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 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.
Who Moved My Cheese? for Teens
Students read, discuss, and write about Who Moved My Cheese? for Teens by Spencer Johnson, M.D., a parable about life's changes, and how best to benefit from them. By reading the parable, students will learn ways to react positively to inevitable change, and gain insight into their personal decision-making processes regarding changes in their lives, now and in the future. This lesson plan is modified for Advanced English Language Learners in the 9th and 10th grades. It is written for 45 minute class periods, but can be modified for 90 minute block classes.
Format: lesson plan (grade 9–10 English Language Arts and English Language Development)
By Ann Gerber.
Cause and effect
Students will identify and interpret cause and effect as expressed in poetry.
Format: lesson plan (grade 3–4 English Language Arts)
By Rochelle Mullis.
Figurative language: Metaphor
This lesson is a part of a unit on poetry and figurative language. It is designed to teach students the characteristics of metaphor within the context of poetry.
Format: lesson plan (grade 6 English Language Arts)
By Nancy Meyers.
Figurative language: Similes
Students will define and identify similes as well as evaluate the use of similes in the poem, "The Base Stealer" by Robert Francis.
Format: lesson plan (grade 3–4 English Language Arts)
By Kimberly Conville.
Foreshadowing: Quote identification, discovery lesson, and essay prompt analysis
During the course of this lesson, students identify selected quotes from literary works studied in class. After a brief discussion of what all of the quotes have in common, students will determine that each quote foreshadows an important, upcoming plot development. The class will then examine an essay prompt on foreshadowing, vote on the literary work to be used in planning a response to the prompt, and, as a teacher-led, whole-class activity, come up with a thesis and main point outline for the essay.
Format: lesson plan (grade 10 English Language Arts)
By Martha Owens.
How ironic!
This lesson will introduce students to the concept of irony. Verbal, situational, and dramatic irony will be defined, but the focus of the lesson is situational irony. This lesson can be used prior to teaching longer, more complex short stories that contain situational irony. This lesson is modified for an English Language Learner (ELL) who reads at the Intermediate Low (IL) level.
Format: lesson plan (grade 8 English Language Arts and English Language Development)
By Ann Gerber and Tericia Summers.
An integrated poetry unit
My students have always disliked poetry. The different ways in which this lesson approaches poetry and the connection it makes to their "March Madness" studies seems to make poetry more enjoyable, fun, and relevant for my students. In order to integrate with the sixth grade math and social studies teachers, I teach this unit during the ACC tournament to coincide with the "March Madness" unit that is covered in the math classes.
Format: lesson plan (grade 6 English Language Arts)
By Nancy Guthrie.
Introduction to Animal Farm
This lesson introduces students to Orwell's Animal Farm. They will summarize and reflect on reading and connect the novel to life in a meaningful way.
Format: lesson plan (grade 9–10 English Language Arts)
By Mary Lou Faircloth.
Just like Brian Wilson did: Using allusion to teach imagery & theme
Beginning ENG I students are introduced to the general concepts of imagery (including symbolism) and theme in short literature in a lesson that features two contemporary pop songs and their lyrics. Serves as a useful attention getting exercise for low-level ENG I students who must become familiar with general literary concepts and terms for the ENG I EOC.
Format: lesson plan (grade 9–10 English Language Arts)
By Jeffrey Weeks.
Listen to a poem
Use the poems "I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud" and "Sea Fever" to teach the poetic devices of rhythm, meter and scansion.
Format: lesson plan (grade 12 English Language Arts)
A matter of identity: Writing an extended metaphor poem
Students apply their knowledge of literary devices by reading and analyzing the poem “Identity” by Julio Noboa Polanco. Students then create their own poem incorporating the literary devices studied and analyzed in the above mentioned poem. 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.
Maya Angelou: Study and response to "Still I Rise"
Students read biographical information on Maya Angelou and her poem, "Still I Rise." Students identify support and elaboration in poem, then respond by either writing a letter to the author or his/her own poem in response.
Format: lesson plan (grade 7–8 English Language Arts)
By Barbara Groome and Jo Peterson Gibbs.
Non-Halloween activity for October 31
Students will rewrite the lyrics to a well-known song focusing on Autumn sounds, smells and sights, but without any of the usual Halloween trappings.
Format: lesson plan (grade 3–4 English Language Arts)
Poetry from prose: A different kind of "book report"
Students use a word-processing program to write a poem that summarizes important themes or events central to the plot of a novel. Once the poem is proofread, students type the poem according to specific directions. They then print their work and illustrate over or around the writing for an illustrated "book report." Students incorporate details from the novel in their writing and in their illustrations of their poems. In this way, students focus on the themes or events in the novel that appeal to them most -- the ones they feel are most important to the novel's meaning.
Format: lesson plan (grade 6–8 English Language Arts)
By Sally Watts.
Poetry through music: "Smooth"
This lesson draws students into a study of poetry, using Carlos Santana and Rob Thomas' "Smooth" as an entry point.
Format: lesson plan (grade 7 English Language Arts and English Language Development)
By Andrea Belletti.
Romeo and Juliet: The Balcony Scene (Act 2, Scene 2)
O Romeo, Romeo! Wherefore art thou Romeo? Lesson will help struggling readers to comprehend figurative language and overall meaning in the famous balcony scene. It will also compare text to two media depictions. This lesson has been created with exceptional children and limited English proficient (novice low) students in mind.
Format: lesson plan (grade 8–10 English Language Arts and English Language Development)
By Elizabeth Mackie and Vicki Moats.
Seeing two poems
This lesson will teach students how to actively read a poem and identify poetic devices.
Format: lesson plan (grade 8 English Language Arts)
By Karyn A. Gloden.
Setting and Symbolism in A Doll's House
This lesson is designed as a follow-up to the reading and discussion of the play A Doll's House by Henrik Ibsen. An understanding of the two literary terms setting and symbolism, and their impact on a work of literature, are essential to students' success in following the guidelines outlined in the North Carolina English Language Arts Standard Course of Study. This lesson has been modified for English Language Learners at the intermediate high proficiency level, but would also be adaptable for learners at the novice or advanced levels.
Format: lesson plan (grade 9–10 English Language Arts and English Language Development)
By Guy Hill and Crystal Brown.
Similes
"The Talking Eggs" by Robert San Souci is used to introduce and illustrate an author's use of language to paint a picture in the reader's mind. Students will draw a picture to show what this author meant, create similes to describe themselves, and finally use a simile in their next story in Writer's Workshop.
Format: lesson plan (grade 1–2 English Language Arts)
By jennifer lettieri.