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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Background information for chapter one
In Coastal processes and conflicts: North Carolina's Outer Banks, page 1.1
This page contains background information for teachers implementing chapter one of the unit "Coastal processes and conflicts: North Carolina's Outer Banks."
Format: article
By Stanley R. Riggs, Dorothea Ames, and Karen Dawkins.
Background information for chapter two
In Coastal processes and conflicts: North Carolina's Outer Banks, page 2.1
This page contains background information for teachers implementing chapter two of the unit “Coastal processes and conflicts: North Carolina’s Outer Banks.”
Format: article
By Stanley R. Riggs, Dorothea Ames, and Karen Dawkins.
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.
Bringing current science into the classroom
In Bringing current science into the classroom, page 1
How your students can experience current environmental research without leaving the classroom.
Format: article/best practice
By Michele Kloda and Dana Haine.
Bringing current science into the classroom
Activities for middle and high school on groundwater, water quality, and environmental stewardship have students exploring current environmental research without leaving the classroom.
Format: series (multiple pages)
Courses and causes
You don't need special skills, great physical abilities, or a lot of money to participate in environmental workshops — just the interest. Learning opportunities like those discussed in this article can invigorate your teaching, inspire your students, and get you involved in causes outside your school.
Format: article
By Linda Dow.
Dichotomous key for freshwater macroinvertibrates
In Inquiry-based exploration of human impacts on stream ecosystems: The Mud Creek case study, page 6.3
The following dichotomous key is used for identifying freshwater macroinvertebrates at Eno River State Park in Durham and Orange counties, North Carolina. Because the park is only a few miles from Mud Creek, this key includes the macroinvertebrates most commonly...
Format: diagram/classroom content
Examining the human impact on coastal areas and predicted consequences of sea level rise using a case study approach
In this lesson plan for high school earth and environmental science, students examine the effect that human activity and sea level rise have on coastal areas via independent research on specific case studies.
Format: lesson plan
By Rob Greenberg.
Explanation
In Inquiry-based exploration of human impacts on stream ecosystems: The Mud Creek case study, page 3.1
Humans affect stream ecosystems in a number of ways, both directly and indirectly. Streams in urban areas are exposed to particular types of human impacts that cause characteristic physical, chemical, and biological attributes. These attributes of urban streams...
Format: article/classroom content
By Christine Muth, Leslie Brinson, and Emily Bernhardt.
Intrigue of the Past
Lesson plans and essays for teachers and students explore North Carolina's past before European contact. Designed for grades four through eight, the web edition of this book covers fundamental concepts, processes, and issues of archaeology, and describes the peoples and cultures of the Paleoindian, Archaic, Woodland, and Mississippian periods.
Format: book (multiple pages)
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 connections for environmental education
How can you get students fired up about environmental education? Get them outside and get them involved in local issues through activism, service learning, and teaching others.
Format: article/best practice
By Carolyn Moser.
Map skills and higher-order thinking
This series of articles looks at map skills as a kind of visual literacy, considering what maps are, how they're made, and the higher-order thinking skills students need to move from simply decoding maps to fully comprehending them.
Format: series (multiple pages)
Tracking animals
Large groups of children are likely to scare off mammals, but they can learn to identify tracks to learn more about the animals that left them.
By Linda Dow.

Resources on the web

Armada Project
This professional development opportunity provides K-12 teachers an opportunity to actively participate in ocean, polar, and environmental science research and peer mentoring. (Learn more)
Format: website/general
Provided by: Graduate School of Oceanography at the the University of Rhode Island
Creative climates
In this Xpeditions activity, students pretend they are head of a new National Geographic Climate Observation Post, where they must create a Climate Map to illustrate the world's various climate zones. This and other weather-related activities illustrate the... (Learn more)
Format: website/activity
Provided by: National Geographic
Environmental Resource Program (ERP)/UNC Institute for the Environment
The UNC Institute for the Environment is the multidisciplinary program leading UNC-Chapel Hill's world-renowned environmental community in educating practitioners, researching and solving global challenges, and informing people about critical issues. (Learn more)
Format: website/general
Provided by: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Hot Politics
This site provides information about the United States government's lack of response to global climate change, and investigates behind the scenes with interviews with scientists and former politicians. (Learn more)
Format: website/general
Provided by: PBS Frontline
National Marine Educators Association
A professional organization with members from education, science, business, government, museum, aquarium, and marine research fields working for marine science education. The site offers teachers resources on multiple marine topics through the "Bridge" link... (Learn more)
Format: website/general
Provided by: Bridge Project at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science