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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Resources tagged with civics are also tagged with these keywords. Select one to narrow your search or to find interdisciplinary resources.

1869: A report on schools in North Carolina
In this lesson, students look at a report on the status of education in North Carolina in 1869 and discuss the reasons given then for why the Governor and Legislature should support educating North Carolina's children. They are provided an opportunity to compare and contrast the 1869 document against their own ideas about the civic duty to attend school through age sixteen and its relative value to the state and the country.
Format: lesson plan (grade 9–12 English Language Arts and Social Studies)
By Victoria Schaefer.
The Bill of Rights and the U.S. Supreme Court
In this lesson, students work in groups and individually to understand how the Constitution/Bill of Rights is a living document and how Supreme Court decisions protect the rights of all Americans.
Format: lesson plan (grade 9–10 Social Studies)
By Grace Wasserman.
Branching out into politics: The structure of federal and state government
In CareerStart lessons: Grade eight, page 6.4
In this lesson plan for grade eight, students learn how the three branches of the U.S. government work together to accomplish their goals at the federal and state level.
Format: lesson plan
By Andrea Stewart, Keisha Gabriel, and Patty Grant.
Canning for country and community
In this lesson plan, students will use primary source documents to evaluate the technological challenges of food preservation in the 30s and 40s, compare food preservation in the first half of the twentieth century with today, and consider the political role of food in the community.
Format: lesson plan (grade 9–12 English Language Arts and Social Studies)
By Melissa Thibault.
The Declaration of Independence
In Where English and history meet: A collaboration guide, page 5
In this interdisciplinary lesson, students will examine the role of the Declaration of Independence in the development of the American Revolution and as part of the American identity. They will also analyze the argumentative structure and write their own declaration.
Format: lesson plan (grade 9–10 English Language Arts and Social Studies)
By Karen Cobb Carroll, Ph.D., NBCT.
Does my vote count? Teaching the electoral college
In Election 2008, page 4.4
Students will learn about the electoral process and its history through reading, research, and discussion. They will then convene a constitutional convention to debate altering this process.
Format: lesson plan (grade 10 English Language Arts and Social Studies)
By David Walbert.
A dying industry
In this lesson, students learn how tariffs protect certain domestic industries and consider the impact of that protection from a variety of perspectives.
Format: lesson plan (grade 9–10 Social Studies)
By Susan Taylor.
Educating leaders for tomorrow
The intent of this lesson is to demonstrate the need for (student) citizens to assume learning and leading roles and behaviors that will better ensure a successful future.
Format: lesson plan (grade 2–3 Social Studies)
By David Newsome.
The five parts of the Fifth
This lesson will focus on the Fifth Amendment of the US Constitution and its intent to provide due process to citizens. Students will engage in writing, discussion, cooperative learning, art, and theatrical activities in gaining an understanding of the Amendment and its concepts.
Format: lesson plan (grade 8–10 Social Studies)
By Keith Leary.
Goodbye, Bill Of Rights!
Students will enact a scene demonstrating life without one of the first ten amendments. Students will be put into groups of three or four and assigned a specific amendment to research.
Format: lesson plan (grade 8–10 Social Studies)
By Greg Simmons.
"I Declare, I believe this document May Flower!"
The learner will apply ideas of self-government as expressed in America's founding documents. To be used with/for SLD and other exceptional students.
Format: lesson plan (grade 8–10 English Language Arts)
By Gary Peterson.
Introducing students to environmental justice: A North Carolina case study
This lesson plan for science and social studies uses the 5E model to have students consider an environmental justice case study.
Format: lesson plan (grade 8–12 Science and Social Studies)
By Dana Haine.
Is China to blame?
In this lesson, students participate in a Paideia seminar about North Carolina's dwindling furniture industry.
Format: lesson plan (grade 9–10 Social Studies)
By Susan Taylor.
Safeguarding the Bill of Rights
In CareerStart lessons: Grade eight, page 6.5
In this lesson plan for grade eight, students read about the Bill of Rights and assess how people in various professions work to maintain those rights.
Format: lesson plan
By Andrea Stewart, Keisha Gabriel, and Patty Grant.
Send me to Congress
Students learn about the qualifications for and job descriptions of members of the U.S.Senate or the U.S.House of Representatives by designing and creating a campaign brochure. Students apply their knowledge of these requirements by "selling" their candidate to the general public.
Format: lesson plan (grade 9–10 Social Studies)
By Tim Raines.
There's more out there than just Democrats and Republicans!
Students will use the internet to research minority political parties and interest groups. Students will create a PowerPoint presentation (or other type of presentation), write a paper, and create a commercial advertisement for their group using a propaganda technique.
Format: lesson plan (grade 9–10 Social Studies)
By Abby Stotsenberg.
Too many pets, too few homes
Students examine the problem of pet overpopulation both in the United States and in North Carolina. Students will learn about the importance of spaying and neutering in combating pet overpopulation.
Format: lesson plan (grade 3–4 Social Studies)
By Barbara Lapointe and Kathleen Johnson.
Truth or care? Saving Shiloh
The students will be able to explain the importance of responsible citizenship and identify ways they can participate in civic affairs after reading the novel Shiloh and completing research of their own on animal abuse. Through this research, they will be responsible for gathering facts to support their stances on the dilemma Marty faces when deciding whether to return Shiloh to his owner or secretly keep him in order for him to be safe. Students will have real-world experience when they create and are reponsible for caring for their own pet.
Format: lesson plan (grade 3–4 English Language Arts, English Language Development, Guidance, and Social Studies)
By Leah Shomaker and Mary Shomaker.

Resources on the web

American Experience
Over 75 features that accompany the PBS series The American Experience, that document people and events that shaped United States history. Find video, audio, maps, images, and other resources that explore Presidents, Biographies, War and Politics,... (Learn more)
Format: website/lesson plan
Provided by: PBS
The American Presidency: A Glorious Burden
Incorporates presidential artifacts with informative articles that address many common and uncommon aspects of the ever-changing American presidency. (Learn more)
Format: website/lesson plan
Provided by: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of American History