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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Molly's Pilgrim Activity
Using the book by Barbara Cohen, students will respond to the social and historical significance of this portrayal of the Thanksgiving holiday. Students will also participate in constructing a Venn diagram and completing a cloze activity.
Format: lesson plan (grade 3–4 English Language Arts and Social Studies)
By Susan Milholland, Kathy Vaden, and Rita Wilson.
The Alphabet Tree
After reading The Alphabet Tree by Leo Lionni to students, the students will retell the events on a flow map. Then using Kid Pix software, each child will choose an event, illustrate it, and write a caption for it. The students will then put their events in order in a Kid Pix Slide Show they can present to the class.
Format: lesson plan (grade 1 English Language Arts)
By Jody Shaughnessy.
The Birchbark House
This study guide was created by a group of third grade enrichment students. They were planning to read this book but could find no published guide to go with it. They decided to create their own as they read.
Format: lesson plan (grade 3–4 English Language Arts)
By Carolyn Ridgway.
The Legend of the Blue Bonnet
Students will create their own version/retelling of The Legend of the Blue Bonnet by Tomie dePaola
Format: lesson plan (grade 2 English Language Arts)
By Shari Peacock.
The Red-eyed Tree Frog and PowerPoint
Students will read The Red-eyed Tree Frog by Joy Cowley then plan and put together a PowerPoint slideshow which retells the story.
Format: lesson plan (grade 2 Computer/Technology Skills, English Language Arts, Information Skills, and Science)
By Jody Shaughnessy.
The Sign of the Beaver real estate advertisement
Having read The Sign of the Beaver and the Sunday Real Estate section of the newspaper, create a slide show designed to sell Matt's cabin to buyers in early America.
Format: lesson plan (grade 3 English Language Arts and Social Studies)
By CarrieAnne Blocker.
Arctic animals
This is a whole language lesson for Speech Language Pathologists incorporating listening comprehension, categorizing, following verbal directions, and basic vocabulary and language concepts for First grade students.
Format: lesson plan (grade 1 English Language Arts and Science)
By Susan Ayers.
Jackie Robinson taught us more than baseball
After determining student knowledge about Jackie Robinson, the teacher/counselor reads "Teammates" by Peter Golenbock to fifth graders. The teacher/counselor then divides students into four groups to work cooperatively on questions. Groups select leaders and recorders and each group leader presents answers to the whole class. The teacher/counselor ends the activity with a question that individual students will respond to in writing.
Format: lesson plan (grade K–5 English Language Arts, Guidance, and Social Studies)
By Jan Huggins.
Little and big houses
Using the book Little House on the Prairie and international keypals, students will learn about similarities and differences among children at different times and in different places.
Format: lesson plan (grade 3 English Language Arts, Mathematics, and Social Studies)
By Karen Ester.
Novel study: Lucky Charms and Birthday Wishes
Although this is a unit developed for instruction in language arts, it has a curriculum focus for healthful living. The unit usually takes about 4–5 weeks to complete. A major piece of this unit focuses on identifying and listing characteristics of people.
Format: lesson plan (grade 3 English Language Arts)
By Michael Miller.
Splitting bears
Students will learn sequencing (beginning, middle, end) by using a bear pattern.
Format: lesson plan (grade 2 English Language Arts and Information Skills)
By Kendra Sisk.
Story shackles: Linking students to written text
Chain your students to reading a given text critically! Story Shackles is an imaginative and stimulating way for students to acquire the ability to retell events of a story or text, sequence the action or happenings in a story, or to simply summarize the plot, main ideas with supporting details, or general information of a story or text.
Format: lesson plan (grade 6–8 English Language Arts)
By Kim Rector.
Storytelling with Cherokee folktales
This is a two day lesson pertaining to telling Cherokee folktales. This lesson can be modified and used with any folktale.
Format: lesson plan (grade 4 English Language Arts and Social Studies)
By Ricky Hamilton.
"Twas the Night Before Christmas": Retelling through thinking maps
After reading and discussing “Twas the Night Before Christmas,” students will work together to create a Flow Map. Each student will then use the map they created individually to retell the story in his/her own words.
Format: lesson plan (grade 2 English Language Arts)
By Amy Rhyne, Paulette Keys, and Sarah Carson.
Which word is it?
Students will determine the meaning of unfamiliar vocabulary words using Context Clues, a dictionary, and structural analysis within a game format.
Format: lesson plan (grade 6–8 English Language Arts)
By Donna Harkey.
Wolves: Comprehending informational texts
This integrated plan uses non-fiction text and wolves to motivate students with language arts and science. Students will read a nonfiction text and use metacognitive skills of guided reading and KWHL chart to monitor comprehension and extend vocabulary.
Format: lesson plan (grade 5 English Language Arts)
By Amy Vance.

Resources on the web

Building reading comprehension through think-alouds
In this lesson from ReadWriteThink, the teacher will model the think-aloud strategy for students. Studies have shown that the think-aloud strategy improves reading comprehension on tests. Components of think-alouds and type-of-text interactions will be... (Learn more)
Format: lesson plan (grade 6–8 English Language Arts)
Provided by: ReadWriteThink
Charting characters for a more complete understanding of the story
This ReadWriteThink lesson introduces the instructional strategy of Character Perspective Charting. This method is designed to reflect the actual complexity of stories that may not be reflected by the use of traditional story maps. A practical instructional... (Learn more)
Format: lesson plan (grade 3–5 English Language Arts)
Provided by: ReadWriteThink
Demonstrating comprehension through journal writing
In this lesson, from ReadWriteThink, students demonstrate comprehension by responding to open-ended questions based on the 1939 Newbery Honor chapter book, Mr. Popper's Penguins. Students draw from the text and their personal experiences to... (Learn more)
Format: lesson plan (grade 3–5 English Language Arts)
Provided by: ReadWriteThink
Graphing plot and character in a novel
Students graphically illustrate events in the plot of the story, The Watsons Go to Birmingham—1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis in this lesson that analyzes sequences of events. The teacher introduces this lesson with... (Learn more)
Format: lesson plan (grade 3–5 English Language Arts)
Provided by: ReadWriteThink