K-12 Teaching and Learning From the UNC School of Education

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Alternative discussion formats
Class discussions often take one of two forms — either question-and-answer sessions, in which the teacher throws out questions and students answer them, or debates. Both of these formats are useful, but adding a few more ideas to your teaching repertoire can make for more variety in the classroom and provide more opportunities for engaging discussions. This edition explains how to manage dicussions in the form of a public relations campaign, a trial, a talk show, or the design of monuments, memorials, and museum exhibits.
Format: series (multiple pages)
Arts of persuasion
Strategies for teaching middle school students to think critically, analyze persuasive arguments, and use speaking and writing to persuade others.
Format: series (multiple pages)
Balancing order and learning in classroom discussions
In The First Year, page 3.6
Different learning objectives require different rules for student participation. Make your expectations for each day's class clear to students — and to yourself!
Format: article
By Kristi Johnson Smith.Commentary and sidebar notes by Lindy Norman.
CareerStart lessons: Grade eight
This collection of lessons aligns the eighth grade curriculum in math, science, English language arts, and social studies with potential career opportunities.
Format: (multiple pages)
Caucusing in the middle school classroom
In Arts of persuasion, page 1
Caucusing enables students to practice the elements of responsible citizenship, including persuasive writing and speaking.
By Pamela Myrick and Sharon Pearson.
A child's day: Cambodia
In this lesson plan, students listen to audio recordings from Cambodia and discuss what life may be like for the children heard in the recordings. Students discuss topics including school, cross-cultural similarities, and child labor.
Format: lesson plan (grade 7 Social Studies)
By Kristin Post.
A child's day: Vietnam
In this lesson plan, students listen to audio recordings from Vietnam and discuss what life may be like for the children heard in the recordings. Students discuss topics including school, cross-cultural similarities, and child labor.
Format: lesson plan (grade 7 Social Studies)
By Kristin Post.
Children and families in North Carolina
In this lesson plan, elementary students will analyze photographs of children from North Carolina provided by the Green ‘N’ Growing collection from the Special Collections Research Center at North Carolina State University. They will investigate how individuals and families are similar and different, and to begin to acquire an understanding of change over time.
Format: lesson plan (grade K–3 Social Studies)
By Pauline S. Johnson.
Debates in the middle school classroom
In Arts of persuasion, page 2
A plan for staging a debate, including choosing a topic, "debate do's," and assessment.
Format: article
By Pamela Myrick and Sharon Pearson.
Discussion guide: Religion in early America
In Educator's Guides: North Carolina Digital History, page 3.4
This discussion guide will help students understand the larger context of religion in colonial America as they read about topics such as Quaker emigration and the Great Awakening.
Format: lesson plan (grade 8 Social Studies)
By Pauline S. Johnson.
Educator's guide: The arrival of Swiss immigrants
Teaching suggestions to help your students synthesize the information in the article "The Arrival of Swiss Immigrants."
Format: lesson plan (grade 8 Social Studies)
By Pauline S. Johnson.
Educator's Guides: North Carolina Digital History
Best practices, process guides, worksheets, and other resources for teaching with LEARN NC's digital textbook of North Carolina history.
Format: (multiple pages)
Faces tell feelings - Part 2 - Observations
Students will view a PowerPoint presentation of various portraits by different artists. They will observe facial expressions and the emotions they convey in these works of art.
Format: lesson plan (grade 3–5 Visual Arts Education)
By Jan Kimosh.
The First Year
Essays on the author's experiences in her first year of teaching: the mistakes she made, what she learned from them, and how she used them to become a better teacher — and how other first-year teachers can, too.
Format: book (multiple pages)
Government "kooshball" debate
Students will be presented with a situation where they will have to list pros and cons of an Islamic government and a democratic government. The students will be assigned one side of the argument and will write statements that support their side to be used in a debate. This lesson should follow a study of Islamic government and culture.
Format: lesson plan (grade 7 Social Studies)
By Terry Philbeck.
History and literature on trial
In Alternative discussion formats, page 3
In Educator's Guides: North Carolina Digital History, page 4.3
Putting historical or literary figures on trial makes a lively and challenging alternative to a class debate.
Format: activity
By Kathryn Walbert.
An introduction to slave narratives: Harriet Jacobs' Life of a Slave Girl
In this lesson, students will learn about the life experiences of slaves in the United States during the 1800s by reading the story of a North Carolina slave woman who eventually escaped.
Format: lesson plan (grade 8 Social Studies)
By Joe Hooten.
Marc Brown author study: Arthur's Nose
Using the book Arthur's Nose by Marc Brown students will respond to the story through art, music, and in written form.
Format: lesson plan (grade K–1 Visual Arts Education and English Language Arts)
By Kathy Palmore.
Monuments and memorials
In Alternative discussion formats, page 5
In Educator's Guides: North Carolina Digital History, page 4.5
Creating monuments or memorials for historical and literary figures encourages students to think creatively and provides a lively structure for an in-class discussion.
Format: activity
By Kathryn Walbert.
Museum exhibit design
In Alternative discussion formats, page 6
In Educator's Guides: North Carolina Digital History, page 4.6
Designing museum exhibits encourages students to think creatively and to use a wide range of thinking skills.
Format: activity
By Kathryn Walbert.