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

Analyzing North Carolina's natural history
In Two worlds: Educator's guide, page 1.4
These two short activities will allow students to examine the changes that occurred as the earth formed and assess their impact on what is now North Carolina.
Format: lesson plan (grade 8 Science and Social Studies)
By Pauline S. Johnson.
Building a stratovolcano
Students will review the three types of volcanoes. Students will construct a stratovolcano and determine the composition of each type of volcano. Students will research examples of stratovolcanoes using internet resources.
Format: lesson plan (grade 6 and 8–12 Science)
By Jessica Bohn.
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)
Earthquakes: Causes and effects
This is a lesson plan designed to stimulate student interest in the forces of nature. The lessons culminate in a hands-on learning experience about earthquakes.
Format: lesson plan (grade 6 Science)
By Tom Weakland.
Evaluate forces: Earthquakes
In CareerStart lessons: Grade six, page 3.3
This lesson for grade six will help students to gain an understanding of geological processes including plate tectonics, faulting, and earthquakes. Students will explore careers related to earthquake analysis, measurement, and disaster management.
Format: lesson plan (grade 6 Science)
By April Galloway and Christine Scott.
Learning about rocks
In this lesson, students will be engaged in hands-on experiences while they explore rocks.
Format: lesson plan (grade 1 Mathematics and Science)
By Debbie Hansman.
Minerals and math
Students will develop ways to create self-devised rules for classifying minerals and relate this information to scientific ways of classifying minerals according to their characteristics. They will then compile this information into a chart and convert parts of the chart into a line or bar graph.
Format: lesson plan (grade 4 Mathematics and Science)
By Courtney Richards.
The regions of North Carolina
In Two worlds: Educator's guide, page 1.2
In this lesson, students analyze the differences between North Carolina's geographical regions: the Mountains, the Piedmont, and the Inner and Outer Coastal Plain.
Format: lesson plan (grade 8 Social Studies)
By Pauline S. Johnson.
Rocks really rock! A lesson on the classification of rocks
This lesson will help students classify various rocks according to specified criteria. It will also help students classify a given rock using selected mineral identification tests. Students will use a graphic organizer to display their findings.
Format: lesson plan (grade 4 Science)
By Grace Smith.
Shifting coastlines
In Intrigue of the Past, page 4.3
In their study of North Carolina's changing coastline during the Paleoindian and Archaic periods, students will determine the positions of the coastline at different times and decide what types of archaeological information has been lost due to rising sea levels.
Format: lesson plan (grade 4 and 8 Science and Social Studies)
Stratigraphy and cross-dating
In Intrigue of the Past, page 2.3
Students will use an activity sheet to interpret archaeological strata using the law of superposition and apply cross-dating to determine the age of other artifacts.
Format: lesson plan (grade 8 Science)
Study your rocks and eat them too!
The instructor will use a liquid batter to cook pancakes to model the formation of igneous rocks.
Format: lesson plan (grade 6 Science)
By George Scherger.
In Coastal processes and conflicts: North Carolina's Outer Banks, page 1.2
This lesson is part of chapter one of the unit "Coastal processes and conflicts: North Carolina's Outer Banks." Students look at a chart of geologic time dating back to the beginning formation of the earth through modern times, noting that many geologic changes occur over millions of years. They also look at photographs of recent geologic change to learn that some geologic changes occur in a human time frame, as well.
Format: lesson plan (grade 7–10 Science and Social Studies)
By Stanley R. Riggs, Dorothea Ames, and Karen Dawkins.
Uses of rocks and minerals
In CareerStart lessons: Grade six, page 3.4
In this lesson plan for grade 6, students will gain an understanding of the economic importance of rocks and minerals by exploring their applications in various careers.
Format: lesson plan (grade 6 Science)
By April Galloway and Christine Scott.

Resources on the web

American Geological Institute
A site devoted to providing information and resources related to the geosciences, with a focus on earth science in education. Includes activities, lesson plans, links to relevant websites, and a section for online Earth science professional development for... (Learn more)
Format: website/lesson plan
Provided by: American Geological Institute
ASPIRE: Astrophysics Science Project Integrating Research and Education
Interactive science labs and lessons for teachers and students. (Learn more)
Format: website/lesson plan
Provided by: University of Utah
Bridge: Sea Grant Ocean Sciences Center
A portal to all of your marine sciences needs. Find a handpicked list of links to professional development opportunities, lesson plans, data sets, virtual expeditions, grant information, and more. (Learn more)
Format: website/lesson plan
Provided by: Virginia Institute of Marine Science
Center for Global Environmental Education K-12 Classroom Projects
“Fostering environmental literacy and stewardship in citizens of all ages”, this program offers classroom projects and continuing education opportunities to teachers globally.Projects are designed to understand environmental impacts through examples... (Learn more)
Format: website/lesson plan
The Center for Innovation in Engineering and Science Education
A New Jersey-based organization whose mission is to provide "real world" resources for classroom education in engineering and science. Professional Development opportunities in New Jersey available. (Learn more)
Format: website/lesson plan
Provided by: Stevens Institute of Technology
Curriki is a educational wiki that provides high quality resources from its members. Browse by subject or by newly published content. Search by grade level or by topic. New resources are added daily. You an even download the resources you want... (Learn more)
Format: website/lesson plan