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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Resources tagged with maps are also tagged with these keywords. Select one to narrow your search or to find interdisciplinary resources.

Africa: Interpreting physical maps
In CareerStart lessons: Grade seven, page 4.1
In this lesson for grade seven, students look at a physical map of Africa and use it to speculate how the geography of a given region might affect human culture in that area.
Format: lesson plan (grade 7 Social Studies)
By Mary B. Taylor.Adapted by Kenyatta Bennett and Sonya Rexrode.
Analyzing historical maps of North Carolina
In this lesson students will analyze historical maps and will use their knowledge of history, observation skills, and inference to draw conclusions about the events that affected the geographic development of North Carolina over time.
Format: lesson plan (grade 8 Social Studies)
By Loretta Wilson.
Blue Ridge Parkway Travelogue
Students plan and develop a week-long trip along the Blue Ridge Parkway, from beginning to end. The virtual tour culminates in the creation of a travelogue that will outline the trip.
Format: lesson plan (grade 3–4 Social Studies)
By Rachel Elliott.
Building map-reading skills
In Map skills and higher-order thinking, page 5
Now that we know what students can't do, how do we help them develop the skills to read and interpret maps successfully? You may not be surprised to learn that most of the research and literature on this topic stops short of offering actual suggestions....
Format: activity/lesson plan (grade )
By David Walbert.
Colonial and state records of North Carolina
Lessons developed using the Colonial State Records of North Carolina collection from Documenting the American South
Format: lesson plan (multiple pages)
Couriers and messengers: Real-world problem solving
In CareerStart lessons: Grade eight, page 3.4
In this lesson plan, students take on the role of couriers and use indirect measurement to plan a delivery.
Format: lesson plan (grade 7–8 Mathematics)
By Valerie Davis, Sonya Rexrode, and Monika Vasili.
Creating the biased image of the American Indian
In North Carolina maps, page 3.3
In this lesson, students use representations of Native Americans on maps from 1590-1800, as well as colonial narratives from that time period, to examine how the depictions and biases of the native cultures were formed. Students will analyze primary source documents for audience, tone, and positionality in their study. This lesson is ideal for an English language arts class or U.S. History class.
Format: lesson plan (grade 11–12 English Language Arts and Social Studies)
By Jennifer Job.
Discovering North Carolina: A colonial map webquest
In North Carolina maps, page 2.5
In this lesson, students engage in a webquest in which they take on the role of a seventeenth-century explorer commissioned by the King of England to collect information about the area he intends to call North Carolina. Through this activity, students identify the geographic aspects that influenced exploration and settlement and connect narratives with geographic locations for topics including discovery, Native Americans, and politics.
Format: lesson plan (grade 8 English Language Arts and Social Studies)
By Jennifer Job.
Driving through time: The digital Blue Ridge Parkway
In these lessons and units for eighth grade, students delve into the rich primary sources and historical overlooks from the Driving Through Time project and explore the history of the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Format: lesson plan (multiple pages)
Erosion in the Outer Banks
In North Carolina maps, page 3.2
In this lesson, students gain an understanding of the different perspectives on erosion in the Outer Banks over the past century by implementing research and map comparisons between Google Earth and early 20th century Coastal Maps.
Format: lesson plan (grade 9–12 Science)
By Jennifer Job.
Ghosts and sea monsters: Analyzing mythology
In North Carolina maps, page 3.1
This lesson is meant to accompany a ninth or tenth grade unit covering myths and legends. In this lesson, students analyze sea creatures found in 16th and 17th century maps in terms of culture and context. They then search for stories relating to North Carolina legends, ending by writing a story of their own.
Format: lesson plan (grade 9–10 English Language Arts)
By Jennifer Job.
Greece: Part 1
This lesson is one of three created as an interdisciplinary unit on the connection between the art and artifacts of a culture and the values and beliefs of the members of that culture. This unit begins with a class-wide investigation of Ancient Greece and concludes with a visit to the Ackland Art Museum. During the visit, students will have the opportunity to assess their predictions about the Ancient Greeks. In addition, students will look at works of art from other cultures and compare and contrast the visual information provided about those cultures with visual information provided about Greek culture.
Format: lesson plan (grade 3 Social Studies)
By Winn Wheeler.
The highways or the byways: Mapping routes in North Carolina
In North Carolina maps, page 2.1
In this lesson, students use mathematical skills to choose the best routes for traveling around the state. Students will also use various internet resources for determining and plotting distance and ratio of miles per hour to time.
Format: lesson plan (grade 6–7 Mathematics)
How are we changing North Carolina?
In North Carolina maps, page 2.2
In this lesson, students look at soil survey maps to draw conclusions about the impact North Carolinians have had on the land. This lesson is meant to accompany instruction on soil type, use, and erosion
Format: lesson plan
Integrating the internet into the curriculum: Jan Brett author study
Jan Brett's books will be used to integrate technology into different areas of the curriculum. The seven activities will each take about 30 minutes depending on the class. The highlight of the author study will be the design of a class multimedia presentation.
Format: lesson plan (grade 1 Computer/Technology Skills, English Language Arts, Information Skills, and Social Studies)
By Barb Thorson.
Introducing the Blue Ridge Parkway
In Driving through time: The digital Blue Ridge Parkway, page 4.1
In this lesson, students will be introduced to the Blue Ridge Parkway. They will work in groups to analyze historical photographs of the Parkway in order to determine what purpose it serves and why it is such a unique landmark.
Format: lesson plan (grade 4–5 Social Studies)
By Melissa Harden.
The introduction of the car to North Carolina
In North Carolina maps, page 1.4
In this lesson, students look at the impact the introduction of the automobile had on North Carolina travel and city growth.
Format: lesson plan (grade 4 Social Studies)
By Jennifer Job.
An introduction to reading North Carolina maps
In North Carolina maps, page 1.2
In this lesson, students are introduced to the language of maps and why maps are important in our world. They are given the opportunity to read simple maps and find major features of more complicated maps.
Format: lesson plan (grade 1–3 Social Studies)
By Jennifer Job.
The key to a map
The students will use a map of the classroom to strengthen their map reading skills. They will work in groups and use a prepared map of the classroom to find hidden messages.
Format: lesson plan (grade 1–2 English Language Arts and Social Studies)
By Melissa Lasher.
Kindergarten walk
This is an introductory lesson in a series of lessons on our community and community helpers. Rosie's Walk by Pat Hutchins will be used as the pattern to plan our own walk around our school playground. Students will then create a simple map of our school playground.
Format: lesson plan (grade K Mathematics and Social Studies)
By Michelle Hensley.