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 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.
Los dos reyes y los dos laberintos
This lesson focuses on the short story "Los dos reyes y los dos laberintos" written by Jorge Luis Borges. Students interpret the work through reading and group activities. The students will show their interpretation of the theme of the story through a written essay.
Format: lesson plan (grade 9–12 Second Languages)
By Sandra Sigmon.
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.
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 Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig
This lesson plan focuses on a English Language Arts objectives: similarity and difference. Students compare the story The Three Little Pigs and The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig by Eugene Trivizas. Students will work collaboratively in small heterogeneous groups to apply strategies for comprehension and vocabulary.
Format: lesson plan (grade 1 English Language Arts and English Language Development)
By Betty Coleman-Canty and Michelle Swain.
The Wish Giver: Cause and effect
Through a discussion of the characters in the novel The Wish Giver, by Bill Brittain, the teacher will teach the students to identify and analyze the cause/effect relationship and its importance in reading comprehension.
Format: lesson plan (grade 4–5 English Language Arts)
By Becky Ellzey.
To Kill A Mockingbird role-play: A Maycomb pig pickin'
Somewhere near the middle of reading the novel, students start to become confused about characters. This fun role-play activity works especially well just after Chapter 21 and allows students to get to know characters beyond Jem and Scout. It also can be a springboard into further discussions of point of view, theme, and stereotypes.
Format: lesson plan (grade 9–10 English Language Arts)
By David Ansbacher.
Walk Two Moons: An integrated unit
Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech is a bittersweet story of a teenager who desperately wants to be reunited with her mother. This unit is an integrated study combining setting, theme, point of view, character, and plot with geography and geometry.
Format: lesson plan (grade 8 English Language Arts)
By Janet Fore.
“ottos mops” by Ernst Jandl
This lesson is designed for students to enjoy a short amusing poem, as well as refine their knowledge of short “o” and long “o” sounds, and use higher order thinking skills to analyze who or what otto and mops are.
Format: lesson plan (grade 9–12 Second Languages)
By Helga Fasciano.
Oedipus the King reader's theatre
Students will rewrite the Greek tragedy in a modern context in order to review and analyze the plot. This assignment is designed as a final project in a Greek Theatre unit. It is expected that the literature has already been read and analyzed as a class. I have found that this project is an innovative way to review for a unit test on the play and Greek Theatre.
Format: lesson plan (grade 9–10 English Language Arts)
Analyzing significant events in Jim the Boy
This activity, to be completed after reading Tony Earley's Jim the Boy, helps students identify examples and details and then analyze them effectively. The class will brainstorm examples of life-changing events in Jim's life. The teacher will select one of the events, find the pages in the novel where it is discussed, and show the students how to annotate the text by marking details and commenting on them. Using a "T" chart, the class will then select three of the details to analyze.
Format: lesson plan (grade 9–10 English Language Arts)
By Vickie Smith.
The big, bad, red wolf: Fact and fantasy
This lesson will explore the myths and legends surrounding wolves. We will also investigate factual information about the endangered red wolf.
Format: lesson plan (grade 4 English Language Arts and Science)
By Steven Sather.
Birds of a feather, an interdisciplinary unit: Language Arts wing
This lesson, which features Mark Twain's “Jim Baker's Blue-jay Yarn,” is part of an interdisciplinary unit on birds that contains math/science and language arts components. In the language arts wing, students will explore dialects and personification through this very entertaining tall tale full of the antics of talking blue-jays.
Format: lesson plan (grade 7 English Language Arts and English Language Development)
By Janet Fore.
Bubba: A Cinderella story
This lesson focuses on the whimsical interpretation of the Cinderella story. Students explore the story Bubba, the Cowboy Prince, through rich text and interpretations of the story.
Format: lesson plan (grade 4 English Language Arts and English Language Development)
By Jennifer Fessler and Karen Wright.
Bulletin board of story elements
This lesson will introduce young children to the elements of stories starting with characters. Children will be involved with interactive writing as they respond to shared reading lessons. Students will illustrate a caption of a character to be displayed on a bulletin board.
Format: lesson plan (grade K–1 English Language Arts)
Career research and acrostic poetry
In CareerStart lessons: Grade six, page 1.6
In this lesson for grade 6, each student will research a chosen career and will use the information to create an acrostic poem.
Format: lesson plan (grade 6–8 English Language Arts and Guidance)
By Holly Grout, Deborah Smith, and Natalie Summers.Adapted by Jennifer Brookshire and Julie McCann.
Caricature character tour
Students create a caricature of a literary character using magazine cutouts to practice reading for details and characterization.
Format: lesson plan (grade English Language Arts)
By Janice Ianniello.
"The Cask of Amontillado"
The short story "The Cask of Amontillado," by Edgar Allan Poe is an effective venue for teaching English I literary terms. The following lesson plan is designed to engage the reader in a deeper than superficial reading of the text. It is also designed to elicit discussion and written critical-thinking responses. This lesson assumes that the literary terms have already been introduced. However, if they have not, the teacher may use this lesson to introduce these terms in the context of the literature.
Format: lesson plan (grade 9–10 English Language Arts and English Language Development)
By Guy Hill and Crystal Brown.