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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A “defining moment” in editorial writing
Students will be introduced to the definition mode of writing. Students will learn to define a particular subject by responding in an editorial format. Students will first compose an editorial graphic organizer, which will aid in composing a completed editorial using the writing process. This lesson includes modifications for a Novice Low Limited English student.
Format: lesson plan (grade 9–10 English Language Arts and English Language Development)
By Susan Brooks and Carrie Mabry.
A Birthday Basket For Tia
This lesson will provide your students with an opportunity to brainstorm, predict, and check for understanding throughout this wonderful story about a little girl, Cecilia, who is preparing a special birthday gift for her 90 year-old Aunt Tia. Cecilia collects objects that represent her favorite memories with her aunt. Many uses of technology are suggested to integrate math and science with language and reading.
Format: lesson plan (grade K English Language Arts and Mathematics)
By Jenny Walters.
A Christmas Carol chronology
Christmas Carol Chronology, based on Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, provides students with an opportunity to develop comprehension by listing plot developments and arranging them sequentially. This lesson begins with cooperative learning groups and ends with an individual manipulative activity of cutting and pasting strips of events in chronological order.
Format: lesson plan (grade 6–8 English Language Arts)
By Judy Gibbs.
Blueberries for Sal: Counting and correspondence
This lesson is designed to aid the teacher in teaching the math skills of one to one correspondence, number recognition, and matching numbers to sets. It is also a great lesson to intergrate into a unit on Bears or the color Blue.
Format: lesson plan (grade K English Language Arts and Mathematics)
By Wrenn Smith.
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom: Learning letters and sounds at a zoom!
This lesson introduces, reviews, and reinforces letter recognition and letter sounds using the book Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin, Jr. and John Archambault. Kindergarten children will enjoy this activity! It is appropriate for all academic levels.
Format: lesson plan (grade K English Language Arts)
By Shanna Buckner.
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs
As an extension of a weather unit, second grade students will use the book Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett to explore compound words using an introduction to spreadsheet.
Format: lesson plan (grade 2 Computer/Technology Skills, English Language Arts, and Information Skills)
By Mary Rizzo.
Dear Peter Rabbit
Students will identify formal language and sentence structures in friendly letters. They will use similar formal language and style to create friendly letters to other story book characters.
Format: lesson plan (grade 3–4 English Language Arts and Information Skills)
By Caroline Annas, Elizabeth Gibson, and Stephanie Johnson.
Love Letters: Using imagery to convey feelings
After listening to Arnold Adoff's Love Letters, students will write and share their own love letters. This lesson is especially fun around Valentine's Day.
Format: lesson plan (grade 2–4 English Language Arts)
By Jennifer Reid.
Molly's Pilgrim Activity
Using the book by Barbara Cohen, students will respond to the social and historical significance of this portrayal of the Thanksgiving holiday. Students will also participate in constructing a Venn diagram and completing a cloze activity.
Format: lesson plan (grade 3–4 English Language Arts and Social Studies)
By Susan Milholland, Kathy Vaden, and Rita Wilson.
Night of the Twisters
Reading strategies are used to introduce a literary work.
Format: lesson plan (grade 4–5 English Language Arts)
By Authurice Mitchell.
Oedipus the King: Personal letter-writing assignment
Students will work in groups to evaluate the personality of various characters from Oedipus the King. Each student will write two personal letters in the role of one character from the play responding to the events of the play and the various relationships within it.
Format: lesson plan (grade 10 English Language Arts)
By Greg Townsend.
Tacky the Penguin
After reading the story, Tacky the Penguin by Helen Lester, the students will write their own Tacky story. The students will brainstorm ideas before getting started. Next each student will write a rough draft. After the rough draft, the students will proofread and edit their work. Then the students will type their story and illustrate the pictures.
Format: lesson plan (grade 1 English Language Arts)
By Tonya Williams.
The Alphabet Tree
After reading The Alphabet Tree by Leo Lionni to students, the students will retell the events on a flow map. Then using Kid Pix software, each child will choose an event, illustrate it, and write a caption for it. The students will then put their events in order in a Kid Pix Slide Show they can present to the class.
Format: lesson plan (grade 1 English Language Arts)
By Jody Shaughnessy.
The Birchbark House
This study guide was created by a group of third grade enrichment students. They were planning to read this book but could find no published guide to go with it. They decided to create their own as they read.
Format: lesson plan (grade 3–4 English Language Arts)
By Carolyn Ridgway.
The Farm Concert
This lesson teaches basic print awareness along with animal names and sounds through guided reading and the use of a graphic organizer.
Format: lesson plan (grade K–1 English Language Arts)
By Kelly Brandon.
The Great Gilly Hopkins: Characterization and prediction
In the final chapters of the novel, Gilly's grandmother learns she has a granddaughter and decides to take Gilly out of foster care. Many of my classroom readers are often dismayed by this unexpected conflict and its outcome. In this lesson, the classroom becomes a courtroom where students predict the outcome of this conflict.

This activity can be used at the end of the novel, but I like to use it after reading chapters 10 and 11 so students can compare the courtroom decision to the end of the novel.
Format: lesson plan (grade 4–6 English Language Arts)
By Emily Vann.
The Legend of the Blue Bonnet
Students will create their own version/retelling of The Legend of the Blue Bonnet by Tomie dePaola
Format: lesson plan (grade 2 English Language Arts)
By Shari Peacock.
The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
Students study the symbolism, setting, and characterization in Kafka's work.
Format: lesson plan (grade 9–10 English Language Arts)
By Laura Rose.
The Red-eyed Tree Frog and PowerPoint
Students will read The Red-eyed Tree Frog by Joy Cowley then plan and put together a PowerPoint slideshow which retells the story.
Format: lesson plan (grade 2 Computer/Technology Skills, English Language Arts, Information Skills, and Science)
By Jody Shaughnessy.
The Sign of the Beaver real estate advertisement
Having read The Sign of the Beaver and the Sunday Real Estate section of the newspaper, create a slide show designed to sell Matt's cabin to buyers in early America.
Format: lesson plan (grade 3 English Language Arts and Social Studies)
By CarrieAnne Blocker.