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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Australia: Careers, collisions, and compromises
In CareerStart lessons: Grade seven, page 4.8
In this lesson for grade seven, students learn about Australia and discuss the compromises that are sometimes necessary between economic development and environmental preservation. Students work through problem-based learning questions using Australia as the background.
Format: lesson plan (grade 7 Social Studies)
By Joann Via.Adapted by Meredith Ebert.
Bartering — A system of exchange
By participating in a game called "Barter Bag" students will be introduced to the concept of trade. This introduces students to the concept of bartering.
Format: lesson plan (grade 2–4 Social Studies)
By Carlene M. White.
Careers in travel: Working with currency exchange
In CareerStart lessons: Grade six, page 4.5
In this lesson for grades six and seven, students will learn about foreign currency exchange rates and will understand the importance of currency exchange in the travel industry.
Format: lesson plan (grade 6–7 Social Studies)
By Mandy Matlock.
Confederate currency: An inflation simulation
Using primary sources from the Documenting the American South collection, students will engage in a brief simulation of inflation during the Civil War while learning about issues faced on the home front in North Carolina.
Format: lesson plan (grade 8 Social Studies)
By Lewis Nelson.
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.
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.
East Asian trading ships
Each student will work with a partner as an owner of an overseas shipping company with one cargo ship in East Asia. Students are given these instructions in the overview: In each Asian country that you travel to you will fill your cargo ship with items that you can buy from the list of exports. You will then try to sell these items when you travel to another country that is willing to import these commodities. The winner of the game is the company with the biggest profits at the end of the pretend 15 day time period. Good Luck!
Format: lesson plan (grade 7 Social Studies)
By Tami Kaiser Polge.
Economic planning in West Africa
In CareerStart lessons: Grade seven, page 4.3
In this lesson plan for grade seven, students will research the West African nation Mali and will work in groups to create proposals for improvement projects in Mali. Students will discuss careers that require creating proposals and giving presentations.
Format: lesson plan (grade 7 English Language Arts and Social Studies)
By Mary B. Taylor.Adapted by Kenyatta Bennett and Sonya Rexrode.
Economic resources using thinking maps
This lesson uses several literature selections in order to identify and classify natural, human, and capital resources. Students will work together in small groups to gather information and individually complete a Thinking Map. The assessment includes completing a Tree Map individually and sharing group information with the rest of the class. This lesson will take two days.
Format: lesson plan (grade 2 English Language Arts and Social Studies)
By Robin Campbell.
Economics: Market surveys
This lesson plan is for an accelerated, academically gifted 4th/5th grade combination class. The unit of study is economics (social studies). This lesson was designed as a supplemental lesson for a unit I taught called Mini-Society (supported by the Kauffman Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership). I taught this unit for the first time this year after attending a workshop at Chapel Hill, NC. This lesson enhances the Mini-Society unit in which children create their own businesses.
Format: lesson plan (grade 4–5 Mathematics and Social Studies)
By Denise Delp.
Family budget activity
This activity is designed to provide students with real-world application of classroom curriculum. Students will be required to make budgeting decisions in the light of inflation, unemployment, and other unforeseen additions or strains to the family budget.
Format: lesson plan (grade 8–10 Social Studies)
By beth carroll.
Feed a fighter
In this lesson students will examine “Additional Helps for the 4-H Mobilization for Victory Program,” a Cooperative Extension Work document from the Green 'N' Growing collection at Special Collections Research Center at North Carolina State University Libraries. The document will help students understand the efforts civilians underwent to support military efforts in World War II.
Format: lesson plan (grade 9–12 English Language Arts and Social Studies)
By Lisa Stamey.
The four factors of production
Students will learn to identify and explain the four factors of production: land, labor, capital, and entrepreneurship.
Format: lesson plan (grade 9–10 Social Studies)
By penn pace.
The Great Depression: Impact over time
In this lesson students listen to oral history excerpts from Stan Hyatt from Madison County and evaluate how the Great Depression affected one North Carolina family over time.
Format: lesson plan (multiple pages)
How much is that cupcake really worth?!
Use this as an introductory lesson to supply & demand for Economic, Legal and Political Systems students.
Format: lesson plan (grade 9–10 Social Studies)
By Joy Walker.
Investing in the stock market
This point of this lesson plan is to have students learn about the three major US stock markets through buying imaginary stock.
Format: lesson plan (grade 9–10 Social Studies)
By Bill Estes.
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.
"Kids as Decision Makers" -- Distinguishing between Needs and Wants
The students will have hands-on experiences with sorting pictures into groups according to the social studies objective: The learner will apply basic economic concepts to home and school. This lesson will focus on distinguishing between wants and needs.
Format: lesson plan (grade K–1 Social Studies)
By Tonya Kales.
Let's get moving!
In this lesson, students explore supply chains through a mystery bag activity. This lesson is the first in a two-lesson unit. The lesson that follows is Turning back the wheel of time.
Format: lesson plan (grade 2–3 Social Studies)
By Diane Ireland.
Pirates and economics
In this lesson, students will learn the basics of a market economy and how pirates impacted the economic system in colonial times. Students will read one Mini Page about the famous pirate Blackbeard and another about economics. Students will map out the colonial economic system to demonstrate their knowledge of both economics and pirates' interventions. At the end of the lesson, students will imagine they are colonists and write a letter to the governor either in support or in opposition to piracy. This allows students to utilize economic vocabulary in a variety of creative ways.
Format: lesson plan
By Summer Pennell.