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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African animals in habitats
This is an inquiry-based animal study for early childhood students centered around a visit to the African Continent of the North Carolina Zoo.
Format: lesson plan (grade K–1 Science)
By Sue McCullah.
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 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.
Animals, animals, animals
In this lesson students will learn to observe special characteristics and senses which influence the life of an animal and become aware of threats to animals and their habitats and how this affects everyone.
Format: lesson plan (grade K–1 Science)
By Joyce Poplin.
Arctic animals
This is a whole language lesson for Speech Language Pathologists incorporating listening comprehension, categorizing, following verbal directions, and basic vocabulary and language concepts for First grade students.
Format: lesson plan (grade 1 English Language Arts and Science)
By Susan Ayers.
At home in the tropical rainforest
Students will choose one rainforest animal to research using print and electronic resources. They will work cooperatively with a partner to create a PowerPoint slide with the following information: photograph of the animal, the layer of the rainforest it inhabits, the sound the animal makes, and an interesting fact about the animal.
Format: lesson plan (grade 1–2 English Language Arts and Science)
By Sally Eller.
The students will learn that bats are nocturnal and use echolocation.
Format: lesson plan (grade K Science)
By Debbie Lanier.
Bugs, bugs, bugs
This lesson integrates writing and the study of insects by having the students create a book following the pattern of How Many Bugs in a Box? by David A. Carter.
Format: lesson plan (grade K–1 Computer/Technology Skills, English Language Arts, Mathematics, and Science)
By Vicki Rivenbark.
Embryology: Hatching baby chicks
This lesson integrates science, math, communication skills, arts, and social studies through hands-on activities. Students are directly involved in hatching baby chicks.
Format: lesson plan (grade 1–2 and 4 Science)
By Ann White.
Feathers, fins, fur, scales, and skin
Using observation, students will identify animal groups by their appearance. The students will move through animal centers looking for similarities and differences of birds, fish, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians.
Format: lesson plan (grade K–1 Science)
From dirt to dinner
This lesson serves as an introductory study of the plant world. The lesson allows students to study seeds, parts of plants, microclimates, and how to grow seeds into vegetable plants for harvest. Parents are encouraged to assist at home.
Format: lesson plan (grade K–1 English Language Arts, Mathematics, and Science)
By Glenn Bass.
Habitat — what's that?
This lesson helps students define the word habitat and understand the basic elements that make up an animal's habitat.
Format: lesson plan (grade K–1 Science)
By Kelly Stewart.
Habitat happenings
During this lesson students will demonstrate their understanding of what a habitat is through a creative writing assignment. The students will choose an animal to be and will describe themselves and their living environment.
Format: lesson plan (grade 1 English Language Arts)
By Kelly Stewart.
Habitat photo album
Students will use digital cameras and explore the outdoors searching ecosystems for opportunities to take pictures of different habitats and the components that go into them.
Format: lesson plan (grade 4–5 Information Skills and Science)
By Colleen Buchauer and Lesley Brooks.
A home for Lars
Our lesson plan is based on the book, Ahoy There, Little Polar Bear, by Hans de Beer. We will use the book to introduce the polar bear's habitat and will elaborate on the necessary things a polar bear needs to survive in this habitat.
Format: lesson plan (grade K–1 Visual Arts Education and Science)
How does your flower grow?
Students will develop science process skills by observing plants in various conditions and recording their observation over a period of time
Format: lesson plan (grade 1 Science)
By Bobbie Toler.
Incredible insect mouths
This lesson shows children that insects have different kinds of mouths. It also notes the kinds of foods that different insects eat. It is a hands-on experiment type of lesson in which the children act as insects and use different tools for their “mouths.”
Format: lesson plan (grade 4 Science)
By Kelly Stewart.
Inquiry-based exploration of human impacts on stream ecosystems: The Mud Creek case study
This unit plan for high school earth and environmental science explores the impact of human activity on the health of streams in urban and non-urban settings. Students mimic current scientific research by measuring physical, chemical, and biological indicators of stream health.
Format: (multiple pages)
An integrated lesson comparing the butterfly and frog life cycles
Students will build on their prior knowledge about the butterfly life cycle to compare and contrast the life cycles of butterflies and frogs. Students will locate butterflies on the school grounds and create pictographs and models of fractions to explain their findings mathematically. Students will also use a variety of resources to read about and study the food, space and air needed by butterflies and frogs to grow. They will create visual and written products to demonstrate their findings.
Format: lesson plan (grade 2 Mathematics and Science)
By Martha Dobson and Margaret Monds.
The migration of the monarch butterfly
The students will listen to and discuss books about butterflies and the migration of monarch butterflies to Mexico in order to integrate science, social studies, and language arts.
Format: lesson plan (grade 2 English Language Development, Science, and Social Studies)
By Martha H. Dobson and Margaret Monds.