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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CareerStart lessons: Grade eight
This collection of lessons aligns the eighth grade curriculum in math, science, English language arts, and social studies with potential career opportunities.
Format: (multiple pages)
CareerStart lessons: Grade seven
This collection of lessons aligns the seventh grade curriculum in math, science, English language arts, and social studies with potential career opportunities.
Format: (multiple pages)
Demographics and deception
In Map skills and higher-order thinking, page 14
Maps get really interesting when we start adding human data to them -- population, economic production, social behavior, and so on. Mapping is a powerful way to summarize and communicate those kinds of data. Unfortunately, mapping is also an excellent way...
Format: article/best practice
By David Walbert.
Educator's Guides: North Carolina Digital History
Best practices, process guides, worksheets, and other resources for teaching with LEARN NC's digital textbook of North Carolina history.
Format: (multiple pages)
High-tech maps: Education or eye candy?
In Map skills and higher-order thinking, page 16
Finally, let's take a look at technology. It's made a lot of maps available, but does it help teach map skills? We've all heard the core arguments for expanding our use of technology in the classroom: that technology engages students, that they're surrounded...
Format: article/best practice
By David Walbert.
Integrating maps
In Map skills and higher-order thinking, page 6
Textbooks frequently use maps as learning aids, but research has found that the way maps are most often used does not support students' learning. It turns out that both the order and the context in which materials are presented are crucial....
Format: article/best practice
By David Walbert.
Intrigue of the Past
Lesson plans and essays for teachers and students explore North Carolina's past before European contact. Designed for grades four through eight, the web edition of this book covers fundamental concepts, processes, and issues of archaeology, and describes the peoples and cultures of the Paleoindian, Archaic, Woodland, and Mississippian periods.
Format: book (multiple pages)
Map skills
In Map skills and higher-order thinking, page 1
It used to be a lot of work to make a map. Before computers, maps had to be meticulously drawn by hand, their grids and outlines relying on complicated pencil-and-paper calculations. Now, you can download map data from the U.S. Geologic Survey or the Census...
Format: article/best practice
By David Walbert.
Map skills and higher-order thinking
This series of articles looks at map skills as a kind of visual literacy, considering what maps are, how they're made, and the higher-order thinking skills students need to move from simply decoding maps to fully comprehending them.
Format: series (multiple pages)
North Carolina history: Grade 4 educator's guide
This educator's guide provides teaching suggestions designed to facilitate using the digital North Carolina history textbook with fourth-grade students.
Format: (multiple pages)
Projections
In Map skills and higher-order thinking, page 7
Now let's take a closer look at the process of drawing a map. If you're drawing a map of a classroom, you can assume the floor is flat like a piece of paper. (If not, the district is going to need to up its facilities budget.) That makes mapping it straightforward;...
Format: article/best practice
By David Walbert.
Projections and propaganda
In Map skills and higher-order thinking, page 9
Interestingly, until the mid-twentieth century, publishers of maps and textbooks resisted using new projections (many of which were, by then, quite old). Why? Maybe because they wanted to stick with what was familiar to people -- or maybe because Mercator...
Format: article/best practice
By David Walbert.
Reading maps
In Map skills and higher-order thinking, page 4
Now that we understand a little of what it takes to create visual representations of data, let's look at the other end of the process. What are the skills necessary to "read" or interpret visual representations of data? Understanding representations...
Format: article/best practice
By David Walbert.
Two worlds: Educator's guide
Lesson plans and activities to be used with "Two Worlds: Prehistory, Contact, and the Lost Colony" -- the first part of a North Carolina history textbook for secondary students.
Format: book (multiple pages)