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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African American English
In this activity, students learn about the history of African American English and the meaning of dialect and linguistic patterns. Students watch a video about African American English and analyze the dialect's linguistic patterns.
Format: lesson plan (grade 8 Social Studies)
By Hannah Askin.
Around the world, a multicultural unit
The students will listen to stories from different cultures. They will participate in directed discussion, followed by a related art activity.
Format: lesson plan (grade K–1 English Language Arts, Guidance, Healthful Living, and Social Studies)
By Judy Cliver.
Art reflects culture or culture reflects art?
This lesson provides social studies teachers with an opportunity to collaborate with visual arts teachers to create an interdisciplinary learning environment for students to study two works of art. It allows students to learn about two different time periods and cultures through art.
Format: lesson plan (grade 9–12 Visual Arts Education and Social Studies)
By Amanda Keller.
Birds of a feather, an interdisciplinary unit: Language Arts wing
This lesson, which features Mark Twain's “Jim Baker's Blue-jay Yarn,” is part of an interdisciplinary unit on birds that contains math/science and language arts components. In the language arts wing, students will explore dialects and personification through this very entertaining tall tale full of the antics of talking blue-jays.
Format: lesson plan (grade 7 English Language Arts and English Language Development)
By Janet Fore.
Connecting folktales and culture in North Carolina and beyond
Students will explore connections to North Carolina culture as they engage in reading and analyzing three folktales of North Carolina Literary Festival author, William Hooks. After comparing these stories to other versions of the traditional tales, students will become authors and storytellers themselves as they rewrite a tale from a new cultural point of view. Opportunities are also included to extend this study to world cultures and folktales.
Format: lesson plan (grade 3–5 English Language Arts and Social Studies)
By Jeanne Munoz.
The Craft Revival and economic change
In this lesson plan, originally published on the Craft Revival website, students will interpret photographs and artifacts as representations of western North Carolina’s economy at the turn of the century. They will also analyze historical census data and produce a visual web that will represent the changing nature of the economy of western North Carolina.
Format: lesson plan (grade 8–12 Social Studies)
By Patrick Velde.
Culture everywhere
In Intrigue of the Past, page 1.3
In their study of culture, students will use a chart to show the different ways that cultures meet basic human needs and recognize that archaeologists study how people from past cultures met basic needs by analyzing and interpreting the artifacts and sites that they left behind.
Format: lesson plan (grade 4 and 8 English Language Arts and Social Studies)
Dynamic dialect: Horace Kephart and Our Southern Highlanders
Students will read an excerpt from Horace Kephart's Our Southern Highlanders and explore how language and dialect have changed over the years.
Format: lesson plan (grade 8–10 English Language Arts)
By Billie Clemens.
Students will learn North Carolina folklore, traditions, war activities, local legends, superstitions, food preparation traditions, art, songs and dances which are unique to the area.
Format: lesson plan (grade 8 Social Studies)
By Carolyn Early.
Formulating questions to meet information needs of ELL students
This is a multi-activity lesson plan to teach the concept of asking engaging, researchable questions prior to reading. This leads to effective inquiries during project or research work in any content area. Using engaging questions creates a sense of connectedness by linking academic contents with students' personal concerns. The lesson is primarily designed for English language learners although it can be adapted for mainstream students. This lesson can also be modified for use with grades 4-8.
Format: lesson plan (grade 3–5 English Language Development, Information Skills, and Social Studies)
By Deborah Wilkes, Kristi Triplett, and Karen Waller.
Graphic organizer: From Caledonia to Carolina
Graphic organizer designed to aid students' comprehension as they read an article about the immigration of Highland Scots to North Carolina in the colonial era.
Format: chart/lesson plan (grade 8 Social Studies)
By Pauline S. Johnson.
Home is where the hearth is: Using photographs to discuss traditional family roles
In this lesson students will examine pictures of hearths (fireplaces), which used to be the cornerstone of the home and family life. These images, from the Built Heritage Collection at North Carolina State University, will help students use observation skills and inference to draw conclusions about the culture of family life at various points throughout the history of North Carolina and the United States.
Format: lesson plan (grade 8 Social Studies)
By Loretta Wilson.
In the spirit of... (museum pre-visit)
This is an integrated unit that focuses on masks in cultures as reflections of individual spirits. In this pre-visit lesson, students will explore the cultures of the Western Hemisphere.
Format: lesson plan (grade 5–6 Visual Arts Education and Social Studies)
By Shannon Kelly.
It's in the garbage
In Intrigue of the Past, page 1.9
In studying archaeological concepts, students will analyze garbage from different places demonstrate competence in applying the concepts of culture, context, classification, observation and inference, chronology and scientific inquiry.
Format: lesson plan (grade 3–5 English Language Arts and Social Studies)
Language change in North Carolina's cities
In this activity, students view a video about the changing dialects of North Carolina's urban areas and then respond to a series of questions.
Format: lesson plan (grade 8 Social Studies)
By Hannah Askin.
A living timeline of civil rights
This fifth grade lesson plan is one piece of a civil rights unit. This particular lesson is an opportunity for students to demonstrate knowledge of a specific person or event that occurred during the civil rights movement. The students will share their research with others as they take on the role of a museum artifact.
Format: lesson plan (grade 5 Social Studies)
By Laurie Lietz.
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.
North Carolina American Indian stories
In this lesson students will select and read stories from some of the North Carolina American Indian tribes. They will compare and contrast two stories of their choice and complete a Venn diagram. Students will use the information on the Venn diagram to write three paragraphs. After reading several American Indian tales or legends, students will then create their own legend using the narrative writing process.
Format: lesson plan (grade 4 English Language Arts and Social Studies)
By Janice Gardner.
North Carolina Cherokee Indians: The Trail of Tears
In this two week unit, students will study the Cherokee by participating in literature circles, learning about Native American story telling, writing a letter to Andrew Jackson to protest against the Creek War, and more.
Format: lesson plan (grade 4–5 English Language Arts and Social Studies)
By Gina Golden.
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.