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

Important Announcement about Online Courses and LEARN NC.

Important Message about LEARN NC

LEARN NC is evaluating its role in the current online education environment as it relates directly to the mission of UNC-Chapel Hill School of Education (UNC-CH SOE). We plan to look at our ability to facilitate the transmission of the best research coming out of UNC-CH SOE and other campus partners to support classroom teachers across North Carolina. We will begin by evaluating our existing faculty and student involvement with various NC public schools to determine what might be useful to share with you.

Don’t worry! The lesson plans, articles, and textbooks you use and love aren’t going away. They are simply being moved into the new LEARN NC Digital Archive. While we are moving away from a focus on publishing, we know it’s important that educators have access to these kinds of resources. These resources will be preserved on our website for the foreseeable future. That said, we’re directing our resources into our newest efforts, so we won’t be adding to the archive or updating its contents. This means that as the North Carolina Standard Course of Study changes in the future, we won’t be re-aligning resources. Our full-text and tag searches should make it possible for you to find exactly what you need, regardless of standards alignment.

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Resources tagged with environmental science are also tagged with these keywords. Select one to narrow your search or to find interdisciplinary resources.

Air is all around us
Air is everywhere. It cannot be seen, but it is all around us. This lesson helps students discover that air is everywhere.
Format: lesson plan (grade K Science)
By Jan Wuertz.
All about trash
Students will discover which kinds of trash break down naturally and which do not when they make their own landfills.
Format: lesson plan (grade 3 Science)
By Dawn Gilbert.
Animal adaptation
This lesson focuses on the adaptations, body structures, and behavior of animals. The students will explore animal growth and adaptations of animals. This lesson is designed to be taught during the reading of Stone Fox.
Format: lesson plan (grade 4 English Language Development and Science)
By Jennifer Fessler and Karen Wright.
Animal environments: Day one
Students will group animals using common characteristics. Students will develop an understanding of animal adaptations. This lesson was designed to be used with the lesson "Diamante Poetry Using Environments: Day two."
Format: lesson plan (grade 4 Science)
By Cheri Cole.
Animal report
After studying the various animal groups, students write a report about an animal of their choosing using well-formed paragraphs.
Format: lesson plan (grade 4 English Language Arts, Information Skills, and Science)
By Kay Sims.
Animal research: A multimedia approach
Students will be working with a partner to research a favorite animal. They will be required to use a wide variety of resources which include multimedia software packages, the Internet, and various books. The students will be looking up general information about their animal, such as its habitat, place on the food chain, size, etc. Ultimately the students will be responsible for presenting the information they have gathered in some form of multimedia presentation. This activity is primarily student-oriented rather than teacher-oriented in that the students will be selecting what animals they want to research and what materials they want to use in creating their report. The teacher will give some basic requirements and guidelines to ensure that students are on task.
Format: lesson plan (grade 4 English Language Arts, Information Skills, and Science)
By Amy Edwards.
Animal slide shows!
This project is a culmination of a science unit on animals which integrates computer skills, language arts and art. After a study of animals which includes classification, basic needs of animals, animal adaptations, and animal behaviors, the students will use the computer to complete a slide show of one animal they have studied at length.
Format: lesson plan (grade 4 Science)
By Margie Bartolomucci.
Archaeological soils
In Intrigue of the Past, page 2.11
Students will determine components of a soil sample and evaluate how archaeologists use soils to interpret sites.
Format: lesson plan (grade 8 Science)
Back-barrier sounds of the Northern Coastal Province
In Coastal processes and conflicts: North Carolina's Outer Banks, page 1.10
This lesson is part of chapter one of the unit "Coastal processes and conflicts: North Carolina's Outer Banks." Students analyze the five back-barrier sounds in the Northern Province. They look at how weather and wave patterns affect the water within these sounds.
Format: lesson plan (grade 8 Science)
By Stanley R. Riggs, Dorothea Ames, and Karen Dawkins.
Barrier islands
In Coastal processes and conflicts: North Carolina's Outer Banks, page 1.8
This lesson is part of chapter one of the unit "Coastal processes and conflicts: North Carolina's Outer Banks." Students examine the difference between simple overwash barrier islands and complex barrier islands. They also learn more about the island-building process and the effect this process can have on daily life on barrier islands.
Format: lesson plan (grade 8–12 Science and Social Studies)
By Stanley R. Riggs, Dorothea Ames, and Karen Dawkins.
Biomagnification and bald eagles
In this activity, students will study biomagnification by using paper cutouts to represent food containing chemicals eaten by fish. The students will then repeat this activity but as an eagle collecting fish. The amount of chemicals taken in by each eagle will then be compared to amounts taken in by each fish.
Format: lesson plan (grade 6 Science)
By Elizabeth Caveny, Janet Carson, Heather Subleski, and Jeannie Galluzzo.
Black ice: A slippery arctic road
In this lesson, students investigate the effects of black carbon on arctic warming.
Format: lesson plan
By DeeDee Whitaker and Katherine Whang.Edited by Dana Haine.
The case of the disappearing pitcher plants
This lesson addresses the cause and effect relationship between human interaction and a North Carolina endangered plant species. A role-playing scenario allows students to view the situation from a variety of positions and to collectively arrive at a solution to the problem.
Format: lesson plan (grade 8 English Language Arts, Information Skills, and Science)
By Eddie Hamblin.
A case study of "A Civil Action"
In Bringing current science into the classroom, page 3
This is a short, culminating activity that can be used to assess your students' understanding of the steps needed to determine if a water source is contaminated and how it got that way, and to suggest possible methods of cleanup or remediation. Students review a portion of the film “A Civil Action” and identify the problem and the people involved. Students then take the role of environmental scientist and apply their knowledge of water and hazardous waste contamination to create a plan to help lawyer, Jan Schlichtmann, try the case.
Format: lesson plan (grade 8–12 Science)
By Michele Kloda and Dana Haine.
Clarification writing: What could I add to the NC Zoo?
Students will apply their knowledge of clarification writing and address "What Animal or Plant Would You Add to the NC Zoo." Students must research their plant or animal to determine if the zoo ecosystem could support the species. In addition, the student must provide reasons and explanations to support their choice. This is a follow-up activity to a unit of study on ecosystems/biomes.
Format: lesson plan (grade 5 English Language Arts and Information Skills)
By Connie Johnson.
Cloudy with a chance of... what?
Students will enjoy reading about a town where no one ever goes hungry because the sky provides food while learning about weather and healthy and unhealthy foods.
Format: lesson plan (grade 2–3 English Language Arts, Healthful Living, and Science)
By BJ Larson and Paula Sharpe.
The coastal dilemma
In Coastal processes and conflicts: North Carolina's Outer Banks, page 1.15
This lesson is part of chapter one of the unit "Coastal processes and conflicts: North Carolina's Outer Banks. Students look at examples of shoreline erosion. They reflect on the impact this erosion can have on human life on the Outer Banks.
Format: lesson plan (grade 8–12 Science and Social Studies)
By Stanley R. Riggs, Dorothea Ames, and Karen Dawkins.
Coastal processes and conflicts: North Carolina's Outer Banks
The lessons in this unit allow students to explore the processes affecting North Carolina's Outer Banks and the impact these processes have on daily life there.
Format: lesson plan (multiple pages)
Decomposition
Students will observe decomposition in a pile of grass clippings and in a compost heap over time.
Format: lesson plan (grade 5 Science)
By Monica Dubbs.
Decomposition in freshwater
This lesson includes hands-on activities to demonstrate the process of decomposition in a freshwater ecosystem. It also focuses on the importance of decomposition and its critical role in the food chain.
Format: lesson plan (grade 6 Science)
By Heather Lanier.