibit their understanding of first-person narrative by writing a children's story from the perspective of an inanimate object.
Format: lesson plan (grade 6–7 English Language Arts, Information Skills, and Social Studies)
By Edie McDowell.
India's path to independence
This interdisciplinary plan includes the study of the effects of imperialism and India's struggle for independence through history texts, literary works, and online resources. Activities include a seminar, research, and a news broadcast. Although this unit is designed for integrated English II and World Civilizations, lessons can be adapted to other class structures.
Format: lesson plan (grade 9–10 English Language Arts and Social Studies)
By Marian Johnson.
Japanese tea ceremony: A critique for screens and scrolls
The last part of a larger unit on discussing and evaluating Japanese screen and scroll paintings as well as creating one. The purpose of this unit plan is to introduce descriptive aspects of art criticism while teaching them the art and culture of Japan. Students critique illustrations of classmates' descriptions of Japanese screens or scrolls.
Format: lesson plan (grade 9–12 Visual Arts Education)
By Michelle Harrell.
A magic carpet ride: Exploring carpet weaving in India
In this lesson, a photo analysis activity helps students learn about carpet weaving in India. Students discuss how this tradition compares to the weaving traditions of other cultures.
Format: lesson plan (grade 7 Visual Arts Education and Social Studies)
By Eric Eaton.
Modern China: The dam debate
In CareerStart lessons: Grade seven, page 4.7
In this lesson for grade seven, students learn about the Three Gorges Dam in China and the controversy surrounding its construction. Students will take on the roles of people whose lives may be affected by the dam, and will participate in a debate about it.
Format: lesson plan (grade 7 English Language Arts and Second Languages)
By Susan N. Carter-Hope and James Philippart.Adapted by Kenyatta Bennett, Meredith Ebert, and Sonya Rexrode.
The mountains of Nepal: Scientific investigations
This lesson introduces students to the mountain ecosystems of Nepal. Activities include a brainstorming activity, in which students think about ecosystems and biodiversity; a research activity, in which students use a variety of sources to gather information about the mountain ecosystems of Nepal; and a journal activity, in which students create journal entries based on the information gathered in their research.
Format: lesson plan (grade 5 and 7 Information Skills, Science, and Social Studies)
By Robin Bartoletti.
Of earth, water, and fire: World pottery traditions
In this lesson, a photo analysis activity helps students learn about pottery traditions from around the world. Students discuss how these traditions are similar to and different from one another.
Format: lesson plan (grade 6–8 Visual Arts Education and Social Studies)
By Eric Eaton.
Picturing Vietnam
This lesson plan is intended to introduce students to Vietnam’s geography, climate, culture, history, natural history, arts, economics, and government. Students will view a collection of documentary photographs and use these for making logical observations, drawing conclusions, and as a basis for creative writing.
Format: lesson plan (grade 7 English Language Arts, Information Skills, and Social Studies)
By Edie McDowell.
Regions of Nepal: A virtual trek
This lesson for grade seven helps students understand the connections between geography and culture. Students experience a virtual trek through the different regions of Nepal, conduct research about the ethnic groups living in each region, and maintain travel logs documenting what they've learned.
Format: lesson plan (grade 7 Social Studies)
By Edie McDowell.