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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Old Hat, New Hat: 3-D Pattern Hats
After students read Old Hat, New Hat by Jan and Stan Berenstain, they create their own new 3-D hats.
Format: lesson plan (grade 1 Visual Arts Education)
By Lisa Mitchell.
The Grouchy Ladybug
Students will learn the meaning of illustration, will be introduced to a famous illustrator and will create an illustration based on the style of this particular artist.
Format: lesson plan (grade K–1 Visual Arts Education)
By Jean Caldwell.
Alphabet hunt
Students will find images in our environment which contain letters of the alphabet (either man made or natural) and photograph them so that they appear as the focal point.
Format: lesson plan (grade 3–5 Visual Arts Education)
By Lee Anne Kitzmiller.
Animal movements
Students will move like the animal they hear described in the music.
Format: lesson plan (grade K Dance Arts Education and Music Education)
By Jo James.
Art detectives
Students will look at a variety of artworks and explain what tool or medium was used to create them.
Format: lesson plan (grade K–3 Visual Arts Education)
By Kathy Greene.
Artful boomerangs
Students will review three different types of boomerang shapes, use stencils to draw and cut out these shapes, and use various art materials and mediums to design their surfaces.
Format: lesson plan (grade 6 Visual Arts Education)
By Susan Wittig.
An artistic view of outer space
This is an art lesson easily integrated by art specialists or classroom teachers into any thematic unit that involves space, the solar system, or science fiction and is adaptable for students in grades 2 through 6. It incorporates the use of art materials such as oil pastels and compasses and the design concepts of shape and balance in a composition as well as providing the students with a fun and creative way to explore areas of geometry and science. This lesson is especially useful for classroom teachers who are aware of how art, when integrated into the classroom curriculum, can help students with different learning styles explore a variety of subjects in a way that will help them maximize the learning experience.
Format: lesson plan (grade 3–4 Visual Arts Education)
By Karen Canfield.
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)
Becoming one with clay: Pinch pots
This lesson will provide students with an initial, successful experience with clay. They will begin with a small, palm-size piece of soft clay, mold it into a ball, and then create a small rounded pot.
Format: lesson plan (grade 6 Visual Arts Education)
By Renee Miller.
Two units of biomusicology instruction for grades 2–3 and 4–5. Your students will be fascinated by these lessons that cover the miracles of animal communication, the mechanics of sound, and their connections to the field of music.
Format: lesson plan (multiple pages)
Butterfly cycle
Students will understand the life cycle of the butterfly and create various art activities that would model metamorphosis.
Format: lesson plan (grade 1–2 Visual Arts Education, English Language Arts, and Science)
By Becky Woolard.
Butterfly metamorphosis
This is an integrated lesson which is introduced using the book The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. Butterfly metamorphosis is explored through art, math, and writing.
Format: lesson plan (grade 1–2 Visual Arts Education, English Language Arts, and Science)
By Laura Byers.
Calico watercolor cats
This two-class lesson focuses on students learning how to draw a cat using geometric shapes, learning and applying wet-on-wet technique of watercolor painting, and using crayon to create area surrounding cats. The final art product will be a mixed media painting of one cat and one kitten in an indoor or outdoor environment.
Format: lesson plan (grade 1 Visual Arts Education and English Language Development)
By Barbara Zimmerman and Heidi Summers.
Call and response singing
This lesson is a study of call and response singing, especially as it relates to African-American spirituals.
Format: lesson plan (grade 3–4 Music Education)
By Melody Moore.
Change in a democratic society (Lesson 1 of 3)
This lesson will demonstrate how art can imitate society. Students will learn about democracy in America through an examination of and a Paideia seminar on "The Sword of Damocles," an oil painting by British painter Richard Westall. This lesson should be used after a study of colonial times in America and through the American Revolution.
Format: lesson plan (grade 8–12 Social Studies)
By Sharyn West.
Changes in a democratic society (Lesson 2 of 3)
This lesson is the post-seminar activity to follow Changes in a Democratic Society, Lesson 1. Students will participate in tiered assignments reflecting on the Westall painting, "The Sword of Damocles," and the prior day's Paideia seminar on that painting.
Format: lesson plan (grade 8–12 Social Studies)
By Sharyn West.
Changes in a democratic society (Lesson 3 of 3)
This lesson is a follow-up to Changes in a Democratic Society, Lessons 1 and 2. Students will reflect upon and respond to a sculpture by Auguste Rodin, "Monument for the Defense of Paris." Permission has been granted by Ackland Art Museum to use the following sculptures: "Monument for the Defense of Paris" (Auguste Rodin) and "Wisdom Supporting Liberty" (Aime-Jules Dalou).
Format: lesson plan (grade 8–12 Social Studies)
By Karen Wagoner.
Clown portrait
Students will create a clown portrait using tempera paint, oil pastels, and collage. They will look at prints of clowns from famous artists
You can even dress as a clown if you wish.
Format: lesson plan (grade 2 Visual Arts Education)
By Michelle Harris.
Collaging symmetry
Students will create a symmetrical artwork with construction paper, glue, and yarn. This lesson will allow students to use critical thinking to create an original work. They should learn that there is more than one solution to a creative problem.
Format: lesson plan (grade 2 Visual Arts Education)
By Marion McClure.
Color mixing
Students are introduced to the basic steps in mixing secondary colors from primary colors of paint.
Format: lesson plan (grade 1 Visual Arts Education)
By Gwen Auman.