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

All about life
A primary curriculum based around life and environmental science draws on children's natural curiosity to teach reading, math, and more.
Format: article
By Myra Erexson.
Bird watching made elementary
Observing and identifying birds can be a gateway to a variety of learning experiences. This primer will get you started birding.
By Linda Dow.
Discovery learning
This reference article explains the theory of discovery learning and discusses its history and its use in the classroom.
Format: article
By Heather Coffey.
From documents to digitization
To design a research project using primary sources from the Web, you'll need to know what's out there and how to find it. This article explains what's available, why, and where.
Format: article
By David Walbert.
Hands-on biology
Hands-on science exploration clarifies difficult concepts and engages learners who have difficulty in more traditional classrooms. This article looks at an inquiry-based classroom that meets the needs of all of its students.
Format: article/best practice
By Waverly Harrell.
Incorporating oral history into the K–12 curriculum
In Oral history in the classroom, page 3
Oral history techniques for use with students at all levels, from kindergarten through high school.
Format: article
By Kathryn Walbert.
The learning cycle
A three-part model of scientific inquiry that encourages students to develop their own understanding of a scientific concept, explore and deepen that understanding, and then apply the concept to new situations.
Format: article/best practice
By David Walbert.
Learning from a tree
Observation of a single tree throughout the year can be the starting point for explorations of nature, life science, and environmental science.
By Linda Dow.
Letting students ask the questions — and answer them
For this high school science teacher, learning science means doing science. A look at an inquiry-based earth and environmental science classroom.
Format: article/best practice
By Amy Anderson.
Making small groups work
In Math for multiple intelligences, page 2
For students to work effectively in small groups, a teacher needs not only to set rules but to build a sense of community and teamwork within the basic structure the rules provide.
Format: article
By Gretchen Buher.As told to David Walbert.
Math for multiple intelligences
In Math for multiple intelligences, page 1
How a middle-school math teacher realized she was boring and jump-started her career — and her students.
Format: article
By Gretchen Buher.
Math for multiple intelligences
How a middle-school math teacher realized she was boring and jump-started her career — and her students — by using thematic planning, emphasizing problem solving, and teaching to multiple intelligences.
Format: series (multiple pages)
Meaningful mathematics: using balances for problem solving
Using balances to represent equations forces students to find their own meaning in mathematical problems.
By Grayson Wheatley and George E. Abshire.
Montessori
The Montessori philosophy is a holistic view of children that builds on natural curiosity and develops a love of learning by creating environments which foster the fulfillment of children's highest potential. History of Montessori In her medical practice,...
Format: article
By Heather Coffey.
Not your mother's math teacher
North Carolina's 2001–2002 Teacher of the Year, Carmen Wilson, talks about real-world math and teachers' roles as professionals.
Format: article
By David Walbert.
The not-so-famous person report
In Rethinking Reports, page 3.2
Instead of teaching the history of the famous, use research in primary sources to teach students that the past and present were made by people like them.
Format: article
By David Walbert.
Number sense every day
Number sense – an intuitive feel for numbers and their relationships – develops when children solve problems for themselves.
Format: article
By Lisa Wilson Carboni.
One room, many uses
Patty Berge converts her eighth-grade science classroom to suit multiple instructional methods. A classroom profile.
Format: article
By Kathleen Casson.Commentary and sidebar notes by Lindy Norman.
Oral history and student learning
In Oral history in the classroom, page 2
Oral history enriches historical knowledge; enhances research, writing, thinking, and interpersonal skills; gives students a connection to the community; and helps all students feel included.
By Kathryn Walbert.
Oral history links and resources
In Oral history in the classroom, page 6
Guides, tips, lesson plans, and examples of student projects on the web.
Format: article
By Kathryn Walbert.