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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The Greedy Triangle
Students review geometric terms by making predictions about what the Greedy Triangle will become as the teacher reads the book, The Greedy Triangle. Students will create geometric creatures after the review.
Format: lesson plan (grade 2 Mathematics)
By Renee Allen.
Area and perimeter unit
This unit will introduce and practice the concepts of area and perimeter. This unit uses resources of Shodor Education Foundation, Inc. Permission has been granted for the use of the materials as part of the workshop “Interactivate Your Bored Math Students.”
Format: lesson plan (grade 3–4 Mathematics)
By Bonnie Boaz.
Area of solids
Finding area of rectangular solids and cylinders by cutting them into flat pieces and adding the areas.
Format: lesson plan (grade 7–12 Mathematics)
By Dorothy Carawan.
Building a paper bridge: An introduction to problem solving
This activity allows the student to explore problem solving strategies while working with a partner. This activity (building a paper bridge), requires students to question word definition and the application of those definitions. Through problem solving strategies, students discover the need for applying math skills.
Format: lesson plan (grade 8 Mathematics)
By Steve Walston.
Building map-reading skills
In Map skills and higher-order thinking, page 5
Now that we know what students can't do, how do we help them develop the skills to read and interpret maps successfully? You may not be surprised to learn that most of the research and literature on this topic stops short of offering actual suggestions....
Format: activity/lesson plan (grade )
By David Walbert.
Calculating slope of a ramp
In On track learning: Safety through technology and design, page 9
In this lesson, students build a ramp and calculate its slope at different heights. They will also test cars to see how the height of the ramp affects speed.
Format: lesson plan (grade 7–10 English Language Arts, Mathematics, and Science)
By Roxanne Moses.
Commercial and industrial designers: Working with volume
In CareerStart lessons: Grade eight, page 3.7
In this lesson, students calculate the volume of a variety of boxes, and calculate the change in volume that would result from a change in the boxes' dimensions.
Format: lesson plan (grade 7–8 Mathematics)
By Valerie Davis, Sonya Rexrode, and Monika Vasili.
Congruent figures
This is a fun, hands-on activity to help students identify congruent figures.
Format: lesson plan (grade K–1 Mathematics)
By Jennifer Robinson.
Coordinate plane artwork
For this lesson students will go to the computer lab and use the General Coordinate Game applet created by the Shodor Foundation to obtain a more specific understanding of the coordinate plane, its parts, and how it can be used to graph points. Afterward, the students will practice using the coordinate plane by drawing a picture on a coordinate plane and then writing out directions (using coordinates) for that picture to be replicated exactly by another student, who will not see the picture but will follow the directions.
Format: lesson plan (grade 5–6 Mathematics)
By Erin Foerster.
Critical thinking in science
This unit of inquiry-based lessons teaches eighth-grade students to utilize and develop critical thinking skills. Students will create testable questions; design and perform experiments; collect, organize, and analyze data; and use these results to decide on the next step in the scientific process.
Format: lesson plan (multiple pages)
Cubic expressions: Application to fluid transport systems through Murray’s law
In A mathematical model to describe fluid behavior, page 2
The students will view a schematic image of a leaf and the veins of the plant that circulate fluid throughout the leaf. Using a simplified version of Murray’s law, the students will be able to mathematically model the fluid transport system of some plants and animals.
Format: lesson plan (grade 6–8 Mathematics)
By Jenny Rucker.
Dear Tootsie Roll company
The students will measure the surface area and wrapper area of five pieces of candy. Using appropriate formulas and measuring techniques, they will complete information needed for a spreadsheet and database. Students wrap up the lesson by writing a letter to the company with the most wasted paper to explain how the waste affects them as consumers and a suggestion for correcting the problem.
Format: lesson plan (grade 7–8 English Language Arts and Mathematics)
By Tonya Thompson.
Discovering perimeters
By using string, students will discover a formula for finding the perimeter of a rectangle.
Format: lesson plan (grade 6–12 Mathematics)
By Jenny Crumpler.
Everyday geometry: Hidden figures and polygons
A lesson plan for grade 5 math in which students use historical photographs and drafting plans to demonstrate their knowledge of mathematical figures and polygons.
Format: lesson plan (grade 3–5 Mathematics)
By Sonna Jamerson.
Exploring geometric shapes
These hands-on activities make learning about geometric shapes more appealing to students.
Format: lesson plan (grade K Mathematics)
By Debbie Fox.
Fire in Pythagorville: Problem-centered lessons
Students will work on problem-centered lessons which use the application of the Pythagorean theorem to put out a fire in the fictional town of Pythagorville.
Format: lesson plan (grade 8 Mathematics)
By Kelly Crisp.
Flipping around pentominoes
The students will use Unifix cubes to create the twelve different pentominoes. The students will join 5 Unifix cubes to make different shapes that will lie flat on a table or level surface. The students will then test for new shapes by flipping, sliding, or turning to create each different pentomino.
Format: lesson plan (grade 4 and 8 Mathematics)
By Dianne Wingate.
Fun with angles
This lesson plan will help the students visualize the different angles (corresponding, alternate interior, and same-side interior) when coplanar lines are cut by a transversal.
Format: lesson plan (grade 7–8 Mathematics)
By Scott Black.
General contractors: Working with area
In CareerStart lessons: Grade six, page 2.10
This activity for grade six combines math, art, and writing, as students design a floor plan for a house and use calculations of area to arrive at a cost estimate.
Format: lesson plan (grade 6–7 Mathematics)
By Kim Abrams, Mike McDowell, and Barbara Strange.
A geometric field trip
Students conduct a field trip around the school (inside and out) looking for examples of geometric shapes. They record their findings using a digital camera and present their findings in a multimedia presentation.
Format: lesson plan (grade 3 Computer/Technology Skills, Information Skills, and Mathematics)
By Mary Rizzo.