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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Aerial view of Nevada and Vernal Falls in Yosemite National Park, CA
Aerial view of Nevada and Vernal Falls in Yosemite National Park, CA
Nevada and Vernal Falls seen aerially in Yosemite National Park, California. Nevada Falls (594 feet) appears at the top of the photo, and Vernal Falls (317 feet) appears at the bottom. Trails go to both waterfalls, but the one to Nevada Falls is more strenuous...
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Animal tracks in the dried mud in Death Valley, California
Animal tracks in the dried mud in Death Valley, California
Animal tracks in the dried mud in Death Valley, California. Occasional, brief rainstorms create a thin veneer of mud that later dries up into cracked plates, preserving the tracks of anything that walked on it when wet. Death Valley National Park is located...
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The arms of a windswept tree on Sentinel Dome, Yosemite National Park, CA.
The arms of a windswept tree on Sentinel Dome, Yosemite National Park, CA.
The arms of a windswept tree on Sentinel Dome, Yosemite National Park, CA. Its branches appear to embrace one another. Its limbs are weathered to a bleached silver and gold. Hikers on Sentinel Dome can enjoy a stunning 360 degree view of the mountain ranges...
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Awed visitors in Mariposa Grove, Yosemite National Park, CA
Awed visitors in Mariposa Grove, Yosemite National Park, CA
Visitors awed at giant sequoias in Mariposa Grove, Yosemite National Park, California. Mariposa Grove is home to hundreds of giant sequoias. While not the world's tallest tree, they are often considered for their sheer volume to be the largest living things...
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Awed visitors on the road in Mariposa Grove, Yosemite National Park, CA
Awed visitors on the road in Mariposa Grove, Yosemite National Park, CA
Visitors awed at giant sequoias in Mariposa Grove, Yosemite National Park, California. Mariposa Grove is home to hundreds of giant sequoias. While not the world's tallest trees, they are often considered by their sheer volume to be the largest living things...
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Bridalveil Fall from a distance, Yosemite National Park, CA
Bridalveil Fall from a distance, Yosemite National Park, CA
Bridalveil Fall in Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park, California. Bridalveil Fall plummets 620 feet from a deep cleft in the rock formations above its pool. It peaks in spring, when its flow is thundering, and the rest of the year, its flow is thinner,...
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Bridalveil Fall in Yosemite National Park, CA
Bridalveil Fall in Yosemite National Park, CA
Bridalveil Fall in Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park, California. Trees grow on the ridge above the fall and at a distance from the base of the fall, but the cliff on either side is bare and craggy. Bridalveil Fall plummets 620 feet from a deep cleft...
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A broken, orange ridge at Zabriskie Point in Death Valley, CA
A broken, orange ridge at Zabriskie Point in Death Valley, CA
The view from Zabriskie Point in Death Valley, California. A jagged stone mountain ridge zigzags across the landscape, lit sharply by afternoon sun. The stone is a rich, rust orange. Zabriskie Point is well-known for its outstanding views of the eroded valley...
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A cactus with rose-colored spines near Death Valley, CA
A cactus with rose-colored spines near Death Valley, CA
A cactus with rose-colored spines and green flesh near Death Valley, California. Though the surrounding Mojave Desert is rich with cacti and other succulent species, they are a fairly rare sight in Death Valley due to the extreme heat and salinity of much...
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California Gold Rush miners
California Gold Rush miners
Miners pose for a photo during the California Gold Rush at Auburn Ravine in 1852. The photo shows both white and Chinese miners.
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The cascading water of Nevada Falls, Yosemite National Park, CA
The cascading water of Nevada Falls, Yosemite National Park, CA
The cascading water of Nevada Falls in Yosemite National Park, California. Nevada Falls tumbles 594 feet down a rock face polished smooth by the violence of the water. It free-falls for almost half of that distance, and when the water strikes stone below,...
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Crumbling canyon on Artist's Drive in Death Valley, CA
Crumbling canyon on Artist's Drive in Death Valley, CA
Crumbling canyon on Artist's Drive in Death Valley, California. Visitors can take this 9-mile paved loop to see lovely volcanic and sedimentary rock hills. Artist's Drive is named for rich variation in the hue of its rocks, but its colors appeal even to the...
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Date Palms at Furnace Creek, Death Valley, CA
Date Palms at Furnace Creek, Death Valley, CA
A stand of Date Palms at Furnace Creek, Death Valley, California. Date Palms are a non-native species, and park rangers work to remove as many of the plants as possible, as they crowd out native flora and fauna. The palms are one of the less insidious invaders;...
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Dried mud formations at Death Valley National Park, CA
Dried mud formations at Death Valley National Park, CA
Dried mud formations in the dunes at Death Valley National Park, California. These patterns were formed when an ancient lake bed dried up and cracked. Animals will sometimes bury under the edge of the mud to create a cool burrow with a roof beneath the hot...
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Dry waterfall at Natural Bridge Canyon, Death Valley, CA
Dry waterfall at Natural Bridge Canyon, Death Valley, CA
A dry waterfall at Natural Bridge Canyon, Death Valley, California. The trail to the Natural Bridge is through a narrow canyon and ends here at the inactive, eroded track of a waterfall. Death Valley National Park is located east of the Sierra Nevada Mountain...
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El Capitan in Yosemite National Park, CA
El Capitan in Yosemite National Park, CA
El Capitan in Yosemite National Park, California. El Capitan is a 3,000 foot tall granite monolith. The name "El Capitan" is considered to be a loose Spanish translation of the original Native American name, meaning something close to "chief." The vertical...
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Evening at Salt Creek in Death Valley, CA
Evening at Salt Creek in Death Valley, CA
Evening falls at Salt Creek in Death Valley, California. Visitors can take a short half-mile walk down a boardwalk to view the stream. Late winter and early spring are the best times to spot wildlife near the creek. Salt Creek is home to more than one variety...
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The face of Half Dome against a late sky in Yosemite National Park, CA
The face of Half Dome against a late sky in Yosemite National Park, CA
The northwest face of Half Dome against a late sky in Yosemite National Park, California. The dome itself and the conifers in front of it are dark, and the sky behind the dome is pastel with the low light of late day. Half Dome is one of the park's most familiar...
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The Fissures at Taft Point in Yosemite National Park, CA
The Fissures at Taft Point in Yosemite National Park, CA
A gaping fissure at Taft Point in Yosemite National Park, California. Visitors must watch their step around the fissures on the dome, but they will be rewarded with spectacular 360 degree views at the top. Yosemite National Park was one of the earliest national...
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Four jutting cliffs in Yosemite National Park, CA
Four jutting cliffs in Yosemite National Park, CA
Four jutting cliffs in Yosemite National Park, California. The cliffs are grooved and pitted by the elements, and some low vegetation strives to take root in these divots. Yosemite National Park was one of the earliest national parks. Formed in 1890, it was...
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